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Good Morning, Welcome to FIU

First day of the spring semester at FIU brought 3 new Golden Panthers to campus and ready to hit the Jg Ts_2 Wca_4 off-season conditioning program.

Quarterback Wesley Carroll (left), defensive end Thatcher Starling (middle) and kicker Jack Griffin (right) all are Golden Panthers and were there for their 6 a.m. wake-up calls with the rest of their new FIU teammates.

FIU began its off-season conditioning program at 6 a.m. on Monday with 30 110-yard sprints. How's that for a good morning on the first day of school.

We'll have more with the 3 newest Golden Panthers in separate GPP interviews in the coming days along with our wrap up on the recruiting prowl: receivers/tight ends and offensive line.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Gppaw Talkin' a little baseball here. Spoke with TT today and he will be visiting the GPP Tt sometime in late January. TT also hired a new coach today to replace Rod Delmonico, who will be coaching the Dutch team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Frank Damas from Miami Dade College was hired by TT today. FD has a strong recruiting background in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and in FIU Fanatic's homeland of Puerto Rico.

The FIU Baseball/Softball Diamond Dinner is Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. on a Saturday. For ticket info call 305-348-7403.

Gppaw_2 They'll be playing futbol at FIU Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 18 with a match between Chile and Honduras national teams. You can get tickets at 1-877-877-7677.

To the questions:

FIU Fanatic: Are we really still in the hunt for Greg Reid? You seem to include Wayne Times already as a FIU commit....If so, that info hasn't transpired publicly until this blog...is this so?

GPP: FIU and about every other team in the nation is in the hunt for GR. WT is on his way to FIU.

FIU Fan For Life: Men's hoops lose AGAIN! Pete, I heard you mention the return of Souto and Hicks @ the end of Feb. What for?

GPP: Just answering another reader's question and you're probably right the return of Souto and Hicks may not be enough.

Newdazz Clawing Cancer: any new news on the FIU Beach, Pete? Is that idea going anywhere?

GPP: Nothing new. FIU Beach needs someone to donate sand and palm trees. FIU already has the co-ed scenery.

Gooch7: Now that the Football Stadium is half way done, do you think FIU will start a project on redoing the Soccer/Track stadium.

GPP: I think the hoops arena is next on the to-do list. Which has kind of started already with all the bathrooms being re-done inside the arena.

CJ: Pete on rivals it is showing ATM as visiting on the 12th this month do you know if he will be keeping that visit?

GPP: That was Dec. 12th.

ERIC: There's a back by the name of Orwin Elkins chewed it up real nice this season against Carol City,Btw  Cypress Bay, Northwestern and Deerfield went for over 120 against each team is he on FIU's radar. Also do you think Kambriel will be moved to OLB kid has a motor but is 5-10 and 200 LBS. at DE.

GPP: Not sure about Elkins. As far KW (No. 50 right, with No. 6 JJ and No. 38 Franklin Brown), you might see him line up at both DE and LB it all depends on what kind of defensive personnel FIU has next season and what kind of gains KW made in the off-season weight training program.

FIUGPanther: hey pete i know you said that the construction crew doesnt have an off season. can you update us on whats being going on at the cage and what should we expect for 09. thanks

GPP: The fieldhouse and west end zone meeting rooms/patio area/club suites are all expected to be done before the 2009 season. The fieldhouse should be open by May and we'll tour it and have photos for you on here. The west end zone rooms/patio/suites should be good to go before the 2009 home opener. Of course, if ML$ makes it way to FIU Stadium, the north side of the stadium could go up quicker than expected.

Gppaw_3 We moved down south on our last poll question reaching Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Our friends to south add to our scorecard that keeps going north with readers and with the Herald rankings:

GPP WORLDWIDE READERSHIP SCORECARD:

The GPP is now read in: 39 STATES: ALA, ARI, ARK, CA, COL, FLA, GA, HI, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MISS, MO, NEB, NEV, NC, NJ, NY, OH, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, UTAH, VA, VER, WASH, WEST VA., WISC.

24 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

We've reached the halfway mark in the FIU hoops season and let's get your thoughts....

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