NORFOLK, Va. (July 26) - The Florida A&M Football Team was predicted to finish fifth in the 2013 season, while quarterback Damien Fleming was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Co-Preseason Offense Player of the Year as the Rattler Gridders placed 11 players on the 2013 Preseason All-MEAC team, voted on by the conference sports information directors and head coaches, announced today by the conference office at the annual MEAC Football Kickoff Luncheon held at the Marriott Waterside Hotel.
Fleming, a 6-2, 205, junior quarterback from Jacksonville, Fla., is a First Team Preseason All-MEAC selection and Co-Offensive Conference Player of the Year, an award shared with Bethune-Cookman’s running back Isidore Jackson.
Fleming finished last season with 2,157 yards as he completed 214 passes in 308 attempts with 16 TDs and five interceptions. In addition, he became the first FAMU quarterback to pass for 2,000 plus yards in a season, since 2004 when Ben Dogherty was the Rattler signal caller.
Joining, Fleming on the Preseason All-MEAC First Team in running back James Owens, wide receiver Lenworth Lennon, offensive lineman Kevin House and Zerrie Patterson and place kicker Chase Varnadore.
Earning Second Team Preseason All-MEAC honors is defensive back Jonathan Pillow and return specialist James Owens.
Round out the cast of all-conference performers is center Doug Almendares, linebacker Brandon Denmark, and defensive back Devonte “Terry”Johnson.
FAMU was picked to finish fifth in the 2013 conference race as the Rattlers tallied 250 points. Reigning champion Bethune-Cookman was predicted to finish first as the Wildcats garnered 480 points and 16 first place votes.
South Carolina State was predicted to finish second as they tallied 365 points and two first place votes, followed by North Carolina A&T with 302 points.
Predicted to finished sixth is Howard with 227 points, followed by Norfolk State with 222 points and 1 first place vote for a seventh place finish.
Rounding out the cast is Delaware State with 201 points for an eighth place predicted order of finish, followed by Hampton with 196 points and one first place vote for a ninth place finish. Morgan garnered 113 points for a 10 place predicted order of finish and Savannah State is predicted 11th with 52 points and one first place vote.
FAMU will open its 2013 season against Mississippi Valley State in the in the annual MEAC MEAC/SWAC Challenge at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., broadcasted live on ESPN in a 11:45 a.m. start.
The following week, the Rattlers will open their 2013 home schedule against Tennessee State on Saturday, September 7 at Bragg Memorial Stadium in a 2 p.m. start, for ticket information contact the FAMU ticket office at 850-599-3141.