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"Muscle Here, Muscle There" & Other MC Answers

Mcccc We're halfway through your Q & A with MC with 12 questions and answers left to post. We'll tackle 6 more of those here.

Before we get to the latest Q & A, took another tour of the stadium yesterday and must say that is one impressive football structure. Will post all the latest details and photos on here real soon. Now on to your questions....

FIUJM: With the loss of Lionell Singleton, which players (current or recruit) do you feel are ready to handle return duties?

MC: A number of guys. I think in our kickoff return they are going to see Jeremiah Weatherspoon. He’s a strong runner. He can get downhill fast. He’s a big body. We’re getting all these young players in Jr_2 which should upgrade our special teams. Guys that can move and guys that can break those arm tackles. I think Jeremiah and Julian Reams (right) give you a great shot at doing so. I think Daunte Owens will get a crack at that as well. At punt return you’ll see a couple of guys. Anthony Gaitor did a great job returning punts. His godbrother who is coming in, T.Y. Hilton will be involved as well. Greg Ellingson did a nice job last year so did Jeremy Dickens. The nice thing is now we have 4 to 5 who can do something. We have to find the special guy that can do the most.

SouthPaw: What players have made the biggest improvements in the off-season from last year's roster?

MC: In the secondary, a couple of guys really stood out. Jeremiah Weatherspoon (below, right) really showed what he can do. Hopefully, he can keep it coming and become a real impact player. I love what Ash Parker did as well. He was a guy that struggled in conditioning and he was pressed to get better and he did so. I think the competition that really stepped up in the secondary really helped him out. I think Anthony Gaitor Jw_3 really took a big step. He put 12 pounds of muscle on his body and his reaction time and his change of direction is really something. He’s going to be a special corner for us. Matt Garris is doing well. He didn’t get to compete (shoulder injury), but he is a guy that is doing a real nice job. Mario Caraballo is a guy that has really stood out. He got himself to 280 pounds. Has played tackle, can play guard, can play center. He was one of the more dominant linemen that we had in the spring time. Expect big, big things from him. Brad Serini took a big jump. Joe Alajajian (50) had a great winter and put a ton of muscle on his body, really leaned up and got more flexible in his hips and his ankles. He played with more Dicala explosion. We’re pretty fired up about him as well. The running backs all stepped up and had a good spring. I thought Paul McCall had a real good spring. He was real effective in taking on a new offense. Paul did a hell of a job. Marquis Rolle did a hell of job. Greg Ellingson was solid. Jeremy Dickens (5) had a great spring. All these guys their bodies are changing, now there’s muscle here, muscle there, where they didn’t have it before. A bunch of guys had great springs. I can go on and on and on, but we have to continue to get better. When I say get better, it was expected. They had to get better and that’s what the expectations are going to be all the time.

FIU Fanatic: Any news in when will Phase II of the Stadium Construction start?

MC: I expect it to start right away. I truly do. FIU moves fast. We’re so behind most other programs that have been around a while and that’s OK. We’re behind in terms of talent, facilities, but we’re ramping up at warp speed. What you see around the country is that every year people continue to build more and more, for us to catch up to the rest of the country we have to continue to get ourselves better and better. What the new stadium does is continue to put out there the commitment of FIU becoming a big-time program. So we’re very happy with what’s going on right now. The fieldhouse is well on its way up. The stadium is looking beautiful. It’s a big-time facility. You will be hard-pressed to find a better place to develop as a football player. It’s something that we need. It takes hard-ass work and identifying the right guys to develop and you need a facility to develop those guys and it’s on its way.

CJ: What are the chances that FIU will strongly pursue North Miami Beach High QB Nico Flores considering they have recruited 3 QB's (4 if you include Bryan Mann) in the past 2 years?

MC: I can’t comment on recruits.

GPP: How is the kicking situation looking heading into fall practice?

MC: We have a couple of walk-ons that are coming in and Dustin Rivest will be kicking as well. Tie

FIU LOVE: My question for MC is fashion. Is he going to continue to wear the tie or will he begin to style a more unformal look?

MC: I’m not sure yet. I think the shirt and tie really represents our school well. I want to make sure – whether we’re playing horseshoes, speaking at a convention, putting on a clinic or addressing the media – we want to make sure we look as sharp as we can. We want to represent at the highest level. Is it the most comfortable for a coach running around on the sideline? Of course not, but whatever it takes we’ll go with it.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Ultimate FIU Fan: We know about Morris and TT, however your statement about FIU coaches not enjoying a cold one with UM coaches sounded more than just baseball. How is MC's relationship with RS? If they are tight, then I guess RS is not in charge of scheduling. Their AD must be. Your thoughts.

GPP: My statement about FIU and UM not having any Sunday afternoon barbecues together goes for UM athletics, overall. These folks just have some animosity toward FIU, even though FIU has not really challenged them on the field or court during the history of the series. Several times that I've gone to Coral Gables to cover an FIU/UM game, I'll get remarks degrading FIU from the people over there and I'm not just talking about fans. It's the usual: "[FIU players] wish they could play here" type of nonsense. As far as MC and RS, don't really know what kind of relationship they got. But regardless of that, it's UM's new AD that controls the scheduling and he came out the other day and said NO to scheduling FIU. Jwb Even JM said the AD controls the scheduling when I asked him about continuing to play FIU back in April. Of course, that's a bad example, b/c we all know JM wants no part of TT. Really, FIU doesn't need UM. With apologies to Al Davis, FIU should just concern itself with one thing: "Just Win Baby!" In the fickle South Florida sports scene, winning solves everything.

CJ: I have taken notice that the FAU team is getting together for voluntary player hosted practices. Do you know if FIU is doing the same thing?

GPP: FIU players are practicing on their own. Been told Wayne Younger is constantly out there rehabbing his collarbone and throwing the pigskin.

alt7787: Let's talk Marlins baseball. Now that Josh Johnson is back and Anibal Sanchez is expected after Jj the break, what's going to happen to Hendrickson, Miller and Badenhop? I guess Tucker is working out of the bullpen now. Hendrickson and Miller have been pitching very badly as of late and I havent seen Badenhop pitch in a while. Is the starting rotation going to look like 1)Nolasco, 2)Olsen, 3)Johnson, 4)Sanchez, 5)Miller/Hendrickson. Oh and what the hell is up with Joe Nelson's face? He kind of looks like Popeye.

GPP: The rotation for the foreseeable future until Sanchez returns is: Nolasco, Olsen, Miller, Johnson and top pitching prospect, Chris Volstad.

Mark Hendrickson was moved to the bullpen after another poor outing last Sunday in Denver. He was not happy with the move at all after that game, but his ERA has ballooned and he has not won since May Pop 25. Ryan Tucker has also been moved to the 'pen. Burke Badenhop is on the disabled list and will likely go back to the minors when he's healthy. Joe Nelson looks like Popeye, because he shaves his head and chews tobacco. That's why he has that bulging cheek. He's just missing the pipe.

You good people read MC's answer to SouthPaw's question above. Now it's your turn to answer. We'll go with the offense first and we'll ask about the defense on the next post....

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Pete, thanks again for getting our questions answered. It's amazing how focus and determined MC & coaches are in taking FIU football to the next level.

You're definitely right about UM. After hiring of Rod Delmonico, JM doesn't want to play FIU. It's a shame that we won't play them in football or baseball next year. But like you said, FIU's focus should be winning.

CJ, thanks for sharing that article on FIU football preview. I'd take 5 wins next year in a heartbeat!!!

Last thing, Volstad is a stud!!! Kid is going to be good for the Marlins for a long time.

GO FIU!!!

That was definitely a great start for Volstad. The Marlins really need a guy like that to come in and bolster the starting lineup.

Also, great stuff on the interview. Every time I read one of these I get more excited for football season. I am looking forward to your stadium tour.

Great Stuff Pete... Thanks again!

interveiws seem to be going good pete. to bad MC can answer questions on recruits.. then again i should prob know better than to ask lol cant wait to see the stadium updates

Quick story guys, I was on my boat with the family out in the patches reef in Marathon. I, as I always do was wearing my FIU t-shirt & hat. I even have an FIU flag for the boat that I always fly when there is high boat traffic to let everyone know where my support goes! As we're enjoying a day of diving, fishing and snorkeling a '48 foot cabin cruiser Hateras yacht comes by and goes on through. I then noticed he starts to turn and heads my way. As he gets closer, I notice he too has a large FIU flag waving on his tower and better yet both his wife and he are wearing the EXACT FIU t-shirt I was wearing. He first saw my FIU flag and could not believe it so turned around to verify. By the way, find out he leaves in Key West not Miami. Told him about the GPP, so our army continues to grow! I know it not sports talk but I thought all you GPP fans would enjoy.

GO FIU!!!

Pete, looks like everyone is really awaiting the stadium tour update ???

When does the team start official practice ?

blue and gold... not soon enough lol i havent been on main campus to see if they are having a watch party for the games or something... i hope they are.. they did a good job for the penn state game last year... why they didnt keep it goin. i have no idea but lets hope they continue doing that.. i mean gracies is a great place for it

CJ,

Watch parties at the stadium jumbtron would be a nice appetizer leading up to the USF game. Give folks a chance to come and see the stadium upclose and tour all the amenities (OPEN HOUSE) and then broadcast the game on the big screen vs. Kansas and Iowa. Regardless of the outcome against those schools, the passive FIU fan will see that we have a NEW stadium and play against BIG 12 and BIG 10 schools...

Pete, I noticed that the upperconcourse had some benchseating near the aisles behind railings....can you find out if they will allow standing room only (SRO) on the upper-concourse as general admission. If the guys pull off an upset or at least a strong showing against KU and Iowa - I think at 25K might show on gameday ???

FIUBlueandGold,

I think regardless of the scores against Kansas and Iowa, you will definitely see a full house come Sept 20 against USF.

Even all my UM friends agree that they there will be electricity in that brand spanking new FIU stadium and USF better bring it.

I've been to the stadium and it looks like the benches at the top level are for handicap seating. They can come up by the ramps or take the elevator that leaves them behind the suites.

That's a great story, Ultimate fan...We are growing...little by little...thanks for sharing..

I am so freaken excited. Thanks for the story Ultimate FIU Fan. I want to get into the stadium already and polish my seat!

BTW, I am curious to know anyones HONEST prediction for the upcoming season?

My best case scenario 5 wins. And that is being very optimistic. My worst case would be 1 win.

I am so freaken excited. Thanks for the story Ultimate FIU Fan. I want to get into the stadium already and polish my seat!

BTW, I am curious to know anyones HONEST prediction for the upcoming season?

My best case scenario 5 wins. And that is being very optimistic. My worst case would be 1 win.

UFF great story. I've been noticing more people wearing FIU stuff around town, whether at the beach, cc grove, etc. People showing their G. Panther support! Every wave starts with a ripple!

It's summer, nothing going on...let's throw down some crazy predictions...I'll start:

Kansas, L (7-35)
Iowa, L (7-10)
USF, W (21-17)
Toledo, W(14-10)
North Texas, W(21-14)
Middle Tennessee, L(7-21)
Troy, L(10-35)
Louisiana Lafayette W, (35-17)
Arkansas State, L (7-21)
Louisiana Monroe, W (35-21)
Florida Atlantic, L (10-42)
Western Kentucky, L (17-21)

What do you guys think?

Ok, these are mine and I am sober and not on any meds....

Kansas, L (17-34) AWAY - KU too much !!

Iowa, W (21-17) AWAY **Iowa is beatable

USF, L (24-21)HOME **We keep it close

Toledo, W (28-17)AWAY **We are faster

North Texas, W (31-24) AWAY **UNT D is slow

Middle Tennessee, L (17-28)HOME MTSU QB ?

Troy, L (24-38) AWAY **Troy is better

Louisiana Lafayette W,(31-24)AWAY Close game

Ark State, W (34-30)HOME **Payback at home

Louisiana Monroe, L (35-21) HOME

Florida Atlantic, L (28-42)AWAY Shoot out !!

Western Kentucky, W (38-17) No way they win

6 - 6 is very realistic and before anyone goes NUTZ, look at what we had last year.

**Our team has talent and I think Legg is a difference maker in coaching. I had a chance to watch him during Spring and he really seemed to be all over the QBs...

**J. Weatherspoon is the real deal and was part of our 2006 defense that presented problems for our opponents. We missed him last year BIG time

**Freshman SPEED for our blitz packages off the ends and from the inside

**Oline should be ready to make a BIG jump in strength and skills

**I expect 2 QBs to be used. Paul is the better passer, but Wayne can present problems with his running ability

We lacked depth last season and had no one to plug in when injuries occurred or when someone was not effective...

**WE ARE IN THE SUN BELT, DEPSITE 0 - 12, AND 1 - 11, there is parody among most of the teams, except for Troy and FAU.

If we go 6 - 6, the books at Atlantis are not going to like us very much...

Didn't we already do predictions, like, way back in the day?

Anyway... .500 is a realistic goal, but I kind of doubt we get there this year. That's a pretty big step for a team that's 1-23 the past two seasons. 3 wins would be decent, 4 a success and anything else above is gravy.

No way we beat KU... I'll call it a moral victory if it's even close at halftime. Iowa could be a W, since you never know what kind of team they'll have year-in and year-out, but I don't see it. USF is probably an L, but the atmosphere at the game could change that. Seriously. Toledo's our best shot at an out-of-conference win (quick, name the last time FIU beat a non-conference opponent!)

NT should be a W, but we could lose that game since it's in Denton. I won't predict a win against MT or any other school with a mobile QB until I actually see FIU do it. Lafayette, ULM and ASU are beatable, but history's not kind there. Troy, maybe... depends on how the other games go... but I can't call that one a W. They're too good. I would say the same of FAU, but it's a rivalry game... so toss up there. WKU should be a W.

Pete, whats wrong with Dan Uggla??? He's playing tonight like he doesnt belong at the All star game. he's made a bunch of errors tonight and he cant get a hit. where's the Uggla that hit the walk off grand slam or the one that hit 23 homers?

"The fieldhouse is well on its way up."

OK which part of the fieldhouse is up... I have only seen support colums and dirt.

Well usually that's what's built 1st... C'mon now, everyone knows it will not be ready until January. I went by and noticed they are doing electrical and plumbing work on it.......

Be patient, probably expect to see a shell of it during the season. I saw guys working in the rain on a saturday.

They're only building the 1st and 2nd floor of the fieldhouse this time around. Eventually it will be a 4-story building.

Dont be surprised if you see it finished before the season is over. Those guys work super fast.

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