Former Red Devil setting ASU records

Published 11:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

Running toward the record books: Former Maplesville football player Nick Andrews, left, set the Alabama State record for career touchdown receptions and could break two more records.

Maplesville native Nick Andrews could leave the Alabama State University football program after this season as the most accomplished receiver in school history.

Andrews, a senior, set a new school record last week for career receiving touchdowns and is on pace to break two more records, for career receiving yards and career receptions.

But Andrews, displaying the humbleness and team-first attitude learned during his time as a member of the Red Devils program, might tell you he’s more proud of the fact that ASU is ranked No. 1 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the first time ever.

“I didn’t know how close I was to breaking the records until coming into this season,” Andrews said. “Those things really don’t cross my mind during the games. When I scored and got to the sideline, that’s when people came up and started congratulating me.”

On the record-setting play, Andrews and quarterback Greg Jenkins were taking advantage of the defense jumping offside. The Hornets practice that when a flag is thrown on the defense, the receivers run straight down field toward the end zone because the worst-case scenario is that the offense gets a free five yards.

But any yards gained by the offense on such a play stand, as was the case on Andrews’ long catch.

The TD grab, which came during a 31-23 win over Alcorn State on Oct. 1, was Andrews’ 24th of his career, eclipsing the previous mark of 23 held by Reggie Brown and Horace Brooks.

Current coach Reggie Barlow holds the current record of 2,536 career receiving yards, and Andrews needs 299 more to become the new school leader.

Andrews needs 12 receptions to break the career record of 53 held by Damon Hodge.

Andrews said Barlow and staff have prepared him well—both for his time at Alabama State and for the possibility of continuing his playing career.

“We’ve got great coaches,” Andrews said. “They pushed me and molded me into the player I am today. Hopefully, by the end of the season, I can take my talents and what they’ve instilled in me to another level.”

The Hornets are 4-1 on the season, with their only loss a 14-7 setback at Eastern Michigan, a Football Bowl Subdivision team. ASU competes in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Next up is a visit to Texas Southern, which will feature one of the best defenses Andrews and ASU will face.

“It’s a huge game,” Andrews said. “Nobody has been able to score against them. We’ve got to come out and show why we’re No. 1.”