Bethune-Cookman expects growth in 2022

We’re officially only 5 weeks away from the start of the football season and Bethune-Cookman or BCU is ready to show improvement.

In 2021, the BCU finished their first year apart of the SWAC 2-9. The record was a direct reflection of the lack of time the football team had together before the season started. The Wildcats met as a full team for the first time in August of 2021 due to the ongoing Covid shut down.

2022, Coach Sims has had a full offseason to prepare BCU for this year.

Returning Stars

Heading into 2022, the Wildcats are expected to compete and win more than just two games. The Wildcats return one of the best tight ends in all of college football regardless of division. Kemari Averett put up monstrous numbers catching 52 passes for 888 yards and 10 touchdowns.

At 6’6 260, the Senior tight end will be the main guy for the offense. Outside of Averette the BCU offense will look a different.

On the defensive side of the ball, Omari Hill-Robinson will lead a new secondary for the Tigers. Omari Hill-Robinson accounted for 4 interceptions on the year and was named first team all-conference.

Added Depth

Although, Bethune-Cookman has a few returning players, the Wildcats needed to restructure the roster. Coach Sims mentioned that they’ve added 18 players via transfer portal or recruiting. Most of the new additions are on the offensive line.

Bethune-Cookman also added ECU transfer Walter Simmons to the quarterback room. Simmons was a 3-star recruit coming out of Oak Leaf High School in Orange Park, FL. He will be essential to the future of BCU.

Big Games

BCU plays a very tough SWAC schedule that will be difficult to navigate. The biggest games on their schedule excluding FBS opponents will be FAMU and Jackson State. Both games will be played at neutral site locations.

FAMU was able to end the streak of losing in the Florida Classic last year. BCU looks to reactivate the streak this season. As for the Jackson State game, it comes as a head scratcher.

Originally, BCU and Jackson State were expected to play in Daytona where BCU plays their home games. The Daytona Stadium is a multi-purpose venue that holds a maximum of 9,600 fans. The Wildcats average attendance is a little over 5,000. It makes little to no sense to move the game to a TIAA Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That stadium holds 67,000 and annually host the Florida-Georgia game every year.

Asked about the move, BCU head Coach Sims said he had nothing to do with the change on the schedule, he just coaches’ football.

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