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2019 North Carolina A&T football season preview

2018 season: 10-2, 6-1 in the MEAC (1st in the Division)

Head coach: Sam Washington (2nd season)

As mid-major football teams go, the Aggies have a consistent track record of near-perfect seasons, finding ways to win despite not having the best talent in the country. Despite hiring new head coach Sam Washington in January of 2018, last season was no different for North Carolina A&T. 

The Aggies ran through last season's slate, winning the MEAC championship for the tenth time in program history. This year, North Carolina A&T hopes to add on to its storied history as one of the most successful black colleges in the country by winning another conference title. However, that may prove to be more difficult than usual, as the team lost senior talent at the quarterback and running back positions with 2017 MEAC Player of the year Lamar Raynard graduating along with Marquell Cartwright, who led the team in rushing yards.  

The Aggies will now look to graduate student Kylil Carter to lead the team under center, with preseason All-MEAC third team receiver Zachary Leslie to help smooth out the transition process. Luckily for Aggie fans, Carter already has some experience as a shot caller, as he played in 11 games last year and threw for 374 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. If Carter can stay healthy, North Carolina A&T should be solid at the quarterback position. 

North Carolina A&T’s defense looks to be in a little bit of limbo, as only one of the team’s five leading tacklers last season will be returning. Redshirt senior Antoine Wilder will try to live up to the hype of being named to the preseason all-MEAC second team while leading a relatively young defense through an offense-driven conference. Fort Scott transfer Alex Fumbah will help out at the linebacker position as he proved his worth with the Greyhounds, averaging 8.3 tackles per game. 

Overall, if Washington and co-defensive coordinator Courtney Coard can get their defense into playing shape and Carter can have the same success leading the team as he did as a backup, the Aggies will be in a great position come their first matchup of the year against Elon Aug. 31.

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