TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor is ensuring that his players are prepared to participate in the political process.
Taylor took part of a practice day to work with members of the team to make sure they are registered to vote.
"I've always looked at coaching as a ministry," said Taylor, who grew up in Washington D.C., during the height of the civil rights movement. "The good Lord didn't put them here just to be uniform racks.''
On the presidential election day, Nov. 6, senior leaders will help take teammates to the polls.
"As young black men, it's very important that we get out and vote," said senior LB Brandon Hepburn. "We want our voices to be heard."
Senior RB Eddie Rocker will vote for the first time.
"I'll take the defense as an entire unit," Hepburn said. "I'll make sure my brothers will vote."
It is unclear if other schools are doing anything similar. Florida State, located less than a mile from the FAMU campus, isn't proactive in encouraging or emphasizing voting among its student athletes, spokesman Rob Wilson said.
USF: RB Shaw out
TAMPA — Junior RB Marcus Shaw, sidelined since Saturday's opener with a sprained ankle, will not play in USF's game at Nevada, coach Skip Holtz said on radio station 98.7-FM.
Shaw, who rushed for 22 yards against Chattanooga, could return for USF's Big East opener Thursday against Rutgers. Senior Lindsey Lamar, who had planned to redshirt this season, will take Shaw's spot as the No. 2 running back behind Demetris Murray.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: Freshmen are in
TALLAHASSEE — With standout DE Brandon Jenkins out for the season, FSU changed direction and will not redshirt freshmen Mario Edwards and Chris Casher.
"We can push them right now and can justify the reps and what they're doing," coach Jimbo Fisher said.
The fact that both freshmen were up for redshirt chances wasn't an indictment of their play, Fisher said.
"They always were in a good place,'' he said. "I liked where they were.''
In addition to Jenkins, Bjoern Werner, Cornellius Carradine, Giorgio Newberry and Toshmon Stevens were ahead of Edwards and Casher before Jenkins' injury. Jenkins, Werner and Carradine were getting snaps they couldn't.
"You just couldn't justify enough good reps those three guys (ahead of them) because they were so good," Fisher said. "With one of them out, you create and start developing with where they are."
UM: Henderson back
CORAL GABLES — RT Seantrel Henderson will make the trip for Saturday's game at Kansas State after missing last week's victory at Boston College.
How much Henderson plays, if at all, remains to be seen, with freshmen Ereck Flowers settled into the starting job.
"I hope he's ready," coach Al Golden said.
"He's only had two full-pads practice with the varsity, so he's got a long way to go with his conditioning and technique and everything."
Golden said he would also like to see left guards Jeremy Lewis and Ben Jones play, among others.
Notable: Lightning and storms pushed part of Thursday's workout indoors. That didn't stop players from testing their singing skills as Golden spoke with reporters. Golden smiled when asked if that was a good sign. "I don't know," he said with a chuckle. "Bad sign."… There was no change to the official injury report. LB Raphael Kirby and DT Curtis Porter remain out.
South Florida Sun Sentinel