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FIU Goes To Mars

Pooh T-Minus 3 days for FIU to land on Mars. That would be Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars Mars, one of the best high school linebackers on Earth and from Apopka, who recently earned All-State 1st team honors.

Had a chance to reach Mars on Saturday and without the aid ofEarth any rocket ship, instead a handy-dandy cell phone did the trick. (OK, no more Mars the planet references, after all LM prefers the "Pooh Bear" nickname as you will find out when you read on).

After talking to the linebacker, told Pooh Bear he can check out his interview on the GPP.

PP: Should you choose FIU on Wednesday, do you know that you would be the 1st 4-star recruit at FIU and that's including former FIU linebacker Antwan Barnes, who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. What do you think of that?

LM: That would mean a lot to me. I could be the face of the FIU program and I would carry that weight. I like being able to the carry the weight for a team. I've never been afraid of that. At Apopka, I was the face Lar of our defense there and I enjoyed that. It got to a point at Apopka that other teams would run the ball away from me, because they knew I would bring them down if they ran it at me.

* Here is the Mars highlight tape, in case you didn't know how good a defender the kid is:  Pooh Bear Knows Tackles  

PP: Tell me about your visit to FIU two weeks ago?

LM: The campus is great. The coaches are great and they have some strong academic programs. I want to major in business and real estate, because I like making money. [FIU defensive back and former Apopka teammate] Derrick Clark told me FIU is really great and he likes it a lot, especially because it's not too far from home. My mom went on the visit and she wanted me to commit to FIU right there on the spot. I fell in love with FIU right there. Everything you need is right there on campus.

PP: So what happened that you didn't commit on the spot?

LM: I wanted to take my time to think about things. I'm the type of person that really likes to go Indiana and experience stuff and seeks out new adventures. I'm going to decide at Apopka on the day before signing day or on signing day.

PP: You've narrowed down your choices to FIU and Iowa State. What was it about Iowa State that you liked?

LM: Iowa State was pretty much the same as FIU. I felt at home in both places. Iowa State is on point about their academic plans.

PP: FIU has a pretty good business school. Were they on point about their academic plans when you visited?

LM: Oh, yeah. FIU has some strong academic plans they presented when I visited.

PP: What did you think of the new FIU stadium and the new FIU fieldhouse on your visit?

LM: I really liked the stadium. When it gets all done it will be the perfect size for college football. TheWeights weight room is pretty big, like NFL-size and that's what I like.

PP: Where did you get the nickname "Pooh Bear"?

LM: My mom gave it to me when I was little, because when I would roll over my shirt would roll up on my stomach and I looked like Winnie The Pooh.

Martian PP: Has anybody ever given you a nickname, because of your last name being the same as a planet?

LM: Not really. They've called me a Martian before, but I just stick with Pooh Bear. That's the nickname I like.Poooh




Apaw Thanks to Pooh Bear for joining us on the GPP. We have a Pooh Bear question for you good people to answer below the Pawse.

gpantera: When the fudge does spring ball kick off already?!  Pete, When you talk to your Herald internet folks, ask them to add a "Share on Facebook" button on your blog so that we can extend the exposure of this blog to our community of friends and family.

PP: The first spring practice is scheduled for Friday, March 6. Good idea on the facebook deal, will let the MH IT people know about it.

Apaw The passionate FIU fans and alumni in the northeastern part of the U.S. are making their votes heard loud and clear on our last poll question about FIU and Rutgers beginning a football series this September. We had 80 first-day votes from there and we had a new state join the GPP Nation.

An FIU fan in Stamford, Connecticut voted that he/she would have wanted a better opponent than Conn Rutgers to replace the Tampa Bulls on the FIU sked. However, that vote selection is in the minority. As of Saturday afternoon, 73.8% of you good people think it is great FIU will be playing in the NY/NJ area against Rutgers; 17.5% of you have no opinion on the matter and 8.8% of you want a better opponent than RU.

Regardless, welcome to Connecticut, the 5th state of the U.S. and now leaving only 8 states in which the GPP is not read in:



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

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

Tell us what you think about the possible addition of Pooh Bear to the 2009 FIU signing class:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Great BLOG Pete, and Pooh Bear, FIU is a great school, I own a very successful Real Estate Brokerage and a Mortgage Company, and I am doing good even in today's market, thank to God and the marketing classes at FIU


Can you update us on the injury situation in Men's BBall? I'm sure you'll be there tonight, maybe you can speak with the trainers and see if they expect these guys to be at 100% this season. Go F I U!

Pete, great job as always!!

POOH BEAR, FIU has one of the best business programs in the nation:

"U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" (2005-2009) ranks our undergraduate international business programs #11 in the nation."

Thats just one ranking, for more check out http://business.fiu.edu/

Thanks for the interview with Pooh Bear Mars, Pete. It seems Mars is a young man with a good head over his shoulders. I particularly liked to read Pooh Bear's reaction to our beautiful campus and strong academic institution.

FIU has many, many, strong academic programs, but FIU's Landon Undergraduate School is just amazing, with our new state-of-the-art building that houses the programs. With Pooh Bear, Dillard, Scott Byrant, and others...the sky is definitely the limit for this program, and that defense will be dominating.

Hope to see Mars donning the FIU jersey soon against Rutgers, Alabama, and National Champion Florida in just a matters of months. Can you imagine that?

Pooh Bear, the FIU fan base wants you, make no mistake about it! You are our #1 target, hands down. We are a family and want you to be a part of it.

You can be a huge part of making history and helping to build something truly special at FIU. The satisfaction of helping to build something that will be looked back upon many years from now is something that you can take with you for the rest of your life.

No offense to Iowa State, but FIU is headed to places that Iowa State can't dream of going. FIU football has a truly unique opportunity that no other program in the country has. Our football program is a diamond in the rough--we just need guys like you to come make us shine. And then the education you'll receive at FIU will help make you shine for the rest of your life.

Pooh Bear,

Word of advice,take the road less traveled and have others follow you instead of following others. If you could have lived in the past and been one of the few to have established a team like ND or USC, would you? Well at FIU you can. Make us all proud, I am sure you will do well where ever you go but I can say this: the FIU faithful will have your back and you will be paving the way for others to follow you here at FIU. Best of luck



Be a difference maker and join the FIU FOOTBALL FAMILY. This program is quickly becoming something special. You are a guy that can take the panthers to the next level.


I agree with all of these people in thinking that Pooh Bear would be a great addition to the FIU Team! I think FIU has had a lot of good players to come through the past couple of years but I think Pooh will be extremely helpful in making FIU's team a MAJOR success!

This is a program just waiting to bust free and Pooh Bear would be at the forefront. This is an opportunity to come right in and make a difference! And he can look back and say "I was a part of something special." Last year was only the beginning, I really believe that this can be the year we surprise EVERYBODY. Pooh Bear would be at the center of a defense that would truly strike fear into opposing offenses.

In basketball, a tough loss to UALR... but did you guys see Antoine Walker there tonight in the stands?? What was up with that? It was so cool!!

I hate to admit it but moms are always right Pooh Bear!

Join the FIU family.

I run a large business out in LA thanks to my FIU education and theres thousands of others.

Plus FIU shapes you for the reality of todays business world which is GLOBAL. The only international thing in Iowa is IHOP

I sincerely hope Mars joins the FIU family, he seems like a real mature student and athlete.


Thanks for the great interview with Pooh Bear!!!

Regardless of his decision, I'll definitely be rooting for this kid to do well in college and on the football field. If he were to choose FIU, I can already envision his photo outside the stadium!!!! Our defense will be dominating if he chooses FIU.


You da man Pooh Bear. Good luck wherever you go, but we would love to see you in a Panthers Jersey next season!

BCS conference vs non-BCS conference.

Come to a conference and play the likes of Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nebraska on a regular basis.

Fsanfordd, you guys play Nebraska twice next year? Maybe you had too much to drink so late last night. Not much else to do there in Ames, Iowa is there? FIU plays national champion Florida and Alabama next year.

Pooh Bear, do you want to represent the state of Florida or the state of Iowa in your college career?

We need the name of the blog to say Mars to FIU! ;) Pooh Bear its just this simple ... South Beach!!!

FIU is close to home for you and theres nothing like being close to home when you go off to camp. I played at 2 schools and the 1st 1 was just too tough without being able to go home everynow and then. Plus Iowa is too cold, I don't know why you would want that!

I honestly believe if Pooh Bear joins FIU, Our LB core will be one of the best in Florida, hands down. I could see him starting from Day 1.

"Pooh Bear" the defensive #2 Jersey is waiting for you.

Props on the interview, Pete. It was a good one.

I'll refrain from giving advice on where people should go to school... that's a personal choice, frankly... I just hope he's happy with wherever he goes. It's not a decision to take lightly, and he seems to have figured that part out.

As for the Rutgers games... I like the move for both programs. I wish it wasn't USF we were getting rid of, though. I understand Leavitt's point-of-view... they're trying to be in the same level as UM, UF and FSU, and playing anyone outside of those 3 in Florida is more of a risk to them than a reward. But, knowing that, I'd have taken one last chance to beat them and at least have some kind of bragging rights. But, then again, I'm the guy who wishes all the Florida schools would join one conference... so take that with large grains of salt.

Rouco's boys took it in the chin last night. UALR shot crazy good, but still... a lot of turnovers... and Asprilla now has a herniated disc in his back... freakin' incredible.

Pelegrin... any info or thoughts on your end on Rouco's job status? Just curious. Also, any news on Russo's? Her team's stunk something fierce this year.

Pete, I have a question which i don't think anyone has asked. Does, the basketball team go through an off season conditioning program with the strength coach? Because there is something wrong here. I don't think the football gets as much injuries as the BB team.

Some might wonder if a strength and conditioning program will help protect against injuries. Yes it does.

We do have a great strength and conditioning program. It is run by former Orlando Magic strength coach Mick Smith.

Just some real bad luck that we're having.

p.s. POOH BEARRRRRRRRR come on over to FIU

Pooh Bear you are a winner I can tell by your history at Apooka. I think you know what you are doing. I tell you this. You WILL win more at FIU than at ISU. Plus Monday's forecast is a low of 5 degrees!!!! A polar bear would feel at home there, not a pooh bear.

Well just weigh your options and make the right choice for yourself. Just know, my brothers, all of my friends and even my 11 year old cousin want to see you play. You will pave the way for other players of your level to come this way. But you will always be the first.

Pooh Bear,

Be a home state hero. Stay home please. We need you.

Go Panthers




... VS....IOWA.



Sorry to hear about the loss of the final game v. USF but we should thank them for playing the Golden Panthers; our first home game v. a BCS memeber. Now we can trade one road game v. a BCS team for a four game home and home v. another BCS team; no brainer there.

On to 'Pooh Bear', I think his choice to come to FIU would round out an unbeleivbale recriuting class for FIU and make us a perenial contender for the championship and bowl trip.

Good Luck Pooh Bear with your upcoming decision, we're all hoping you come down here and get one of those 50' banners :).

Go Panthers !!!


Make FIU your home. Come be apart of establishing a tradition and set a precedent for excellence.
Come to FIU!

SOUTH BEACH! Come on down Pooh Bear

Be the first of many 4 star recruits to come through the FIU program

While there are some Rutgers fans who are happy with the arrangement, it looks like a good number of them are upset that aren't able to schedule a "better" opponent from the state of Florida than FIU. They seem to think we are a guranteed win and that coming down here to our house is insulting. I just loooove hearing other teams talk smack about us, great for motivational purposes.

How SWEET it would be to shock them this year in their own house. Maybe they'll be singing a different tune afterwards.

Its officially only 36 hours away and counting.. Pete are you going to give us a list of all the 20+ 2009 recruits (Including Mr. Mars) and some of their highlights?

I hope everyone is planning to go to the NSD Tailgate Party at the stadium on Wed.

It starts at 6:00pm so get out of class early or in my case get out of work early to make sure you get there.

I have another question for everyone to think about (after we know who signed): How many True-Freshmen's will get playing time in 09?

My answer more then 50% of the 2009 class!

Mr. Mars,

The future is bright for FIU football. As a University, FIU offers a premier education and is located in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Miami is the gateway to Latin American business, and in the future will also play an even larger role as a vital pivot point with China and our economic partners in the Asian region.

As far as football is concerned, it is obvious that you can be an IMPACT player wherever you play...Here's hoping you decide to join our family and community at FIU. I will look forward to watching an ELITE linebacking corps at FIU led by Larvez Mars and company.

You are a great talent, but sound like an even better person in general. I am sure your contributions on and off the field at FIU will be tremendous.

On behalf of the "Golden Panther" community, we wait anxiously on your decision and hope to welcome you to the "FIU family."

This is gonna be a great recruiting class, hopefully they can get Mars as well.

I can't wait until football season! This class will define MC, I hope and think it will be a good one.

Guys @ the GPP Nation, I've been having trouble posting. Glad to be back. Very tough loss to UALR. BOY WE MISS FREDDY!!!! Still have hopes for this team. Just call me a dreamer.

Since we're talking about dreaming, I'm very happy to have a 4 star rated player calling FIU home! Welcome Mr. Mars we @ the Golden Panther Nation welcome you and look forward to see you dominate on Sat or Thu (if its an ESPN game!).


Pooh Bear,

You will make an immediate impact at FIU. You are absolutely right when you say that you will be the face of the program. With you, your incoming freshman class, and the rest of the guys that MC and staff have brought in, we will win championships. The Panther Nation is waiting to cheer and support you for the next 4 years. Let's do this thing!

Pete any word on the recruiting visits this weekend i know the N'Western boys were suppose to be here this weekend... any word on that?

Pete any word on the USC Transfers that were thinking about coming to the 305, and play for the Golden Panthers?

Well in less then 24hours we will know the 2009 recuiting class. I have to agree with everyone, I think this class might be the best in school history.. Hope to see everyone at the Tailgate Party on Wed..

Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm!

Good find on the image showing Pooh Bear kicking a football.

You have a very interesting image archive Mr. Pelegrin!

In my opinion FIU will continue having the best class in its history year after year. The program is improving more every year and we will see this reflected in the recruiting.

i will be there

maybe not right on time but i will be ther

Re: USF out; Rutgers in for 2009 and 2010
by posterchild on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:24 am

Let's see how they do without Rusty.

Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:33 pm
Re: USF out; Rutgers in for 2009 and 2010
by FIU Fanatic on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:49 am

Rusty will be a Senior this year.

Yes. Rusty Smith will be a senior this year, but we have Jeff VanCamp at 6'5" / David kooi / at 6'7" and Wilbert ? at 6'6". These have the potential to be great QBs, but who knows how things will turn out in the future. FIU is getting loaded with a lot of talent this year. Let's see how everything goes and see you in November @ the cage!
FAU will be playing USF in 2010 again.

Good luck,

I know this is a little off topic but... I was just on the FAU website checking out their football pictures. WOW... Lockhart really sucks!!! That place looks terrible. I'm so glad we have such a gem to call home. Now if only we can take down those Owls at The Cage this year...

If Pooh Bear is so good - why is it between FIU and Iowa State? Anybody give that any thought? If he was so good - why are bigger schools not on his radar?

You all (the GPP posters) are sheep. You would follow PP if he lead right into the depths of hell. Ask some questions people, try to learn rather than take the blogmasters word for it.

So, why is FIU and Iowa State his only two choices Pete? Did schools like UF, FSU, Alabama, Miami, USC, Clemson, Tennessee, etc etc even recruit Mr. Pooh Bear? Please let us know.

It is funny how the posters say a 4 or 5 star recruit doesn't mean anything when it is a UM commit, but when it is apotential FIU commit, it is a big deal.

CC the reason y some other schools prob arent recruiting him is because of his mesurables or Depth at the position.. that could be a reason another reason is becuase this is a smart young man and he is also looking at the schools academics as well. i do not know where Iowa State ranks in Business but i do know that FIU has a very very good business school and thats what he wants to major in.. also schools like UM/ USC being private might have a higher Qualification (however sometimes that doesnt play into the schools choice) but ya... like i siad Depth, Academics, Measurables Can all play a part in the reasons why schools might not have been lookin at him.. i agree w/ you stars do not matter mas much as drive to suceed. but most of the Time the star rating is based on Physical gifts these young men have. so yes we are excited because based on raw talent this kid is good.. but i agree w/ you that the star rating thing is over rated.

Some people asked the same about T.Y. Had to see by themselves to understand. Those very same people I think have to do a little more research to find out the real answers. Don't assume something before you find out. A little advice.

for some reason my comment isnt showing up so i guess ill repost (Pete if it does show up can you delete this one)

CC, there could be several reason's why such big name schools are not recruiting Mars

1st- they did Cinncy was after him, i believe so was USF however he is DOWN TO b/w FIU and Iowa State

2nd- some schools recruit by mesurables... Mars is a bit smallish for an ILB he prob can get bigger but some schools may feel he will get washed out by the lineman.. silly mistake if you asked me. i mean Zack thomas did it w/ the Phins for a while.

3rd-some schools may have all the Depth they need at the ILB position. now i know if the player is talented enough you get him no matter what (which i believe mars is ) however, maybe the school is already commited to another ILB in the Class or previous class, or they look at size

4th- Academics, Mars is looking for a top flight Business school.. now i dont know whwere the rest of the schools stand but i do Know FIU is one of the top 10 schools for Bus. so thats another reason y to go b/w ISU and FIU.

5th- Playing time.. maybe he wants to be the guy from day one.. that could rule out several places im sure he would compete wherever he goes.

so there are 5 reasons... and as for the stars yes the stars are a bit overated but i dont recall anyone saying that stars only matter if they are FIU commits... we all know that 5 star or 2 star the best player will play.. i do think that a few of your breatheren look to much into stars however i agree that FIU shouldnt get to caught up in the star ratings

actually pete keep the second post its better organized lol

You are totally right about how deplorable Lockhart is. Unfortunately FAU does not have an on campus stadium yet, but hey! that has not stopped FAU from achieving a sunbelt title and 2 bowls. Lockhart is 15 miles away from campus, but people always find their way to show up for the games.
I personally congratulate your school for pulling off such a nice stadium.
In regards of the star rating; I just think that is overrated. Look how FAU with low star players has been able to accomplish. I think it has to do more with attitude and Howard Schenelly does not want "takers" in our team; he wants "givers" and that's what FAU's roster is based on. "Creating a legacy".

Congratulations again for the Cage & good luck this year!

People that actually give CrazyCane logical answers are retarded.

I don't know if schools like UF, FSU, Alabama, USC, Clemson, Tennessee, etc etc even recruit Mr. Pooh Bear.

As for MIAMI, however, even if they did recruit him I'm sure he would have passed.

Unless of course he wants to go to Thug U where starting basketball players steal from dorm rooms, the students go around groping women, the fanbase consist mainly of people that haven't stepped foot in a university, the offensive coordinator changes every 6 months, and the head coach will make sure you never play again if you ever decide to move on.

Besides that, UM is the perfect place to be.

I don't know what's worse ?? The fact that a rodent, the likes of "CrazyCane" posts on this BLOG or the fact that some of you cannot resist the temptation to respond to that scUM bag.

***Bryce Brown is reportedly going to prep school and applying to the NFL once he turns 20. He cannot risk getting injured and losing MILLIONS of DOLLARS. The NFL should design a developmental league for these superstars after high school and groom them for the NFL.

So next year's schedule looks pretty good for us.
Wikipedia: FIU Football and look for 2009 season.

I looks like all "probably loses" games are away and the ones we must win are at home.

aren't the practices at fiu open to pro scouts all season long? im sure there are tons of scouts just hanging out in iowa dying to develope a personal relationship with guy from a big12 doormat team. fiu is going to be the next team to bust out. it was rutgers, east carolina, university of buffalo, and now its time for fiu to be the next team to hit the map hard. & being in the 305, fiu is only going to get crazier and bigger and beat everyone on their schedule.

remember what ray rice did for rutgers? be the star of the show dude!!!

doesnt fiu keep their practices open to pro scouts all season long? im sure that there are tons of scouts just hangin around the state of iowa just looking for a guy to develop a personal relationship with.

fiu is gonna bust out real soon, and poo bear is the right guy to be the face of the program. the university of buffalo, east carolina and rutgers all busted onto the scene after a season just missing a bowl game. remember what a guy like ray rice did for rutgers? people all over the country know the name ray rice and how its synonomous with rutgers. how can anyone forget Poo Bear with FIU???????????????????????


i accidentally walked into the weight room at fiu and saw some dudes gettin yoked up!!!! the head strength guy, roderick moore, was workin those dudes hard. i bet they're gonna get you so jacked that they're gonna change your name from Poo Bear to Poo Zilla!!!!

dont go to iowa state and not be a starter in 2011. come to fiu and run this town! im gettin my bear dispensing helmet ready for the season, and im getting a Poo Zilla tshirt made!!!! be a 4 time all american!!!

Can't wait till Wed. Paper. Hopefully we should all be getting some great news on 20+ High School Football players.

Stadium Talk: Now that they are done with Phase I and working on Phase II, what will we see by 2009 Season kick off, and 2010 Season kick off?

I think the entire stadium will be done by the time we kick-off 2010!!

P.S: I would never pay $30,000 per year to go to a school that is NOT allowed to put their school logo on the center of the Field! And will never have a stadium of their OWN!! It's great to be a Golden Panther Alum!!

Go Panthers!

What time is the party Wed?


Party officially starts at 6:00 PM...so, you could try to make it a bit earlier to Stadium Club at the FIU Stadium. Oh...I wish I was in Miami tomorrow....

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