HBCU Sports Aficionados, Bryan Harvey and Bradford Gillens, join Hail Wildcats to discuss BCU’s move to the SWAC. What should Wildcat/SWAC fans expect? What’s the future of the MEAC? How do BCU athletic teams stack up against SWAC foes? Tune in to find out.
Forgive me if this sounds a bit overstated but Coach Alvin “Shine” Wyatt is a national treasure. Checkout this interview with Coach Wyatt from the good folks over at HBCU Gameday. It’s pure gold!
Quick question; who was the winningest Division 1 HBCU program from 2010-2019? Here’s a hint, it rhymes with Cuthune-Bookman. If you guess BCU, congratulations you are correct.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats wrapped up the decade with the highest winning percentage (.693) amongst FCS black college programs. The Wildcats also claimed three (3) black college national championships (2010, 2012, 2013), 5 MEAC titles (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), 2 FBS wins and 9 straight Florida Classic wins during the 2010s. It’s been a great decade of Wildcat football to say the least.
Before we close out the decade, let’s first recognize the best of the best. Narrowing this list was an extremely difficult task and we congratulate all of the athletes that contributed to the Wildcats success. With that in mind, here are our selections for the Bethune-Cookman All-Decade Team (2010-2019).
QB – Quentin Williams
RB – Isidore Jackson
RB – Anthony Jordan
OL – Terrance Hackney
OL – Natiel Curry
OL – Anthony Eduardo
OL – Dariusz Bladek
OL – Trevin Huff
WR – Eddie Poole
WR – Frank Brown
WR – Jawill Davis
Wildcat – Matt Johnson
DL – Ryan Davis
DL – Harold Love
DL – Erik Williams
DL – LeBrandon Richardson
LB – Reggie Sandilands
LB – Ryan Lewis
LB – Jarkevis Fields
CB – Dion Hanks
CB – Tim Burke
S – Nick Addison
S – Diquan Richardson
RS – Jimmie Robinson
K – Uriel Hernandez
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Two members of the Bethune-Cookman football team have been selected to participate in the FCS Bowl by Spiral on Sunday afternoon.
1st Team All-MEAC performer Jimmie Robinson and 3rd Team All-MEAC defensive back Trevor Merritt will participate in the game in front of scouts from teams across the NFL and Canadian Football League.
The annual all-star game for seniors from Football Championship Subdivision programs will kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in DeLand, Fla. The game will be played at Spec Martin Stadium, home of Stetson University and can be viewed online at FloFootball.com.
Robinson, a senior from Flagler Palm Coast, wraps up a stellar career that saw him earn All-American status as a kick returner and all conference honors as a wide receiver. The speedster led the conference in both kick return average (28.1 yds) and all purpose yards (123.6 per game) in 2019.
Merritt, who hails from Rockledge, FL, registered 31 tackles and 3 interceptions his senior year. The ballhawking defensive back didn’t just pick off passes; he returned 2 of his 3 picks for touchdowns this season and 2 of his 4 picks for touchdowns in his junior campaign.
Robinson and Merritt are slated to play on opposing teams at this Sunday’s matchup and may find themselves in direct competition to impress the reported 30 plus scouts game organizers state will be in attendance.
The FBS Bowl website estimates, through its parent organization (East Prep LLC), that upwards to 40% of players that participate and actually pursue a Pro career are placed and many players play from the NFL to Europe!
Best of luck to Jimmie and Trevor!
The Florida Classic is the largest football game in the nation between two historically black colleges. After experiencing Bethune-Cookman’s thrilling 31-27 victory over a red-hot Florida A&M squad this year, you can make a great case that the Florida Classic is not only the biggest, but also the best football game in HBCU sports.
In honor of BCU’s 9th straight Florida Classic win, here are the Top 9 moments from this weekend’s contest.
Trevor Merritt’s pick six – You don’t usually highlight a play 7 minutes into the first quarter as the game’s most important but Merritt’s 23-yard interception and touchdown return of FAMU’s Ryan Stanley may have been just that. After struggling in the prior 3 games and failing to convert on the game’s opening possession, the Wildcats needed to grab early momentum in the game. Merritt’s pick six provided the spark needed and helped set the tone for the rest of the evening. BCU led most of the contest, finished with 3 turnovers and Merritt earned the Week 13 Black College Football Player of the Year Spotlight for his efforts.
Steffon with the smooth 28 yard TD grab – Midway through the 2nd quarter, Akevious Williams hooked up with Steffon Francois for a 28 yard TD. Francois beat the cover and hauled in a spectacular catch, twisted and lunged to put BCU up 21-7.
Middle Finger U – A big shout out to Donovan Wells and the Marching Wildcats for forming an amazing “deuces” picture formation at halftime. In route to forming the 2 finger deuces sign, the middle finger transitioned into position first creating what could be construed as…well let’s just call it a middle finger salute. Rather this was intentional or not, I think fans “got the point” to use the words of Marching Wildcats announcer Ken Moore.
Scoop and almost score – FAMU started to seize momentum in the contest and trailed 21-20 late in the 3rd Linebacker Marquis Hendrix ended the Rattler drive when he forced a Ryan Stanley fumble and Devin James scooped up the loose ball and appeared to run it in for a score. Replay officials determined James stepped out at the FAMU 11 yard line but 4 plays later, wide receiver Jonathon Thomas converted his first college field goal to push the Wildcats ahead 24-20.
Akevious to Francois to setup the game winner – BCU took over possession of the football with 5:38 remaining in the contest and trailing 27-24. On 2nd down and 25, Williams found Francois running free in the middle of the field. The two connected on a 44 yard pitch and catch setting up the game winner.
Washington scores the game winner – One play after the Williams to Francois 44 yard reception, running back Isaac Washington scored from 15 yards out to put BCU ahead 31-27. The 15 yard score ended up being the final of the game. “A lot of things could have went bad on that play but thank God they didn’t” Washington stated after the contest. When pressed about what could have went bad and whether it was a broken play, Washington stated the details would remain between him and the quarterback but did state “God was looking out for us”.
JT Money – Wide Receiver Jonathon Thomas was pressed into emergency place kicking duties after Xavier McDonald injured his ankle in practice on Thursday. Thomas, who kicked extra points and field goals at Treasure Coast High School, accounted for 7 points going 4/4 on extra points and 1/2 on field goals. For the record, BCU won by 4 points. Big props to the JT and the coaching staffing for coming up clutch.
Devin James seals the deal – Speaking of Treasure Coast High School, Thomas high school teammate Devin James picked off Stanley on 4th and 3 on the Rattlers last drive of the evening. Not only did James’ pick seal the Wildcats 9th straight FL Classic win, it was also the 3rd consecutive year that BCU ended FAMU’s potential game winning drive with an interception of Ryan Stanley. Diquan Richardson (2017), TyDarius Peters (2018) and Devin James (2019) all ended FAMU’s hope of breaking the streak with final possession INTs.
The Florida Classic itself – The best moment of the weekend was the Florida Classic itself. After years of rebuilding, the Florida Classic is fully back. 55,730 attendees inside the stadium, twice that number outside the stadium, the buzz surrounding the game, the bands, food, trash talk and comradery; yeah The Classic is back. The expectations surrounding this year’s game as well as the supercharged atmosphere throughout the entirety of this year’s contest made this the best Classic in a decade and amongst the best of all-time. Congratulations to Florida A&M on a great season. All Hail to the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University for their “Devine 9” win. Hopefully next year’s game will be as good as this one.
Welcome to the Bigtime. Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to increasing community spirit and pride, promoting tourism, stimulating economic development and ultimately benefiting charities, educational institutions and the quality of life in Central Florida through its signature events.
— Read on floridacitrussports.com/2019/11/23/bethune-cookman-tops-florida-am-31-27-in-40th-florida-blue-florida-classic/
NINE LIVES: Bethune-Cookman extends ’Classic streak to 9 with 31-27 win over rival FAMU – Sports – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL
— Read on www.news-journalonline.com/sports/20191123/nine-lives-bethune-cookman-extends-rsquoclassic-streak-to-9-with-31-27-win-over-rival-famu
DOVER, Del. — A chance to take the Mid-Eastern Athetic Conference lead eluded Bethune-Cookman on Saturday as Delaware State upset the Wildcats, 16-13, at Alumni Stadium. Thomas Bertrand-Holland rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown as the Hornets (2-8 overall, 1-6 MEAC) kept the Wildcats (6-3,4-2) from taking over first place after North Carolina A&T was also upset, 22-16, by Morgan State. B-CU and North Carolina A&T face each other next week in Greensboro, N.C. Tydarius
— Read on www.news-journalonline.com/sports/20191109/b-cu-upset-by-delaware-state-fumbles-chance-to-take-meac-lead
Wildcat fans, we loss homecoming. Freaking homecoming bro.
Everything was set up so perfectly. The old-heads were decked out in their best “short sets” and leopard print. The Greeks were strolling. The Henny was flowing. The #WHOE crowd left it all in streets of Daytona; yet somehow our beloved Wildcats came up short in the actual game. That’s no way to treat Ms. Mary’s kids but here we stand.
Saturday’s 27-19 homecoming loss was the first since losing to Winston-Salem State in 2009. That was Coach Alvin “Shine” Wyatt’s last season in charge. If I had to give you one word to describe the loss it would be… frustrating… disappointing… head-scratching…soul-searching.
Yeah, I know that’s more than one word but let me have my moment.
Losing to a Buddy Pough coached squad is nothing to be ashamed of. SCSU owns more MEAC championship crowns than any other school with 16 and Coach Pough is the winningest coach is Bulldog history. The frustration for Wildcat fans lie not in losing Saturday’s contest but in how the team performed.
The Cats entered the contest on a 5 game winning streak yet the air in the stadium was filled with frustration and head-scratching by game’s end.
Frustration that the team’s most dynamic player, All-American Jimmie Robinson, only had one offensive touch the entire contest. Frustration at surrendering 276 rushing yards while only rushing for 59. Head-scratching at yielding a first down and eventually a touchdown after allowing SCSU to convert a fake punt on 4th and 17.
There was the blocked field goal, missed extra point, missed tackles, dropped passes, questionable play calling, failure to convert a 1st and goal into points….I’m exhausted thinking about all of the missed opportunities.
“We got out-coached and out-played”. Those aren’t my words. Blame that analysis on head coach Terry Sims speaking to the media after the defeat.
Perhaps the most disappointing and telling sign of how the night went was highlighted on the last drive. Trailing by a touchdown and 2 point conversion with less than 2 minutes to play, Bethune took over possession at their own 38 yardline. That’s awesome right? We got 3 time MEAC player of the week Arkevious Williams at QB. We got the aforementioned Jimmie Robinson. We got the homecoming crowd cheering and Marching Wildcats playing. Surely a comeback was in the cards right…NAH! Not this time.
After picking up an initial first down, the Wildcats’ potentially game tying drive ended with 3 sacks and a dropped pass. It was a sad exclamation point to a night filled with missed opportunities. A night in which BCU simply could not deliver in front of 12,204 homecoming fans who were looking for a reason to add to the festive weekend. It just wasn’t meant to be.
The bad news is the Wildcats no longer control their own fate to make the postseason. The good news is the Wildcats are still co-leaders in the MEAC standings and very much in the championship hunt. Assuming Bethune does a little soul-searching, course correcting and win out against Delaware State, NCA&T and FAMU; they would only need South Carolina State to drop one of their remaining contests to fulfill their quest of making their first ever Celebration Bowl appearance.
The scenario is not far-fetched especially when considering fellow co-leaders SCSU and NCA&T square off in Orangeburg this weekend. An Aggies win would once again place BCU in control of their own postseason fate.
BCU has a bye this weekend giving them plenty of time to lick their paws. Heal up. Regroup. Refocus. Insert your favorite cliche here before taking on Delaware State in Dover in a couple of weeks.