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Aqeel Glass
NFL Draft

Aqeel Glass Looking Forward To Impressing Scouts

  • Crissy Froyd
  • March 1, 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on sports, with circumstances at their absolute toughest for teams in the spring of 2020. Every team suffered in some capacity, though some were affected more adversely than others. Alabama A&M was one team that had a rough go at it with the pandemic during that 2020 season, and it’s something that 2022 NFL Draft quarterback prospect Aqeel Glass remembers well. The Bulldogs played a three-game season that year with their first matchup on March 6 ending in a dominant 31-7 win over South Carolina State. But they wouldn’t play their next game for more than a whole month due to issues surrounding coronavirus complications. “That whole season, we were on edge every week. You might not know if you were going to play a game up until Thursday or really, sometimes up until Saturday,” Glass said. “You might walk into practice right before game day and be told the game got canceled. It was big for us to be able to stick together as a team. Continuing to stay focused and come out every day with the same energy level when we weren’t playing a game for a whole month was hard, but we had great players on the team and great coaches and that’s a testament to all of those guys to be able to withstand.” Despite the scheduling setbacks and it being a much shorter season than anyone could have anticipated the year before, Glass and the Bulldogs hit a milestone, winning the SWAC Championship as they topped Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 40-33. It featured a solid performance from the signal-caller, who completed 24-of-45 passes for 271 yards with three touchdowns to just one interception as he led the team to its first conference championship appearance since 2011 and just its second title game victory in the history of the program. “I knew it had been a long time since they had seen one of those, so just be able to be a part of that and be able to be a part of a special team and a special season with what we were going through with COVID and games being canceled meant a lot,” Glass said. Glass and the Bulldogs picked back up in the fall of 2021 for a much more normal season, going 7-3, with two of their three losses being by nine points and four points, respectively, showing just how much of a true contender they were. Glass completed just under 63% of his passes for 3,568 yards with 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 414 passing attempts. With his college career in the books, Glass is now turning his attention to getting a shot to make an impact at the next level. His showcase opportunities have included the NFLPA Bowl and the HBCU Legacy Bowl, which just made its debut this year. “It was a great opportunity for not only myself but for all of the HBCU players to be able to prove they can play quality football and that they’re prospects the NFL should look at at all levels,” Glass said. The former Bulldogs quarterback felt he made a good impression in both offseason showings. “For me, I believe I was able to go out and show I can mesh well and play well with a team regardless of how long I’ve been around them. I believe I did that,” Glass said. “I feel I interviewed with teams well and was really able to show them my football IQ and was able to go out and make all the throws and make all the reads on the field. Confirm what they see on film.” Several quarterbacks within this draft class are up against a stigma—several are from small schools and nearly all of them are being passed off or looked over because this class has been prematurely dismissed as being weak. Glass is aware of both things and is grateful for the opportunities he’s had to continue showing what he brings to the table before April comes around. “I think showcases like this are huge as a player at the lower level. I understand the stigma that surrounds it,” Glass said. “Sometimes scouts look at the school and not the player in a way. It’s huge for myself and other players to get opportunities like playing in the HBCU Legacy Bowl and it’s an honor to have been a part of the first one.” It’s not necessarily just about a helmet sticker or lack of attention, though. Glass also says he thinks there is a belief that smaller school quarterbacks can’t take on a lot at the line of scrimmage. “I feel like it’s a misconception that guys from lower levels can’t handle a lot of responsibility at the line of scrimmage or that they don’t do so,” Glass said. “From my junior year forward, I had full reign of the offense. I could check in and out of run plays, pass plays, in and out of protections, RPOs things like that. That’s something that’s a strength of mine. I’m a very cerebral player.” And there was a lot to master from an Alabama A&M offense that had some of just about everything in its playbook. “We were a multiple set spread offense,” Glass said. “I had two tight ends in there, sometimes three. We took bits and pieces from a lot of different offenses and our offensive coordinator did a great job with all of that and preparing us mentally to be able to handle all of it. We run stuff out of a lot of different sets, run the ball, pass the ball, we can do it all.” While he hasn’t received nearly the amount of publicity that other quarterbacks have, Glass is confident in himself and his abilities as a pure passer, regardless of what some others may have to say. “My football IQ and my mind I feel like stand out. My ability to make the throws, I know there are people out there who try to knock me for my arm strength,” Glass said. “I feel like they only say that because I don’t throw the ball 100 miles per hour. I feel like I’m very good at throwing with touch and with anticipation." Alabama A&M’s pro day will be Glass’ next chance to get in front of scouts—since he was among those snubbed in NFL Scouting Combine invites—to show just that, and he’s been dedicating most of his time to self-improvement across multiple aspects of his game and focusing on the script. He’s not looking to overhaul anything major, just fine-tuning. “I’m really just focused on tightening everything up. Over the past couple of months, I’ve just been working on my footwork and mechanics and just cleaning everything up and making sure I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in,” Glass said. “Making sure that I can perform well and then go out and put on a show. I’m taking things one day at a time and getting better every day. God will take care of the rest.”

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Crissy Froyd