Florida A&M received positive news today as the NCAA announced that multiple key players for the Rattlers will be eligible for the Orange Blossom Classic against #15 Jackson State this Sunday. Pete Thamel of ESPN reported that Florida A&M will only have 8 ineligible players entering this Sunday’s matchup against the Tigers, which is a huge improvement from the 26 players who were ineligible last weekend against North Carolina.
SOURCES: FAMU is down to 8 uncertified players who aren't eligible to compete against Jackson State on Sunday. That number is down from 26 last weekend. Star edge rusher Isaiah Land, who was the FCS’ leader in sacks and TFLs last year, is eligible for FAMU.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 2, 2022
Florida A&M has had to battle eligibility issues throughout the first two weeks of the season after 27 players were deemed ineligible the day before the Rattlers traveled to face North Carolina last weekend. The Rattlers put up an inspiring battle against the Tar Heels, but lost the game 56-24 after the Tar Heels scored 21 unanswered in the 4th quarter.
The biggest news of the day was the return of the 2021 Buck Buchanan Award winner Isaiah Land and Bluebloods Preseason 2nd Team All-American BJ Bohler. The Rattlers will also get starting offensive lineman Cam Colvin and wide receiver Nick Dixon back this weekend against Jackson State.
Land was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year last season after totaling 25.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks, which led the entire FCS in both statistics. Bohler was an integral part of an extremely talented secondary last season and was named 1st Team All-SWAC after totaling 52 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, and 12 pass breakups on the season. Both players will be key pieces this weekend as Florida A&M looks to avenge a 7-6 loss to the Tigers last season.
The Orange Blossom Classic between #15 Jackson State and Florida A&M will kickoff Sunday at 2pm/CT on ESPN2. Our preview of this game and the other top FCS games of Week 1 can be found here and on our YouTube channel.