Rattlers not nervous to kick off new era, hope to grab fans as only game in town Saturday

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By: Kevin Keane | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 28, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- This Saturday, the Florida A&M Rattlers officially strike up a new season.

A new turf, some new helmets and a new head coach all headline FAMU's season opener against Fort Valley State in what could be called one of the most anticipated season openers in recent Rattler history.

Hometown kid Willie Simmons will take the field with the Rattlers for the first time as head coach, and fans are eager to see Simmons' new-look offense.

The game is nearly sold out and with all of the renovations, both in the program and the cosmetics surrounding it.

For the new head coach, he says it puts some pressure on, but he's just ready to get the ball kicked off and see what his team can do.

"This is the first one of six and we want to make sure we start it off on the right foot, so I wouldn't say that there's a nervousness," Simmons said. "There's naturally some anxiety from players and coaches and I'm sure from fans as well to actually see how good this football team can be."

But, the question remains; what will the Rattlers look like in 2018?

Those questions are soon to be answered, and Simmons says he believes his offense has the new playbook pretty well down pat and he thought the team came together in fall camp.

Now all that's left is to see what they can do on the field.

A lot of eyes will be on the Rattlers this week. As Simmons says, not only is FAMU the only show in town this week, but he hopes the game itself can draw some Florida State fans as well.

"This whole weekend is going to be magical; first game for FAMU at home, first game for Florida state at home. Tallahassee is going to be the place to be this weekend and we're just happy to be able to have our own share of the spotlight on Saturday and be able to have everyone here," Simmons explained.

"Hopefully we have some Seminole fans even come and support us, just like I'm sure they'd love to see some Rattlers fans come and support the Seminoles on Monday night," he continued.

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