Alabama NewsCenter 2019 football preview: Alabama A&M

Alabama NewsCenter 2019 football preview: Alabama A&M
Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass is on the Black College Football Player of the Year Watchlist. (Alabama A&M Athletics)

There was a lot of new during head coach Connell Maynor’s first season at Alabama A&M University.

There was a new offense, a new defense and a new sensation – of having a winning season.

“It’s been six years since we had a winning season, and we had a winning season (6-5) and we were 5-2 in the conference,” Maynor said. “We got things turned around and headed in the right direction. Now we need to improve on that. We don’t need to be satisfied. We need to keep going forward. We don’t need to go backward. We don’t want to stay flatlined. We want to keep rising.

“We have to continue to do the things we did last year, get a little bit better and maybe finish more games off.”

Year 2 of the Maynor coaching era at Alabama A&M begins at 2:30 p.m. Central Sunday, September 1, in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic at Tom Benson NFL Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Alabama A&M Coach Connell Maynor sizes up the season ahead from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Alabama NewsCenter: What is the outlook for this season?

Connell Maynor: I think we’ve got enough at each position to compete for a championship and be able to win every game on our schedule. But we’ve got to be able to stay healthy. And we need the ball to bounce our way, of course.

ANC: What is the strength of this year’s team?

Maynor: I really don’t know. You would think it would be the offense, with us returning about eight starters on offense with Aqeel Glass at quarterback, Jordan Bentley the running back, Brian Jenkins is back. You’ve got some weapons there back on offense, so you would think it would be the offense. But I think the defense played pretty well last year and we’ve got some returners and a couple of new pieces. On paper you would probably say the offense but you never know until you actually start playing the games.

ANC: Who are your team’s standouts?

Maynor: Your quarterback (Aqeel Glass) has always got to be the guy who’s got to play well, take care of the ball, distribute the ball. But we need Brian Jenkins and Zabrian Moore to play well at wide receiver and then (Jordan) Bentley and (Gary) Quarles at running back to play well. The offensive line has to block well in the passing game and the running game. On defense, we need (linebacker) Armoni Holloway to have the type year he had last year. We’re expecting his twin (Amari Holloway) at corner to have a big year. We’ve got another linebacker who got hurt and only played half the season – Quantravis Kelly. We’re expecting big things out of Kelly. He’s a great linebacker.

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ANC: What games do your fans have circled on your schedule?

Maynor: They’re always going to circle the Magic City Classic first, always, and then homecoming. We play Texas Southern for homecoming this year. The big game that we’ve got to win is Alcorn … they’re the defending champs … Southern and Grambling. Those are the big three and have been the big three for a long time. We play all three of those guys on the road.

ANC: What is your lingering question?

Maynor: Can we stay healthy? Our thing right now is depth and staying healthy.

Download or print a complete schedule of all 15 Alabama college football programs, including Alabama A&M, here.

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