EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T will hold its annual Blue & Gold Spring Football Game 11 a.m., Saturday, April 6 at BB&T Stadium.
The Aggies are coming off their second straight HBCU national championship and the third in the last four seasons after defeating Alcorn State 24-22 at the 2018 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in December.
Many of the standouts in that game will not be with the Aggies this season. Defensive end Darryl Johnson, Jr., the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) defensive player of the year, gave up his last year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft.
Record-breaking quarterback Lamar Raynard, the 2017 MEAC offensive player of the year, will leave a huge void in the Aggies offense along with the departure of star running back Marquell Cartwright.
Veteran Kylil Carter who spent most of his career making memorable plays during the Aggies championship runs will battle Jalen Fowler and Ifedi Kingsley for playing time at the quarterback position. Third-team All-MEAC running back Jah-Maine Martin will look to increase his load in place of Cartwright.
The MEAC’s reigning offensive lineman of the year, Micah Shaw also graduated leaving the Aggies offense with some gaps to fill. The receiving group is back intact with Elijah Bell, Zach Leslie
In addition to losing Johnson, the Aggies must also replace defensive end Sam Blue and nose guard Julian McKnight along the Aggies defensive line. The linebacker corps will also have a new look with Deion Jones, Julius Reynolds
Celebration Bowl defensive MVP Richie Kittles is back at the rover position. N.C. A&T’s leading tackler and linebacker Antoine Wilder is also back for the 2019 season. N.C. A&T’s secondary looks strong despite losing All-MEAC corner Timadre Abram.
Familiar names like safeties Jalen Bethea and Najee Reams and cornerbacks Mac McCain III, Amir McNeil
“Whenever you go through spring practice it never goes as well as you want it to, but it never went as bad as you thought it did,” said N.C. A&T coach Sam Washington, the 2018 MEAC coach of the year. “If we come away from Saturday’s game mostly healthy while seeing some guys get some needy reps heading into the summer, we will consider it a success.”
Saturday will also include giveaways and free food. Fans are encouraged to make food donations to the Aggie Food Source Pantry. The Aggie Food Source is the on-campus food pantry for students. Items of high need are bread, peanut butter, canned chicken or tuna