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North Carolina A&T trusting its process as it preps for Norfolk State

Everybody knows North Carolina A&T is rebuilding for the future. But that doesn’t mean it has given up on 2023.

EAST GREENSBORO, NC — It’s no secret to anyone that North Carolina A&T football is undergoing a rebuild — and that includes head coach Vincent Brown.

NC A&T enters Saturday’s game at Norfolk State off a bye week looking for its first win after an 0-3 start in its first season under Brown and in the Coastal Athletic Conference. 

“I am a naturally patient person and I am not discouraged by where we are. I’m disappointed with where we are, but by no means discouraged,” Brown said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “We’re focused on developing our guys and that development comes on and off the field. And we know if we keep doing things the right way that the wins will come.” 

His players seem to echo that sentiment. Long snapper Bryson Ruddy was on last season’s team that started 0-3 and went on to win seven consecutive games and challenge for the Big South title. 

“It’s not a position that we like to be in, but it’s not something that we’re not prepared to come back from and fight. We’re not just going to lay down,” the sophomore from Glen Allen said. “We’re working every week and we’re going to take each game by game. And this week we’re focused on Norfolk State and we’re going to try to get going.”

Saturday’s game against Norfolk State will be A&T’s final contest before it dives into CAA play, which includes multiple top 25 opponents. But it can’t overlook Norfolk State, which has beaten two CAA teams — Hampton and Towson — and would like nothing better than to make its former MEAC and CIAA rival a third feather in its (formerly) Colonial cap. 

“They’ve got some really talented players. Their quarterback (Otto Kuhns) is a third-year starter. He’s got very good athleticism, he’s got good accuracy. They have a FBS transfer receiver that’s doing really big things for them, they have two really talented backs. They got a system that they’ve been executing for the last two or three years and you can see all of those things starting to come together. With that being said: this is all about us. It’s always about us and how we go in and prepare and make sure that we know what we’re doing, what will allow us to win that particular game.”

North Carolina A&T head coach Vincent Brown is still searching for his team’s first win. (Photo Courtesy: NC A&T)

North Carolina A&T laying foundation for success, Brown says

Brown inherited a North Carolina A&T program that has had just one losing season since 2012 — but also one that lost its best players to graduation and the transfer portal by the time he was named head coach in January. That slow start has fans uneasy, to say the least, and they haven’t been shy about expressing their displeasure online. 

“I think the fan base here is extremely passionate. The university community is passionate about everything A&T,” Brown told the media. “But I believe when you lay a foundation for success, whether it be on the football field academically — in the science department, engineering or whatever — there are certain steps that have to be taken and we know those things don’t always come easy. It’s not always a immediate ‘here’s the results of our efforts.’ So we’re staying steadfast to the things that we believe in.”

While the voices of dissent have been steadily growing online, Brown said he’s encouraged by the support that many have offered him personally. 

“I can’t tell you the number of people that have called, texted ‘Coach, you guys are doing it the right way. You’re doing it the right way. Keep your head up.’ And we’re encouraged by that. And we know, our kids are also encouraged that we can fix some of the things that have caused us to lose some of these first couple of games.”

North Carolina A&T trusting its process as it preps for Norfolk State
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