Tallahassee, FL -- 58 days until FAMU opens its season against Fort Valley State and the Rattlers are staying as fit as they can in the summer months.
"Last year at this junction we had 12 athletes here," says director of Strength and Conditioning for FAMU Russell Barbarino. "This year for the first summer session we had 42 guys here. Now that the summer session two has started we have about 75 to 80 athletes because that includes some of the freshmen that are coming on campus."
"They are empowering each other," adds Joe Taylor. "They are there in the numbers."
Four days a week players are lifting and conditioning under their own free will. These workouts are voluntary as coaches can not instruct their players until practice begins.
Barbarino adds, "From a psychological and mental standpoint, when you see your brothers working hard you're more likely to build that team atmosphere."
Taylor adds, "It looks like they have their minds made up that they can be competitive and it looks like they want to take full advantage of it."
Besides the weight room and track, the players are going an extra step to ensure that there will be no co conference champion this year.
Russell adds, "Despite all the workouts we've been doing the guys have been doing seven on seven twice a week too. They come in on Wednesday night and Friday night by themselves and the entire team is here. That's them doing that, that's them orchestrating that, it's not the coaches so that just shows you how hungry they are."