Week two of training camp has battle tested the Florida A&M football team with the second and final preseason scrimmage coming on Saturday.
Wednesday was day two of six consecutive days of taking the field for the Rattlers.
As players strive to uphold mental and physical durability, there's been a few stingers that are being tended to for them to return to the field as soon as possible.
"A lot guys are nicked up and bruised, but we'll slowly get guys back," coach Willie Simmons said. "Training camp is the toughest time of the year so we're going to have to push through and grind it out -- some guys are going to learn how to play hurt.
"All in all, I think we're getting healthier."
But for the time being, the next man up is in motion.
"Being injured is a gift and a curse. You have a guy that's missing reps valuable reps for himself, but it does give a younger guy a chance to get more reps.
"If David Manigo is out for a few days, we're not worried about him learning the plays. It gives players like Tre Davis and Fenley Graham a chance to get more reps.
"It's a great opportunity for backups to get practice reps to give us the confidence to put them in the game."
On Aug. 6, Simmons added James Colzie III (pass game coordinator/cornerbacks) and Davon Morgan (safeties) to occupy areas on defensive with hopes of emulating its 2021 No. 10 FCS defensive ranking.
Simmons is optimistic about his new hires while they adjust to their roles.
"We feel hit the jackpot with coach Morgan and Colzie and confident that we can take our defense to another level," he said.
"James Colzie is no stranger to the Tallahassee area -- played football right across the street and won a national title in 1993. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.
"Davon Morgan is a guy that played his college ball at Virginia Tech. He brings that same level of big time ACC, Power 5 playing ability and having two stints in the NFL as he blazed his own trail."
— Florida A&M Football 🏈 (@FAMU_FB) August 6, 2022
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'Win the day'
It didn't take long for the 23-year coaching veteran Colzie to make the decision to return to the Big Bend for his third stint in the city after going around the world for various coaching ventures.
He spent college being a two sport athlete, playing cornerback for Florida State under head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews as a member of the 1993 National Championship team and being a Seminoles baseball letterman in 1994. Colzie later returned to FSU football to be a graduate assistant from 2004-2006.
Colzie was the head coach of Saint Mary's University in Canada where he led the Huskies to a 23-19 record and two AUS Championship appearances.
He also coached at nearby schools Florida International and Valdosta State.
"It's the nature of the job going to a few places," Colzie said.
"It was no brainer coming to Florida A&M. Coach Simmons has been great to us and it's been a blessing to work with Coach (Ryan) Smith as well.
"It took me about 10 minutes to accept the job -- I talked to my wife and then I packed my bags and came to Tallahassee."
Coming to FAMU, Colzie has one goal; prevail.
As he coaches the likes of cornerbacks B.J. Bohler and Gadsden County's Zaire Riley, Colzie feels that his position group is making the step to victory by competing against the deep room of wide receivers at practice everday.
"We want to win the day," Colzie said.
"We have a lot better players here in Tallahassee than Canada. The guys are working hard.
"Having an opportunity to go up against the receivers that we see on a daily basis gives us a chance to battle."
'The best job I've had'
Just a few weeks ago Morgan was at Division II's Elizabeth City State was prepping for his first season as the team's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
That was until Simmons called him to inquire about coaching the safeties.
"I was at Elizabeth City State for 28 days then I got a call from Coach Simmons and I was like, 'I'll see you guys later.' Who could turn down coming to Florida?" he said.
"Florida A&M has a beautiful culture and I want to come and try to be a part of the legacy.
"You get a feeling when something just feels right and here I am."
Prior to coaching, Morgan was an All-ACC safety at Virginia Tech before playing with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.
As a coach, he spent time at Virginia University at Lynchburg, Alderson Broaddus University, and Emory and Henry College.
In his first full week of practice with coaching FAMU, he's impressed with the safety roster he has led by Lovie Jenkins and Javan Morgan as they ease his duties of having to worry about production.
"These guys want to be great. We're big on competition breeds talent," Davon Morgan said.
"I've been telling the guys that this is the best job I've had in college football in my seven years of coaching."
Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @3peatgee.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU Football: New defensive hires adjusting to roles with team