When Kelcy Luke and Nic Luke decided to transfer to Alabama A&M two years ago, Bulldogs head coach Anthony Jones knew he was getting two special players. The Luke brothers have developed into an interesting story.
Nic, a 6-foot, 216-pound senior, transferred from the University of Alabama. He saw action in six games with the Crimson Tide. He played just 33 snaps, mostly on special teams.
Nic is now a solid running back for the Bulldogs. He has rushed for 466 yards and two touchdowns. He averages 4.8 yards a carry. Nic has picked up 1,899 career rushing yards, breaking the school mark of 1,680 held by Jeremiah Bonds.
Kelcy, a 6-0, 201 pound junior, came to Alabama A&M from Auburn. He redshirted his only season with the Tigers. Kelcy is the younger of the Luke brothers, who both starred at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala.
Like Nic, it's been a record-breaking year for Kelcy. He has passed for 1,382 yards in nine games, raising his career total to 3,882 passing yards -- breaking the old mark of 3,508 set by Johnnie Keith. Both records were measured from the time when Alabama A&M joined Division I-AA in 1998.
"They're great young men," Jones said. "They both came in and accepted their roles and increased them through their production. They've been two very, very outstanding acquisitions for us.
"They've grown as our program has grown and that makes them a true part of our program. The guys have accepted them and what they've done and are doing."
Needless to say they've been a huge part of the Bulldogs' success. Alabama A&M (7-2, 5-2 SWAC) is coming off an important 34-21 win over Jackson State. Both teams entered the game with identical 4-2 conference records with control of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division on the line. Now, Alabama A&M needs just one win in its final two games to gain a second straight berth in the SWAC championship. The Bulldogs could clinch the spot with a victory over visiting Alcorn State on Saturday.
The Luke brothers were key contributors in the win over Jackson State. Nic had 15 carries for 58 yards. Kelcy had a bigger role, running for two touchdowns, including a career-long 65 yard TD run. They could both be in the thick of things against the Braves.
"They play hard and listen to the coaching staff," Jones said. "They trust the coaching staff. One thing you're going to get from them every week is a great effort."
• South Carolina State RB DeShawn Baker and Hampton RB Alonzo Coleman were selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference co-Offensive Player of the Week. Baker rushed for 170 yards on 14 carries in a victory over Howard. He also went over the 1,000 yard mark for the third consecutive year. Coleman rushed for 180 yards while scoring two touchdowns to help Hampton defeat Bethune-Cookman.
• Bethune-Cookman LB Ronnie McCollough was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week. McCollough had a season-high and game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) and 1½ tackles for loss and one sack in the loss to Hampton.
• Mississippi Valley State QB Aries Nelson was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week. Nelson tallied 320 yards of total offense when he was 14-of-23 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 15 times for 96 yards and two scores to help MVSU defeat Alcorn State.
• Chris Dupuy, Alabama State linebacker, was selected as the SWAC Defensive Player of the Week. Dupuy had 13 total tackles (12 solo) to give Alabama State a win over Grambling State.
• It appears Southern head coach Pete Richardson mogjt have a good quarterback down the road. Redshirt freshman Bryant Lee came off the bench to rush for a career-high 102 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing for a career-high 138 yards and one touchdown to help Southern past Texas Southern, 34-17. Lee replaced junior signal caller J.C. Lewis, who suffered a contusion to his throwing arm which forced him out of the game. Lee was named the SWAC Newcomer of the Week.
• Al Lavan, Delaware State head coach, should be a strong candidate for MEAC Coach of the Year. Moreover, Lavan has the Hornets (7-2, 5-1) in a good position to receive a Division I-AA at-large playoff berth.
• Speaking of coaches, Florida A&M head coach Rubin Carter has been named to coach in the Hula Bowl All-Star Game on January 14. Carter, the Rattlers' second-year head coach, will work with West All-Stars.
• Norfolk State S Terrell Whitehead earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors. Whitehead had a career-high 11 tackles (five solo) in his second career start.
Donald Hunt is a columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune.