ST. LOUIS- FBS programs like Missouri and Illinois are getting ready to open their spring football training camps around the country later this month and in March, but that’s just practice, and their spring games don’t count in the standings. To find games that matter this spring, you’ll have to go to the Football Championship Subdivision or FCS.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many FCS programs canceled their fall seasons and are playing a reduced schedule this spring, ahead of what is hoped to be a full fall schedule.
One of the top quarterbacks at that level hails from St. Louis. Aqeel Glass, a Lutheran North grad and a senior at Alabama A&M, tells FOX2 he’s looking forward to the extra eyes on the FCS product this spring.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to get a lot of eyes on us, we’re the only football playing, people love to watch football, no matter what kind of football it is. For us to be the main attraction is a great thing for all the schools.”
Glass started getting the attention of many in 2019, when he set the school’s single-season passing record with 3,600 yards, and finished the season with a school-record 57 career passing touchdowns.
It started with a high-profile contest against Morehouse College on the NFL Network where threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns, including one on the final play to win the game. Since that season, Glass says his coaching staff told him they’ve heard from half the teams in the NFL to learn more about him.
Glass will have more opportunities in front of a TV audience, with games on ESPNU and ESPN3. One of the ESPNU appearances is an April 10 contest at Jackson State, now coached by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
“Him going there just puts a lot more eyes…His name holds so much weight in the football world, for him to give those guys an opportunity, gonna be great. It helps Jackson State, helps the whole SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference), helps all of HBCUs,” he said.
Glass has already graduated with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering, and he’s pursuing a Masters in the same area. He’s interned for the Illinois Department of Transportation and learned about designing and resurfacing a highway in Altamont, Illinois in the process. But first, he plans to be busy this spring and next fall on paving the way for a potential career in professional football.
“The person who works the hardest, keeps their head down and grinds are going to get what they want,” Glass said. “If you have goals and aspirations, it takes work to get those. In order to work hard you’ve got to set goals that are high that make you want to work hard.”