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FIU Recruiting Prowl: Running Backs

The recruiting prowl continues with a look at the future of the FIU backfield. It will be a vastly different starting backfield when the Golden Panthers take the field in Alabama on Sept. 12.

From the start of spring practice until then FIU needs to figure out who starts, backs up or if they play Dp_2 the popular 2-back system. Of course, there could also be some freshmen in the playing time mix as well.

Before we look at the RBs, here is your OFFICIAL COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY: 32 days (Feb. 4, 2009).


The odds-on favorite to get the first carry of the 2009 season is Darriet Perry (above, left, thanks to Sam Lewis for photo) and with good reason after his performance late last season. The image of DP carrying 3 Hooters on his back (photo above) in the Don Shula Bowl is still fresh. Of course, so is the loss for some of you.

Daunte Owens, recovering from a foot injury, will challenge for playing time. In his brief playing time last season before getting hurt, DO showed flashes, especially against Sun Belt champ Troy. Could see a 1-2 punch of DP and DO or....DMDm_2

Would not shock to see Darian Mallery (right) get in on the fun in his freshman season. The Gulliver Prep standout rushed for 1,541 yards and 14 TDs this season in leading his team to the state championship game. DM has 4.3 speed and returned 3 kicks for touchdowns this season. Could envision him playing a variety of roles for the Golden Panthers ala Goodbye. Shawn Bright, TY's teammate at Miami Springs, could also see some action if he enters FIU.

If you look at the 3 RBs mentioned above, apparently your name has to begin with a D to run the football for FIU. Which makes Northwestern's Daquan Hargrett (left) a logical Golden Panther right?

Dh DH is committed to West Virginia, but I would not be shocked if the "Northwestern FIU 3" (Gaitor, Dillard and Times) are in his ear about staying home to play college ball at FIU Stadium. Stay tuned on that one.

Getting DH to FIU would give the Golden Panthers the "Northwestern 4" and the "Booker T 4". That would be a hell of a pickup football game to watch, wouldn't it?

Also, (keeping the GPP's Gatorade Recruiting Theory (patent pending) in mind -- what's it going to be lemon-lime?, orange?, grape?, fruit punch?), don't be shocked, albeit a long shot, if the ATM that wants to open in Purdue and never does open there and opens at FIU. This is just scuttlebutt I'm hearing through the recruiting grapevine about Al-Terek McBurse (right). Same goes for some other FIU RB surprises that could happen down the road.Atm Atms

Fiuhelmet Here are the RBs FIU brings back: Darriet Perry, Daunte Owens, Trenard Turner, John Ellis.

Fiuhelmet_2 Here are the RBs FIU loses: Julian Reams, A'mod Ned.

Carnac 2009 guesstimations: DP is your starter, but could see FIU using multiple backs like most college and NFL teams do nowadays to lessen the wear and tear on one back. DP is built -- and in the 2 games we saw him in -- performs like a true No. 1 RB.

The other 2 or 3 "D" RBs (DO, DM, DH and maybe ATM) will get their share of carries. DM looked explosive while playing at Gulliver and is a flash running the football. DH is not as fast as DO and DM, but he knows how to run the ball like DP -- natural instincts.

Also, with all this talent at RB with power and speed, it would not surprise to see the Golden Panthers get more creative with their spread offense. Maybe the WildPanther, anyone? FIU needs to land at least Rep_2 2 RBs in this signing class to give the team some depth.

Four "Ds" would not be bad grades on the FIU RB report card this coming season.


Apaw Before we get to your questions, let's all stand up (yeah, let go of your mouse, keyboard or whatever) and put our hands together for you good people and give yourself a standing ovation.Fiufans_2

The Miami Herald blog numbers for the entire 2008 year came in and the GPP was one of the top 4 blogs  among the 48 MH blogs regarding traffic increase from the 2007 year to the 2008 year. We had 41.6% or 38,625 more readers in 2008 than we had in 2007. Indeed, "A Sleeping Giant". Thank you all.

Apaw_2 Heard from MC the other day and he says to tell you good people, he will be doing his LIVE GPP Q & A Blog in February after signing day. As you may imagine, MC will be busy for the next 32 days. I will post with plenty of advance notice on when MC will be LIVE on the GPP. TT will visit the GPP later this month.

To your questions:

Joel: I was wondering if there were any developments concerning Miami's MLS bid that would have a pro team play at FIU Stadium. There should be an announcement sometime in January... anything coming out of FIU?

GPP: The MLS is expected to make an announcement later this month. FIU really has no say in the matter. It's the MLS's call and they would be missing the boat if they did not award an expansion team to Miami with FC Barcelona's backing. Memo to MLS: This isn't Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

blkpanther: Hey Pete, Is there any truth to Tiger Clark being fired?

GPP: TC is resigning is what I'm hearing. D-line was not up to par this season, especially with its pressure on the quarterback and there were several offside penalties that really hurt. Of course, you can't pin it all on TC. The players have to perform themselves, but ultimately it falls on the position coach. Even though, he probably still could, TC can't grab a pair of shoulder pads and line up against Troy. Also, TC is the only coaching change expected on the football staff this off-season.

Spgame Gooch7: Can't wait till the Spring Game! Have they made a date for the game?

GPP: FIU's off-season conditioning program begins this Monday, Jan. 5. Spring practice begins on Friday, March 6. And the Blue/Gold Spring Game is Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m. First practice of the 2009 season is August 7.

FIUBlueandGold: Does anyone think Mario would even start a conversation with the Marve family about coming to FIU ?

GPP: FIUB&G, This isn't your old FIU coaching staff, MC & his staff turn over every rock when it comes to recruiting. But for RM playing at USF in his hometown of Tampa would seem more likely.

Puma: Happy New Year Pete. What happened to Delmonico? I missed that news.

GPP: Puma, HNY to you too. RDM left to coach the Dutch National team. A coach like him that has beenRdm  a head coach for most of his career, it was only a matter of time before he found a head coaching job. FAU missed out not hiring RDM.

Ultimate FIU Fan: Pete when is Souto coming back?

GPP: Late February, when Russell Hicks is also expected back. Tremayne Russell (Jan. 10 or 11) and J.C. Otero (a week after Jan. 11) are the next walking wounded to return for FIU.

Apaw_3 Give MC a hand with recruiting....


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i'm greedy. i want all of them to sign with FIU. in reality, i don't know enough about them. i trust the coaches. get us the best backs and let's add depth, size and speed to the RB corp at FIU.

Thanks for the info, Pete...Good to hear we are still after some of these stars.
Keep the info coming....I love it!

Are we really still in the hunt for Greg Reid?...from Lowndes HS in Georgia?

Also, Pete...forgot to ask from my mobile before....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?... Times appears to be one of the top "sleepers"...if not playmakers period...in all of Dade County...Please let us know...and Thanks!

Men's hoops lose AGAIN! Pete, I heard you mention the return of Souto and Hicks @ the end of Feb. What for? We'll be 0-WHATEVER in conference play so why risk further injury not to mention further embarrassment! WHAT A GREAT DISSAPPOINTMENT THIS HOOPS (MEN & WOMEN) SEASON HAS BEEN!

Pete since SR is most likely GONE after this season (don't say different UFF or Clawing Cancer!), will Cindy Russo get her walking papers too? She was a wonderful coach for a long time; however she has definitely hit a dry spell for several years.

Pete great info on the RB's!

well this is one of my favorite team for sure .

FIU Fan For Life: I never said Rouco was going to stay. Just wanted to clear that up. I just don't know if he ought to be blamed for having a poor record this year when he loses half his team and all his starters for significant time because of injuries. It's not like he can control that. For what it's worth, though, I suspect he's gone, too. Especially if his contract's up or has a year left... I'm not sure about that part.

Feliz Ano Nuevo to all... and I'm not surprised at all to hear the news about the blog that Pete posted. Good job, Pelegrin. Keep it up.

Anyway... thought I'd share this story with y'all, since it's happening in my neck of the woods here in Winston-Salem... and I think this would be a pretty cool idea for FIU to emulate. The link below has more details, but basically, it's a contest that Wake Forest is holding that would give the winner free season tickets for the next 15 years... and all they have to do is sit.


Speaking of that... any new news on the FIU Beach, Pete? Is that idea going anywhere?

Oh... before I forget... FIU Fan For Life, you might be getting your wish on Russo pretty soon. From what I've heard, she's set to retire. Not sure when, exactly, but I've been told by people I know at FIU that it'll be very soon... maybe in the next 1-2 seasons.

From my end, I think she probably should. She's a nicer lady than most people think... seriously... she's just not good around reporters... but I also think she's been compromised because other schools are recruiting more Europeans. A lot of Russo's success at FIU, especially early on, was because she was one of the few who would recruit overseas. Once other schools figured out there was talent to have in Europe, FIU started losing out on those players.

Lord knows, local talent for women's basketball has never been particularly good for FIU... not sure why, exactly, but it is what it is. And Russo is not particularly strong in either X's and O's or in game-type situation. I'm not too surprised they've slipped, but I am surprised how far they've slipped. It'll be interesting to see if Pete Garcia does anything to force Russo out.

If McBurse is having second thoughts on Purdue, and perhaps leaning to FIU, then he might have only a couple of days to show up at FIU and enroll, since from what I read, he was supposed to graduate from High School in December 2008. So, besides now Starling, QB Wesley Carroll, and kicker Griffin, now we have to see if any other football player enrolled at FIU, perhaps a transfer from prep school...or even ATM.....Intersting..hmmmmmm

Before I forget, again... I gotta second Pete on Delmonico not going to FAU. Turtle's probably sad about Rod leaving FIU, but I think it's safe to say that he's real glad he won't have to battle Delmonico for recruits. That would've been a serious coup for FAU if they had landed him to replace Cooley. It sure would've made the recruiting wars interesting, especially in Miami, with a three-way fight between him, Morris and Turtle.

Cooney, I meant. Kevin Cooney.

OK, I'm going to stop posting now. This is getting out of hand. :)

Now that the Football Stadium is half way done, do you think FIU will start a project on redoing the Soccer/Track stadium. I realize Football take priority over all other sports, but its sad to see that with the rich tradition we have in Soccer, and Track we don't do anything to get the stadium back up.

Facts: Soccer has been to the Big Dance more then any other team in school history. Now for the last 2 or 3 years both (Men/Women) teams stuggle to pick up Top recruits. Look at the crap they are playing in.

Facts: Track has had NCAA Champs as well as Olympic Champions. Every couple years we always have someone running some amazing times, and then doing it again in the biggest sport stage (Olympic Games). How can they pick up ANY recuit with NO TRACK!!! FIU needs to wake up, and look at other sports also.

Go Panthers!


I'm reading on the other board that the DB from Lowndes in Valdosta, Reid ?? Has FIU on his short list...I did see that on FIUScout.com, he is the only 4 star prospect listed and he recently started his recruitment over from scratch.

Apparently, he picked UF last year but has decided to look closer at other schools. In the Under Armour All Star game he showed that his rating as one of the best DB/Athletes in the country is legit.

What a signing class if we could manage to get him along with ATM, Pooh Bear Mars, Hargrett and the 2 JUCO DBs from North Dakota...

The only way I see that this kid Reid comes to FIU is because of what Darriet Perry may have to say about our program. Cristobal has an in with Lowndes HS coaches, but now we have a player that can attest to what FIU is poised to become.

Looking forward to your next blog update. Thanks.

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


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.

CJ, I also saw that, but I'm pretty sure it's a typo....ATM visited FIU, along with Mike Crawford on DECEMBER 12.

BTW, did QB Carroll, K/P Griffin, and DE/DL Starling enrolled and attended classes at FIU today as expected? Any other football enrollee of note? (another JUCO tranfer, prep school transfer, or early HS enrollee). Thanks in advance.

Gooch: Don't bet on the soccer stadium getting a face-lift from FIU anytime soon... other than a new track getting put in... unless an MLS franchise comes to Miami and they play at the FIU football stadium.

Most pro soccer teams need a facility to practice in... especially those with the likes of FC Barcelona backing them... and the current FIU soccer stadium would be ideal as a practice location, once it's renovated properly. Lord knows, it needs it. It doesn't even have real bathrooms. And the pitch is not in great condition. UM has better soccer facilities, and they don't even have a men's soccer team, just a women's.

I don't see FIU renovating that place anytime soon on their dime. The basketball arena's probably going to be Pete's next priority. Especially with the floor problems it has. And athletics probably doesn't have the money to do both at the same time. But, if FC Barca and the new MLS team comes on board, I imagine a soccer stadium face-lift is something FIU might be able to get Barca to do with (mostly) their money. Don't know that for sure, but God, it'd be a hell of a good idea.

Clawining Cancer,

Thanks for your input. The reason I ask is because it makes me upset to see a team I competed for (Cross/Track) stuggle to recruit Top runners do to NOT having a track stadium. As for the soccer upgrade, I just think if they ever want to return to the Glory Soccer days then they need a major upgrade.
Even though M.C. is doing an amazing job picking up 4 star football players, the Cross Country and Track coaching staff is also picking up guys without a facility to show. I have no idea how they are doing it. Lets pray that the MLS can put in some of their $$$!

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