WATCH: FAMU football head coach Willie Simmons discusses the outlook for 2020 spring practice. Tallahassee Democrat


Fast is one of the "Seven Fs" of the team philosophy for Florida A&M.

网上体育投注官网The up-tempo vibe was the main takeaway for the Rattlers during their first day of spring practice Saturday afternoon. 

网上体育投注官网FAMU utilized a quick pace through drills, individual and team workouts. When the team went through lulls, they were instantly reprimanded to snap back into action. 

"I thought the guys had a good practice. There was a lot of retention and carryover from last year," FAMU coach Willie Simmons said. "I want to see more of a sense of urgency with tempo as we move from station to station. We’ll continue to get better as we move along this spring."

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While tempo is the traditional standard for the Rattlers, there is a sense of newness this spring. 

网上体育投注官网From an operational standpoint, co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach KJ Black is now responsible for the play-calling duty. 

网上体育投注官网Simmons also has more of a hands-on approach in working with the running backs. 

In terms of personnel, there's an open competition at quarterback. The front-runners are RaSean McKay and Jonathan Holcombe II. 

网上体育投注官网McKay is the starter for now. The signal-caller from Godby High School was second string last year under Ryan Stanley. He currently takes the majority of the snaps with the first team. 

网上体育投注官网His familiarity with the offense combined with having experience is the foundation for his prime execution.

网上体育投注官网"It feels good to have the keys to the car," McKay said. "Ryan taught me a lot last year. Watching film with coach Black has really helped me for this spring. It's a blessing to have all these weapons. We should have an even better year this season with more yards."

网上体育投注官网Holcombe showed why he was labeled a three-star prospect coming out of high school. The transfer from Kansas State fired off sharp passes with accuracy during his first official practice with his new teammates. 

"Today was pretty good. The vibe out here, everybody was moving fast," Holcombe said.

网上体育投注官网 "Even though today is day one, I have high hopes for this season. Day one wasn't pretty bad. I can always be better. I was a little slow through my reads, but that's just me being hard on myself." 


WATCH: FAMU QB John Holcombe discusses the first day of spring practice and bonding with teammates. Tallahassee Democrat

After practice, both quarterbacks stayed after for 30 minutes and took snaps with center Bryan Crawford. They trained on their footwork for running and passing plays.

网上体育投注官网Along with Holcombe, Saturday marked the first day for fellow transfers Orlando Heggs II and Jonathan Hall.

Heggs, a Jacksonville native, comes to FAMU by way of Wake Forest.

The offensive lineman was excited and nervous about his debut. He traditionally plays guard. However, he also lined up at center on Saturday. Heggs is eager to continue his progression within the offense.

"I was anxious and had good nerves. I'm glad to be out here practicing with my teammates," Heggs said. "My snaps weren't that good. I got some more snaps after practice and talked with coach (Alex) Jackson. Wherever he needs me, I'll go as hard as I can."

Hall, a defensive lineman transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast College, showed an equal level of hunger during his acclimation with FAMU.

"It was a change of pace. We went fast and everyone was flying around. I enjoyed all of it. I've immersed myself in the playbook. I'm getting the hang of it and will be straight," Hall said.

FAMU also featured players at different positions. 

网上体育投注官网Blake Simpson returns to the wide receivers corps after spending last season in the defensive backfield. Veryl White, who was an offensive lineman in 2019, is back at his natural spot at tight end.


WATCH: FAMU linebackers work on drills led by position coach Ryan Smith during the first day of spring practice. Tallahassee Democrat

On defense, first-team All-MEAC safety Markquese Bell sat out with a toe injury. He is currently using a walking boot. Bell will be evaluated this week regarding his playing status.

Linebacker Derrick Mayweather is now the leader in his position room. This role also extends to the team as a whole.

网上体育投注官网Mayweather is pleased with the first day of practice. However, he's not getting comfortable with one good day. He wants this to ensure a daily theme of excellence. 

"We got a little rust out of us and focus on everything from last fall. We still have a ways to go. But if we keep working, we'll be on the right track," Mayweather said. "I was a leader last year, but I have to step up and be more vocal. If I do that, we'll be a great team."

FAMU holds its second day of practice on March 3. 

Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @rattlernews and @married2game1.

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