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Whatchoo Talkin' Bout Willis !

Kw He, Kambriel Willis, current 4A State Champion Booker T. Washington and future Aj_3 FIU  Golden Panthers linebacker, would be talking about FIU football. And you thought I got  Arnold Jackson on the GPP? Dialed Kambriel up yesterday and this is what he had to say:

GPP: What attracted you most about FIU?

KW: FIU is really beginning their program and I know it's going to be big-time. The coaches made me feel real comfortable. And it's also a chance for me to develop a program right in my own backyard.

GPP: What was it about the FIU coaches that you felt real comfortable with?

KW: They were frank. There was no sugarcoating what they expect at FIU. They also let me speak to some of the FIU players. That was decent of them, because I've been on other visits where not all the coaches let you do that. They made me feel like family. I already knew [defensive back Anthony] Gaitor and Devin Parrish so that also made me feel at home. I also talked to some scouts and they kept telling me coach Cristobal is a good coach and a good guy. That right there told me something, because scouts don't normally talk up coaches.

GPP: What else did you like about the FIU football program?

KW: I like their defense and the different schemes. I think I can play a major role on that type of D. I Kwa_2 also saw the new stadium. When that thing gets done it's going to be one of the best stadiums in Florida.

GPP: How much do you think having a brand new stadium helps lure players to a relatively new program like FIU?

KW: A brand new stadium can motivate any player to come play there. To know I am going to be part of the team that opens that stadium is something special. You want to make a statement playing in a place like that. It's the beginning of a new era at FIU.

GPP: How did you like the FIU campus?

KW: That campus is huge. It's so big that when I first was going there I found it hard to find where the team practices, because there are so many buildings and places at FIU. I also liked that FIU is near the Dyff_2 Dade County Youth Fair, because I always love going to the Fair.

GPP: Are there any of your teammates from your state champion team that are thinking of joining you at FIU this upcoming season?

KW: I'm going on a visit to FIU this weekend with [defensive end] Jonathan Jackson, [linebacker] Winston Fraser, [linebacker] Tarvis Pullins and [linebacker] Franklin Brown. I'm ready to go right now. I want to come now and start playing already.

Kambriel wanted Golden Panthers fans to get a chance to see his highlight video. So the GPP obliged. So here it is Kambriel: Kambriel Willis highlight tape

More FIU recruiting news: After a few more phone calls made by the GPP, here are the latest oral commits for FIU. OL Stephen Bailey (Delray American Heritage), DB Derrick Clark (Apopka), DT Andre Pound (Sebastian River) and DT Donnell Wilson (Golden Gate). Seems like FIU is loading up on defense. Which is not a bad idea considering all the offense the Golden Panthers signed last season. Again these are verbal so enjoy them for what they are worth.

Originally wrote on here that FIU recruiting story in the Herald runs next Wednesday, Jan. 30. Check that, the story will be running in Monday's Jan. 28 Miami Herald.


fiugrad78: The FIU baseball team already played their exhibition last November against Canada. But the Golden Panthers will have some intra-squad scrimmages next Friday, Feb. 1, Saturday and Sunday. Been told they are open to the public. Friday's will be at night, time has yet to be set. Saturday and Sunday are during the daytime. When I get times I'll post on here.

UltimateFIUFan: By looking at past FIU hoops rosters, there doesn't seem to be much local recruiting for FIU hoops, which is a shame, because there is plenty of local talent available. They are having technical difficulties loading the Blustein interview regarding FIU recruiting on the Herald website. I'll post it on here when it's ready. I've been told FIU baseball and hoops jerseys will be available for purchase on the fiusports.com site soon.

CJ: Spread FIU articles on the blog as you like. They're always welcomed here.

NYCFIUFan: None of FIU's football recruits are enrolled at FIU yet. As far as the Sun Belt, FIU probably and should be atop the conference when all the classes are signed this season. We're in the hotbed of football recruiting and it is finally being taken care of by the FIU coaches.

FIUBlueandGold: For the first few years of the stadium, the press box will be on the same level as the club suites. When the upper deck is added, the press box will move to the upper deck. The field at the new stadium, like the stadium itself, will not be available until August 28 when the stadium is completed. Too many liabilities, opening up the stadium to the public during construction. This year's spring game will likely be at the recreation fields just south of SW 8 Street.

Jp Krr Jg John Petika: Welcome to the GPP. You are the first "known" FIU player to post on the GPP. Congratulations. I got a feeling you and the rest of the baseball team will have a lot more support this season. Question to the GPP faithful: Who does Petika resemble more Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers or NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon? You decide.

RabidPantherFan, Darriet Perry, bsparFIU & Sunblazer: Welcome all to the GPP.

We'll finish our Q & A with TT on the next blog.

Official GPP Countdown to the Opening Day vs. USC at FIU: 28 days.


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I saw the info about the baseball banquet on the website and was confused about the Alumni Game on Friday. The beginning of the article said that the players coming were not set and in the middle of the article it said the the game was cancelled. Do you know if there is an Alumni Game on the Friday before the banquet?

Yeah football info.

Funny that the highlight is on a UM site, was he being recruited by them and chose FIU instead?

I like the fact that we are trying to get some state championship type guys.

I think Petika looks like the guy from SNL that is a cop in Super Bad and is also in Hot Rod.

Yeah football info.

Funny that the highlight is on a UM site, was he being recruited by them and chose FIU instead?

I like the fact that we are trying to get some state championship type guys.

I think Petika looks like the guy from SNL that is a cop in Super Bad and is also in Hot Rod.

Yeah football info.

Funny that the highlight is on a UM site, was he being recruited by them and chose FIU instead?

I like the fact that we are trying to get some state championship type guys.

I think Petika looks like the guy from SNL that is a cop in Super Bad and is also in Hot Rod.

my vote jeff gordon.... its great seeing the FIU coaches are out on the trail and bringing in the defense. cant wait to see how they all turn out. and pete your right about FIU should be atop the Belt b/c of the talent in our home grown state. if not this year for sure next year.

Haha! I think John looks more like Jeff Gordon.


Thanks for the interview with Willis and answering my question. When the pens hit the line, I would love for you to rate our class compared to other sun belt teams (I hear that FAU is getting a good class).

Pete, way to bring it strong!!! I'm sure many of the people that follow recruiting knew the blog headline was about Kambriel Willis.

Thank you for the interview Kambriel. Welcome to FIU!!!

As for JP, he definitely looks more like Jeff Gordon.


Petika is what - about a foot taller than Jeff Gordon? But Gordon has that hot model wife; something for Petika to look forward to.

Kambriel Willis Welcome the the GPC (Golden Panther Community). You've made the right decision. We hope you match or exceed Antwan Barnes like success. We celebrate your Golden Panther selection.


I think most FIU fans will agree with me, you are a fantastic talent and we look forward to watching you contribute to the future success of the program. Congratulations on your decision !!! As a businessman, I admire that you took a risk and chose FIU. It's those risks that eventually pay AMAZING REWARDS !! I am glad that you also realize the great potential that FIU has to become a great football program in the years to come.

I have ONE request !! Any chance you can get some of your BTW teamates to join you at FIU ??

Jackson, Pullins, Fraser and Brown:

Gentleman, I think the 4 of you and KW can be just the spark to get FIU to the TOP of the Sunbelt and towards a major BOWL game by your senior seasons...

The kids at NW are sticking together, no reason why you guys can't either ? Take a chance and be a part of something special.

(305) 4 ever !!!

Welcome aboard Willis, those highlights looked wild. Here's to having the same success next season at FIU. Also, hope to have some of your teamates playing alongside with you.

Thanks for the interview and updates on recruiting, Pete. And thanks for the Kambriel highlights. I haven't seen anyone get into the backfield that quickly since Mr. Antwan Barnes roamed the fields of FIU. Mr. Willis looks like he's in the same mold, and we need guys who can blow up the backfield next year.

Great blog, Pete!! It is refreshing to read about potential FIU recruits, especially one local kid who has committed to FIU, his reasons and thoughts on our alma mater. Very strong!! His tape looks good to me. Did he really have 28 sacks? I know he was #1 or #2 during the whole season in Dade in sacks..but darn...28 sacks? Beautiful...

Great blog Pete, I hope more recruits like him will join him next year and years to come. But we have to remember that as great as they were in highschool, the competition is tougher in college, even in the sun belt. But anyways, it is GREAT to know that the coaching staff is doing a terrific job recruiting kids with a lot of potential. They say that leaders and coaches tend to attract people like them, and MC was a good player with good work ethics,he knows the college game and can motivate those kids and help them grow, and that is the biggest difference between what we have now and will have in the future to what we used to have in the past.
In other positive note it was a good idea for Petika to come and promote the season to the best FIU fans in the world. I know they will have a good season. I will be in Miami in March and I'll catch at least one game.
And for Basketball FIRE SERGIO!!!!

Here is the link to the Miami Herald's interview with recruiting analyst Larry Blustein talking about FIU's recruiting class. The first five minutes he talks about undecided high school players, but then he gets into FIU's class and some of the surprises that MC and co. may land on signing day. Pretty good stuff.


Thanks Pete. I heard it this morning, it is good stuff. MN did a good job talking recruiting with Blustein. I only heard the beginning about FIU because I have no interest in UM.

Everyone, remember to get your baseball season tickets.


thanks for the updated links pete really appriciated

Likewise...thanks Pete for the Blustein interview with the Herald....

pete rivals just reported we got a WR/ DB from Milford Prep. Marcelus Manear whats your thoughts?

19 public/known commitments so far:

1. Corey Lattimore LB
2. Milhomme Jean-Charles DE
3. Aaron Davis DE/LB
4. Joey Harris TE/DE
5. Kambriel Willis DE/LB
6. Chris Charles DB
7. Kenneth White OL/DL
8. A.J. Grant LB/DB
9. Cedric Mack OL
10. Chuck Grace Safety
11. James Jones DE/FB
12. Darriet Perry RB
13. Troy Dannehower QB
14. Kasey Smith DE
15. Stephen Bailey OL
16. Derrick Clark DB
17.Andre Pound DT
18. Donnell Wilson DT
19. Marcelus Manear DB/WR

Congrats to the basketball team for the win against NO. They came to play today!!!


If Men's hoops play like they did today for the remainder of the season AND do it on the road then they'll be a force to contend with in the Sun Belt.

Congrats to a BIG win for SR!


A big win it was. I was surprised at how much energy and passion was displayed on the court, especially by Galindo and Hicks...Hope our team could stay as focused as they seemed today....

Add Brad Serini to the list of committed players...he is also from Milford Academy in New York, and I believe he originally committed to UM last season...not 100% sure on that one

Great win FIU hoops, but still FIRE SR!!

That is a mistake on rivals, I'm afraid. Serini played...and started every game last season for FIU as a Center...and he wasn't from Milford Academy either...

hey pete what happened to the FIU article? i thought it was suppose to run today?

I was also looking for FIU article...instead we got a rundown on FAU recruiting written by Pete as well....

I read where Booker T. High's DE Jonathan Jackson was also offered by UM late...he still considers FIU his front runner....let's hope he selects us after all.....

lets hope he remains proud. Um got its self into that position b/c they thought they could wait to offer... not the case... join FIU J. Jackson, become strong by helping bring a sleeping giant to its feet

BE PROUD, JONATHAN...BE PROUD!!! They are calling him names and criticizing him over at the UM board, almost in an unreasonable way....I hope he announces soon he has picked FIU, and let the haters leave him alone....

which board are you talking about FIU fanatic? that way all the FIU supporters can back the kid up show him that we back him 100%

I completely agree with you guys!!! Incredible how some fans(UM) can be harsh on 17-19 yr. old kids.

He'd be more than welcome here at FIU.

Kambriel, if you read this blog, welcome to the Golden Panther family! You're a smart young man who knows that something special is happening at FIU. You'll be there to help us accomplish that! We love having you!

Good luck

The FIU recruiting article will run some time this week. In order to try and get the FIU story on the front page, the story was moved to later this week. That's why there was an FAU story in the paper today.

And Brad Serini was FIU's starting center last season. That was a mistake by rivals. Although, they did get the part right that Serini is from New York.

thanks for the update pete

Thanks for the update Pete...Good to hear our article will appear on the front page, hopefully they will allow you the article to be pretty long and detailed...Thanks again...

CJ...on both rivals and scout boards, while a couple of them are exercising good judgment and maturity, there is a good portion of them that are calling him crybaby, primadona, drama queen, dumb, little girl, b*tch, crazy kid, they should pull out the scholarship from him, etc...for the audacity of taking his time and decide what is best for HIMSELF, and not choosing UM over FIU immediately...or at all.....that's the one thing about recruiting that turns me off...how fans from EVERY college, it seems, attack and belittle high school players for the choices they make for THEIR wellbeing....



Seems like the kid is a little flaky if he is saying in the article that he would commit to UM the second he received an offer, then when he gets one he goes into a tissy feeling "dissed". The kid is a solid player, but he was a backup plan all along for the big programs and he's having a hard time dealing with that fact.

Pete, looking forward to the article on FIU recruiting.

FIUFanatic, thanks for sharing. It's very sad to see fans bash a kid for taking his time to make a decision on his future. That's one thing I will never understand. I understand being a fan is about passion for your team, but doing that shows no class.

See what I'm talking about?

Pete, thanks for the Bluestein link. The info provided was exceptional!!! Bluestein along with MN feels if those high caliber players mentioned select FIU then MC is solidifying his reputation as a great recruiter.

Nine games left in the SB conference schedule for men's hoops, they better get on a winning run now or it’s another disappointing season. Pete any news as to why Redd White quit?


I don't understand why this is a "new" story. The Mimai Herald said that this kid committed to FIU way back in November. Here is the link to the Miami Herald story.


I think that it is great that FIu is getting some local talented kids - but if we are going to throw a parade everytime someone commits to FIU, especially if we are going to throw it two months later, it is a little rediculous. I am glad this FRESHMAN is already talking about starting, I wonder if during his recruitment he was told he was going to START as a freshman, could coaching MC, I def. think players who get their starting jobs handed to them, especially as freshman, understand how to work hard.

U24/7, I think you are confused. Willis already committed to FIU. We're talking about Jonathan Jackson(hasn't committed to any school). He has UM, FIU and other school offers.

Jonathan Jackson also goes to BTW,he's KW teammate.

As for Kambriel Willis, us FIU readers like to read what the commits have to say.


Sounds like all y'all are enjoying spinning your wheels over whether an 17- or 18-year-old kid decides to sign with one school or another. Or maybe none at all. I just hope all of you pay more attention to more important things during the day as well. Like family. Or friends. Or your job. Oh, and we've got a presidential election coming up, too. And a war we're still fighting. Just some food for thought.

Anyway... to get off all this recruiting insanity... I was back in town for the past week and finally got to see the GP basketball team live against New Orleans. It was nice to see some familiar faces... and to get away from temps in the teens, if only for one week. :)

I'm not ready to give up on Rouco just yet. This is a flawed team, no doubt... but they're also the most talented team I've seen wearing blue and gold since Shakey roamed the GPA. Say whatever you want about SR and his coaching ability, but the man knows talent.

Hicks is a great find. It's nice to see we've got a true big man. I wish he had more of an aggressive instinct... he seems too passive on the court... but he's definitely a good compliment to Galindo. The skills are there to average a double-double nightly, plus enough blocking to be a serious force. N'Diaye's raw as hell... if he were a banana, he's as green as guacamole... but the guy has sick athleticism. He needs good coaching and a quick learning curve, though. I don't know this for a fact, but it seems like he learned the basketball game later than most. That's not uncommon with Africans, though.

On the bad... dear sweet Lord, we need a PG. I thought it looked bad on the Panther Pass. It looked worse live. By my count, there were at least 6 people taking the ball upcourt during the UNO game. That's not a terrible strategy, I guess, for a team that has no PG. But that Soto kid better be as good as advertised, because this team needs it bad. Russell and Taylor need a lot of seasoning still, but with that said, I think Russell's got skills. He could be a pretty good player in the future.

On a sidebar... gotta give credit to the guys running the Panther Pass. Especially my boy Will on the mic... fellow RGP'ers UNITE! :)

I must say, it isn't a bad option if you can't be at the game (especially for those of us outside the area). But the live experience still kicks it in the butt. I hope FIU gets a better camera in the future, too. That would help a lot.

Messod, you forgot one:

...or more important things than writing posts longer than some short stories...

24/7 good to see you back been a while i dont think willis is talking about starting b/c he was promised anything, but more of a way of saig im coming to start. and im goin to bust my ass to start. as to messod, dude what is it w/ you i am cool w/ your belief that lnding recruits isnt big until they do something but dont try to put people down that like to have new hope every year for their program.

Touche, SouthPaw. ;)

No putting down meant, CJ. I just find all the recruiting hoopla amusing. And occasionally frightening.

Seriously Messod, the beginning of your post was completely unnecessary. Unless you're trying to convince everyone you're a giant doof. Lighten up buddy...

Everybody has a right to like whatever they like, as long as no disrespect is done, nobody should have a problem with it. I enjoy recruiting...a lot...and some don't like it...some people like baseball, some don't...be and let be....

well pointed fiu fanatic i know messod is staiting his opinion... just always seems down on recruitintg. im trying to light the fire under him and get him excited lol

CJ... I'll get excited when I see this school become more than just doormats. I'll leave the recruiting circus to the rest of you.

Pike... I AM a giant doof. Anyone who even remotely knows me will tell you that. :)

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