Is this the year Alcorn prevails? The fifth Celebration Bowl kicks off in Atlanta on Saturday. The MEAC leads the SWAC in the overall series 3-1, and by "the MEAC," I mean North Carolina A&T. The Aggies beat Alcorn State in 2015, Grambling in 2017 and Alcorn again in 2018, and the only time they didn't qualify for the game (NC Central beat them in 2016) was the only time the MEAC lost.
Post by Bornthrilla on Dec 19, 2019 15:06:38 GMT -5
HARPER EMBRACES NEW ROLE AS STARTING QUARTERBACK, LEADS ALCORN TO SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
BY TORSHETA JACKSON Dec 4, 2019
When Alcorn State University’s starting quarterback Noah Johnson went out with an injury during the second game of the season versus McNeese State, back up Felix Harper was ready.
“(Noah) always encouraged me,” Harper said. “Throughout the years he always told me ‘you never know when your time will come so always prepare yourself as a starter.’ ”
Harper took the advice to heart. The Georgia native came to practice early and stayed late. He pushed himself hard in the weight room and committed extra time in the off season patiently developing behind Johnson. When it was Harper’s time, the redshirt junior stepped onto the field without pause and commanded the offense. The team didn’t miss a beat. He completed 13 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
With Johnson out indefinitely, Harper became Alcorn’s choice QB. It’s a position that he inherited due to injury, but has earned due to performance.
Harper, a left-hander, is averaging 238 yards passing per game and has thrown for 29 touchdowns and only five interceptions this season. Nicknamed “Triggerman,” his 61 percent pass completion rate ranks sixth in the nation in offensive efficiency. The three time SWAC Player of the Week has rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns. After a stellar performance versus Prairie View A&M where he passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns, Harper was named the HBCU National Player of the Week. A scholar athlete, Harper is also a nominee for the 2019 C Spire Conerly Trophy which is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding football player.
The leading role is not new for the Creekside, Ga., High School alumnus. He was his team’s starting quarterback for much of his high school career marching them to a state championship as a sophomore. He also started at the position for Cam Newton’s high school All-Star 7 on 7 team.
Harper’s performance at several of Newton’s 7 on 7 camps caught the young star’s attention. Newton suggested that Harper try out for the travel team. Harper did and won the role. Traveling with the team and spending time in close contact with the NFL star gave the younger QB much needed insight and motivation.
“I’ve got a great connection with (Newton),” Harper said. “He taught me a lot about carrying myself on and off the field with class. It was very exciting to learn the game from him.”
Post by aggierattler on Dec 19, 2019 19:48:15 GMT -5
Celebration Bowl week kicks off in Atlanta
Alcorn State and NCA&T are enjoying Atlanta before the real business begins
By Tolly Carr HBCUGameday Posted on December 19, 2019
ATLANTA–- North Carolina A&T was the first team to arrive in Atlanta with three busloads of staff and players braving the unusually brisk Georgia air on Wednesday. Alcorn State followed roughly an hour later, both teams escorted by a clad of Georgia Highway Patrol.
Celebration Bowl executive director John Grant greeted both teams with handshakes and hugs as they stepped off the buses. Alcorn State was the only team with a mini cheering squad awaiting them at the hotel. About ten fans with pom poms and an Alcorn flag cheered and snapped pictures just outside the revolving door of the Omni Hotel.
NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST
Fred McNair’s team wasn’t the popular pick outside of the Alcorn faithful. Many fans clamored a few weeks back for an appearance from Southern University. The Human Jukebox and Jaguar Nation just feel like big business in Atlanta...