The Florida A&M football team is looking forward to the 2023 season, and hoping to move on from an incident that garnered national headlines. The Rattlers were picked to win the SWAC East this week, replacing Deion Sanders' former team Jackson State as the favorites.
The news hasn't been 100% positive, however. An investigation into an unapproved rap video filmed at the school has begun. On Monday, Florida A&M football was cleared to resume practicing. The news came on the heels of a press release on the team's new digital streaming network.
The return to the football field has Florida A&M players and coaches alike buzzing with excitement.
“Football is our safe haven,” Simmons said according to The Tallahassee Democrat.
“We're looking forward to getting back on the field,” Simmons added. “A lot of focus is on what happens leading up to getting on the field. But once we hit the field on Aug. 4 for that first practice, it's all systems go and we're 100 percent locked in on what our job is. And that's to develop ourselves mentally and physically.”
The Rattlers finished 7-1 last season, one game behind the 8-0 Tigers from Jackson State. Many felt the team's success was lost in the shuffle on the national news scene as Sanders' Tigers got the lion's share of the news coverage.
Florida A&M football picked up a league-leading 10 preseason all-conference selections, adding to hopes of a title this season.
Moussa has big expectations for himself after earning Second Team All-SWAC honors last year. All-American Xavier Smith, a free agent signee of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, is gone, but Moussa has new pieces within the offense to help him excel.
“Those are the same aspirations I have for myself,” Moussa said. “If I approach it and do my job each play and stack good games, I'm going to be where I want to be at the end of the year. We have new guys that are going to have some elevated roles.
“[David Manigo] and [Jah'Marae Sheread] are going to be staples. I'm also excited to see [FAMU transfer wide receivers Jamari Gassett and Marcus Riley]. Day-Day Oxendine. Tre Davis. Nick Dixon. We expect big things.”