After recently joining SWAC, Florida A&M University will be taking part in the conference’s football media day. Learn more about the day, which is the first that players have had since the pandemic, in the article by Rory Sharrock at the Tallahassee Democrat below.

FAMU Stars Markquese Bell, Keenan Forbes (Credit: Rory Sharrock)

FAMU players Bell, Forbes to join Simmons at SWAC media day in Birmingham.

Next on the list of firsts for Florida A&M as members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference is its participation in football media day, scheduled for Tuesday at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel at 10 a.m. CST.

A live stream of the outing airs on ESPN3. FAMU alumnus Tiffany Greene will co-host the program with her broadcast partner, Jay Walker. 

FAMU representation includes head coach Willie Simmons along with safety Markquese Bell and offensive lineman Keenan Forbes.

FAMU safety Markquese Bell had two interceptions in the 27-21 win over Southern on Saturday, September 21, 2019 (Credit: FAMU Athletics)

All 12 head coaches and two student-athletes from each team will be in attendance.

“I’m excited to do media day in person. It’s the first time we’re doing this since COVID-19. I’m looking forward to being in Birmingham to meet with the coaches and preview a great season,” Simmons said.

The head Rattler also acknowledged having Bell and Forbes at media day is beneficial for them as well as the football program.

“This is a great opportunity for Markquese and Keenan to get some exposure,” Simmons said.

“They’re two phenomenal football players. They should extend their career beyond FAMU in the NFL. Markquese and Keenan will represent FAMU well here at media day.”

Bell and Forbes were First Team All-MEAC players in 2019. Their status as key figures is the reason for the invitation to media day.

Being in the fold with college coaches and their peers in the SWAC is being viewed as a noteworthy honor.

“This means a lot to represent FAMU and my teammates at SWAC media day. It’s a big accomplishment and I’m very grateful,” Bell said.

FAMU offensive lineman Keenan Forbes practices his pass blocking during a board drill (Credit: Rory Sharrock/Tallahassee Democrat)

Forbes is happy about being in the SWAC. However, he puts the conference realignment in perspective.

For him, it’s about suiting up and maintaining the same high level of excellence on the field from the MEAC.

“I feel great going to another conference. But at the end of the day, we have one goal of winning games and winning a championship,” Forbes said.  

FAMU opens fall camp on Saturday, Aug. 7. 

This begins the march toward the season opener versus Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. That game is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 5 at 3 p.m. 

The Rattlers and Tigers will play live on ESPN2.