By Donald Hunt
Special to The Birmingham Times
To see Alabama A&M senior quarterback Aqeel Glass drop back in the pocket and throw a pass to his receiver on the money, is to see one of the top signal callers in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
His spectacular performance against Jackson State last Saturday is his latest example. Glass completed 27-of-40 passes for 440 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in AAMU’s 52-43 win over Jackson State. Glass has been quite impressive on the national stage as the field general of the Bulldogs’ high-scoring offense.
He will be one of the players to watch on Saturday, April 17, when Alabama A&M (3-0 overall, 2-0 SWAC) faces Alabama State (3-2 overall, 3-1 SWAC) in the Magic City Classic at Legion Field. The kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder, feels the depth AAMU has at wider receiver has been a big key to the team’s success. In 2019, Zabrian Moore (58 receptions for 1,057 yards and nine TDs) and Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim (59 catches for 1,004 yards and 11 TDs) were his main targets.
Glass tries to get touches for all of his pass catchers. The Bulldogs have a great crop of receivers that include Odieu Hilaire, Brian Jenkins, Jr, Cameron “CJ” Young, running back Gary Quarles along with Moore and Ibrahim.
“I plan to spread the ball around as much as possible,” Glass said. “When teams see we have two 1,000-yard receivers, they’re going to try to stop those guys. I’m blessed to have guys like that to throw the ball to. They make me look good. They make my job easy the way they get open.”
A year ago, Glass connected on 273 of 446 passes for 3,600 yards with 32 TDs and just 11 interceptions. He has continued to play at a high level this spring completing 42-of-73 passes for 712 yards and 10 TDs and only three interceptions.
Glass, a standout at Lutheran North High School in St. Louis, Mo., has gradually improved his game every year. He got off to a slow start as a freshman, struggled his first season throwing just five TDs while tossing 10 interceptions and amassing 1,192 passing yards.
As a sophomore, Glass completed 194-of-346 passes for 2,421 yards with 20 TDs and nine interceptions. He led all SWAC quarterbacks in passing that season and believes his head coach Connell Maynor and staff have made a big impact in his overall development.
“I had a rough season freshman year, but the new coaching staff came in,” Glass said. “Coach [Connell] Maynor is a great coach, but not only Coach Maynor, Coach [Duane] Taylor [assistant head coach/offensive coordinator] and Coach [Jason] Mai [quarterback coach]. They all played quarterback at the highest level. So, they know what they’re talking about.”
This spring season could serve as a showcase for Glass with the NFL scouts. Maynor feels Glass has pro potential with his knowledge and skills.
“He has the size and arm strength,” Maynor said. “He’s a fast learner. He has the talent to play at the next level. Right now, he’s the No. 20th ranked quarterback out of all the senior quarterbacks in America. So, he’s on everybody’s list.”
The 79th McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola will be held on Saturday, April 17, at Birmingham’s Legion Field. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and can be seen live nationally on ESPNU.