The Clark Atlanta Panthers are still looking for their first victory of the season. In most cases it would be difficult, if not extremely difficult to find a silver lining midway through the season without a victory but in the case of the Panthers there is one believe it or not.‏

Despite being 0-5, the Panthers are just 0-1 in the SIAC East and will look to get to .500 in conference play on Saturday at Kentucky State (2-2 overall, 0-2 conference). A win in Frankfort get first-year head coach Tim Bowens, his staff and the Panthers on even footing in league play. In regards to the SIAC that is all that matters at this point.

There is a bright side though and it starts with the team Bowens is putting together via recruiting. Senior quarterback Charles Stafford came to the program from Albany State University and though his numbers aren’t particularly eye-popping -11 TDs, 8 interceptions, while completing 116-203 passes for 1,305 yards- his on-field leadership has kept the Panthers competitive. Clark Atlanta has lost two games by 6 points or less this season, most recently falling at Miles College 31-27.

Freshman running back Darrell Nichols and receiver Kendell Wimberly have lived up to the hype and then some. Wimberly, a Mays High School alum, leads the team with 15 receptions (in three games) for 202 yards and a team-high three touchdowns. Nichols, by way of Westlake High School, has caught 14 balls for 227 yards with two touchdowns.

Graduate transfer Johnny Sharp, a 6’2” cornerback from Lane College leads the team with three interceptions to go along with 14 total tackles this season. Sharp’s veteran presence along with that of senior transfer strong safety Kevin Williams (16 tackles, one interception) has been an example to the freshman defensive backs and safeties preparing to take over for them next season.

Freshman linebacker Tyler Wimberly is also showing why the coaching staff recruited him out of tiny Blakely, Georgia. Wimberly is having a strong first half of the season with 31 totals tackles, five for loss.

Things may look bleak at the moment for the Panthers but there is a lot to look forward to. A victory at Kentucky State would go a long way to making them look even better.

Photo by: Clark Atlanta University Athletics

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...

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