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FIU Recruiting Prowl: Receivers & Tight Ends

Ty Welcome to the position that seems to be the strength of the FIU offense heading into spring ball -- wide receivers.

Of course, everyone knows the AOL signoff, but just as importantly several other young Golden Panthers WRs developed last season and an incoming freshman crop is ready to produce come August that could have the FIU spread offense resembling the old San Diego Chargers offense led by Dan Fouts (right) in the 1980's -- Air Coryell meet Air Cristobal. Df

Before we look at the WRs & TEs, here is your OFFICIAL COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY: 27 days (Feb. 4, 2009).


Believe it or not, T.Y. Hilton can still improve. Goodbye will put on some weight and get stronger and faster (if that's possible) with Rod Moore's strength program. Greg Ellingson (left) emerged last season and with his velcro hands and height will also get better.

Ge Junior Mertile (below, right) -- who caught the most famous pass (Hilton Heave) in FIU football history to date -- can have an Ellingson-like breakthrough this coming season. Remember, JM was only .01 slower than TY in the 40 on timing day last summer.

Jeremy Dickens and Jason Frierson also were dependable receivers lastJm  season with JF having some solid games down the stretch. More was expected out of Marquis Rolle, but so far the 6-2 receiver has not broke through. MR will be a junior this season, but is certainly not out of FIU's WR plans. However, the competition might be the toughest at this position and look at the guys mentioned above he has to surpass. Kendall Berry, who tore his ACL in preseason practice last season, should be back by spring ball.

The biggest impact from the incoming freshman class could be Northwestern's Wayne Times (left), who seems like a bigger version, but not quite as fast (4.5 to 4.2) as T.Y. WT came on toward the middle of this season when he was pretty much just playing WR. WT started the season playing some QB before the Wt Bulls went to Teddy Bridgewater. WT is an athlete and we could see some WildPanther (Ronnie Brown, right) plays from him, T.Y., Darian Mallary and JM this coming season.Wild_2

One of the more intriguing FIU WR commits is Central's Jairus Williams, who stands 6-5 and might see some jump ball passes toward him and once he gets in the FIU weight room, he's only going to become more dangerous on the field.

FIU's other WR commit is Ocoee High's Rocky Vann and the Golden Panthers are also targeting Edison's Larry McCoy.

Fiuhelmet Here are the WRs FIU brings back: T.Y. Hilton, Greg Ellingson, Junior Mertile, Jeremy Dickens, Jason Frierson, Marquis Rolle, Kendall Berry, Elliott Dix, James Rucker, Reggie Thompson, James Watkins, Jacob Younger.

Fiuhelmet_2 Here are the WRs FIU loses: Jody Basemore.

Carnac_2 2009 guesstimations: Throw the damn ball! would be the thing to say here, BUT should some stud running back recruits change their minds (Daquan - No to West Virginia, ATM - No to Purdue) we could see a more balanced FIU O out of the spread -- Darriet Perry and other RBs chewing up yards on the ground. Also, don't discount Mallary's athleticism in the passing game. DM is the kind of the player that can kill a defense both on the ground and through the air. The thought here is 2009 could see JM get to TY and GE's level. Also look for WT to become an instant playmaker.


Although the tight end is not a focal point of the Golden Panthers offense, the position is still vital to the FIU offense.Ek

Eric Kirchenberg (right) has become a reliable target for PM and freshman Jonathan Faucher had his moments last season.

FIU is not recruiting any tight ends that the GPP knows of, but one TE the coaching staff is high on is redshirt freshman Joey Harris, who spent last season working with the scout offense. John Ellis also worked some at TE/H-back last season. Also, it would not be a shock if we saw some other Panthers currently on the roster experiment at TE in spring ball.

Fiuhelmet_3 Here are the TEs FIU brings back: Eric Kirchenberg, Jonathan Faucher, Joey Harris, John Ellis.

Fiuhelmet_4 Here are the TEs FIU loses: Moses Hinton, Travis Felder.

Carnac_3 2009 guesstimations: Don't discount this position in FIU's offensive attack. Yes, the WRs and the talented RBs will carry the load for the Panthers, but FIU TEs are expected to catch passes and be productive in the running game. EK is solid and expect to see JF and JH get involved in the O this season.


blkpanther: So as Pete says it like Da Flavor Pantherade© Pete as you can see I copyrighted it for you OK!Bg_2

GPP: blkpanther, thanks! When a recruit is lollygagging on his decision you can Lg say he needs to pick the Pantherade©...available in Power Blueberry flavor and Lightning Lemonade flavor.

FIU Fanatic: Pete, you mentioned 9 Dade County commitments so far, including Times and Russell. I count 8 so far, including 2 that were not included as All County...WR Jairus Williams(Central HS), and DB Derrick Jones, Jr (from Miami Springs). Who is the other Dade County commit?...Is Tourek Williams from Edison the other commitment?

GPP: Yes, TW is the other commit and to answer blkpanther's question: heard TW could be a pass rushing beast according to some high school coaches who faced him. He will be a defensive end for FIU.

FIU_GPanther: Hey pete, do you know if mack has also enrolled for this semester???

GPP: Not yet, that NCAA clearinghouse is a tricky bunch.

Max: Pete, was just looking over future football schedules and I remembered, don't we owe Maryland another game over there?

GPP: Yes, FIU is still playing at Maryland in 2010.

So which FIU WR breaksthrough next season....



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I know it's the heat of "recruiting season"... and, God knows, we should never let actual games take precedence over which high school football athlete to slobber over during this time of the year... but I'd like to take this time to thank the FIU men's basketball team for pulling off the upset over WKU at home. And said upset comes with no Russell Hicks or Josue Soto.

Hmm... maybe this bunch isn't dead after all. What a concept.

Thanks for the update again, Pete. Love the recruiting updates. My vote is for Larry McCoy to make the biggest impact (if we can land him). I think he's an ideal spread receiver.

The receiving corps appears impressive. We need the hogs up front to give McCall the time to get them the ball. GET MACK SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED! We need that big body up front.

Great recruiting update, we are STACKED at WR!! Always a good thing!

And that game tonight against WKU just filled me with a lot of hope!! I'm just glad we held on! Rouco kicking and shattering the AT&T sideline sign was priceless!!! I don't care what anyone wants to say about him, the man wants to win... badly! Losing this one would have been too much to bear and he sent that message through the AT&T sign (how fitting).

Rouco breaking that sign was hilarious, maybe he can kick extra points for the football team?

Good blog....McCoy would be my last WR to sign....well maybe with Kemal Ishmael, who can be a pretty good corner as well.

Now, great win in basketball by Sergio and his kids!!! To beat WKU at this junction, without Russell Hicks, Josue Soto, and JC Otero, is a step in the right direction. Good to see that Tremayne Russell is back...I can't stand Hurley Fuller playing a lot of minutes...doesn't add much, in my opinion.

Was there tonight to see this huge upset of W. Kentucky. What a concept, only nine turnovers in the whole game (lately avg. 20!) and you win. Congrats SR and the boys. If you can pull off an even bigger upset of MTSU on the road, maybe we can talk TURN-AROUND!!! FIU Fan For Life, you have to admit this was a huge win for the program!

Congrats to the Gator Nation tonight!


Anyone got photos of Rouco's kick? That's something I'd love to see.

Not that I'm doubting anyone... hell, knowing Serg, I'm shocked he hadn't done it sooner. Maybe he waited too long for it. Either that, or he should do it every game. :)

Congrats to the b-ball team and Crazy-Legs Rouco!


If we can peak in time for the SBC tournament, watch out.

**Pete, whats the deal with TY playing b-ball? Not gonna happen?**

Yeah i talked to him today... he came in to enroll for classes. He also met with the compilance office and they told him that they should know if he will be cleared to practice in about two weeks. I can't lie, i feel pretty bad for him, and not even as a friend. He needs to worry about his grades so that even when (or if) he is cleared he will be eligible to participate. He has had to worry about this for a very long time. The first huge wait was to get his transcripts from his JC. Now its on the NCAA to get his clearance finalized. Then he needs to pass academic eligibility.

I always try to encourage him. I told him that he is needs succeed.

he just responded. " you know me. I just wanna play some football!"

I'll keep you guys updated whenever i get any info.

Im sorry.... that last comment was in reference to Ced Mack. I should have said so. sorry.

Will Tevin McCaskill and Wade Tolbert join Dillard, Times, and Hargrett in visiting FIU?

Great info Pete!!! I voted for Marquis Rolle, he has too much talent to not be a playmaker for FIU. I'm very excited that we're stacked at this position.

Congrats to the basketball team, was shocked to see they won the game. Maybe there could be a turnaround when the team is completely healthy.


I voted for WT as the impact player for FIU and feel he will take a bunch of pressure off T.Y. The second half of the season T.Y. got beat up because everyone was aware of where he was on the field. The video of WT reminds me so much of T.Y., the way he stops, makes people miss, recognizes the defenders balance and delivers the blow. Those two guys are going to open up the middle of the field for the RB's as well.

Should be a huge difference in the offense next year and depending on how long it takes for these new players to get up to speed, we could be looking at an 8 win season next year.

Oh yeah! Congrat's to Serg' and the Hoopsters for their watershed victory last night.

Another key to last nights amazing win was free throws... we made 15 out of 18!! That along with the limited amount of turnovers gave us the win tonight. If we could have done that on a consistent basis before tonight we would look a lot better in the standings right now. But alas, history is history. Let's do what we did last night from now on!!

Great win for Rouco and the men's team. I really think that a healthy Hicks and Asprilla will be too much for SBC teams to handle. WKU has been the class of the SBC and wish I could of been there to watch the game last night.

No better time to start a winning streak than now. I'm curious to see if Hicks can be more physical than last year and play vertical in the post cleaning up the boards, while making the easy shots on a more consistent basis.

If we can get 20pts and 10 rbs from Hicks and continue to protect the ball, the conference tournament will be interesting to watch.

Great BLOG update Pete. I can't wait for Spring ball to start and see what some of the red-shirts from 2008 look like now.


Do you or your honey have a picture of the sign carnage?! lol

Pete, isn't Alonzio Phillips also one of the WR/special teams losses for next season? I thought he was a Senior...or is he coming back for one more year, like the extra year it seems Kirchenberger is getting? Thanks in advance, as usual.

My vote is for Junior. That kid is so quick, and has the ability to be an amazing number 3 WR. This is my order of WR for next year:
1) Mr. Goodbye!
2) Greg Ellingson (Mr. Hand's)
3) Junior Mertile (wait till 2009)
4) Wayne Times (The Big Bull)
5) Marquis Rolle (wait till 2009)

If the offense line can give Paul some time he just needs to throw it deep, and some one from the Big Five will come up with the ball.
As for the running game, can we please have mnore then ONE running play in the playbook. It seems like they run the same running play all the time. Once in a while the Spread formation has to change. We are going to have 3 or 4 amazing running backs with no good running plays. Keep up the hard work!


The running play aint the problem, the line needs to open up holes. You can run 3 or 4 running plays and be successful if you are getting blocking. One running play can have several options depending on what the defense is doing.

Our concern should be having 3 or 4 amazing running backs with no Offensive Line!


I agree with you that one of the more intriguing FIU WR commits is Central's Jairus Williams, I even stated this on another board when he committed. If he can put on 15-20 he can be an asset to the offense. Apart from GE and MR I dont think we have any Receivers above 6'0. And it seem to me that MR is shrinking because I have seen him listed at 6'1 to 6'3.

But JDub being 6'5 on the outside would be a nice addition.

Yep. Jairus Williams is a very intriguing recruit. For some reason, even though he was well thought of by recruiters and College coaches, Central HS coaches didn't play him much this year...Even with small statistics, offers were there for him...You can't coach 6-5, I guess...and that should give us another dimension in the WR corps, as blkpanther stated.

I voted for Jason Frierson....I always thought he has some really good talent, and never could put it together...that was until the last 2-3 or 4 games of the season, where he had some pretty good games. I expect him to continue to step up and provide another exciting and dependable WR, besides T.Y., GE, and Mertile.

Congrats!!!! to the basketball team, they did pull the upset. Im not one to support the team much because really never believed the school supported the program much. if FIU would committ to basketball as they do for football and basketball, im sure we could have heck of a team. I feel bad for Sergio, he needs more school support, in my opinion.

Quijote, sorry no, I didn't get to get a pic of it. We were sitting behind the sign so we didn't actually see that it was broken until personnel started cleaning up the mess and we saw the broken pieces in their hands.

The other board has a pic of the damage...

Hilarious !!!


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