FAMU High to honor Ferrell: Coach plans to retire former player's jersey

FAMU High to honor Ferrell: Coach plans to retire former player's jersey

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FAMU High to honor Ferrell: Coach plans to retire former player's jersey

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FAMU High football coach Ira Reynolds plans to retire former player Jonathan Ferrell’s No. 28 jersey.

Ferrell, 24, a 2007 graduate of FAMU High who also played two seasons at Florida A&M (2009-10), was shot and killed by a police officer in Charlotte, N.C., early Saturday morning.

Reynolds, who coached Ferrell and his younger brother Willie Ferrell, admitted it has been a difficult week to concentrate on football.

The winless Rattlers (0-3) are at home Friday against Mayo Lafayette (2-0).

“On one hand, we are devastated by his death,” Reynolds said.

“But we’ve also been explaining to our players who Jonathan was and explaining the role he had in the school. It has been somber, but we are fighting through it.

“I want our players to know what kind of player he was, what type of person he was.”

Reynolds wants to honor Ferrell’s memory by retiring his prep jersey at the Rattlers’ home game at Bragg Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 17, against Port St. Joe.

Reynolds is in the initial stages of planning the ceremony.

Ferrell, a hard-hitting safety, helped lead the Rattlers to a state title in 2006. It was the program’s first crown in nearly 30 years.

Ferrell also played at FAMU High and Florida A&M with his brother Willie.

Willie spoke to the Rattlers last Friday before their home game against Florida High. A day later, his older brother was dead.

“He (Willie) talked to us about being a family that played together and worked together,” senior receiver Jamison Fead said.

“We haven’t gotten off to the start that we wanted, and he told us to keep working. We’ve been really working hard and want to play (Friday’s) game for him (Jonathan) and win this game for him.”

Jonathan Ferrell moved to Charlotte about a year ago to be with his fiancee and was working two jobs.

Authorities say Ferrell was shot 10 times by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer after being involved in a single-car wreck.

Reynolds said his message to players included dealing with law enforcement.

“Whatever it takes, you conform to whatever they ask,” Reynolds said.

“The whole point is, this can happy to anybody. The reality is it can happen to you.”

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