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Two More For The Defense

Ttaylor The FIU D landed 2 more commits with DB/S Terrance Taylor (Archbishop Carroll) and DE Joshua Forney (South Holland Marian Catholic) saying they want to be Golden Panthers. These are the commits, gpantera asked about.

Taylor, who was a former Rutgers commit, had 93 tackles last season with 3 INTs and forced and recovered 3 fumbles on his way to being named 1st team All-Dade. At 6-0, 183, TT has good size for a DB and even for a safety.

Forney is a 6-2, 237-pound rusher at DE. Along with earlier commit Thatcher Starling, JF gives FIU a pair of bookend rushers with some size.

The TT commit gives FIU 5 DBs in this year's class, which playing in the spread-heavy Sun Belt you can never have enough DBs.

The JF commit gives FIU 4 DE/DL in this year's class and as we saw last season by the lack of pass rush, the Golden Panthers could use as many DE/DL they can get their hands on.

We'll wrap up the FIU Recruiting Prowl on the next post with a look at the offensive line. Still have 23 days until National Signing Day, but give the 2009 FIU recruiting class a grade so far below the Pawse.


Apaw_3 Congrats to FIU center Freddy Asprilla for being named the Sun Belt Player of the Fa Week on Monday for last week dropping in 21 points and 7 rebounds against Western Kentucky and then 28 points and 10 rebounds against Middle Tennessee.

To the questions:

mra: Just wondering, Pete, how do you see this team doing in the SBC Tournament?

GPP: The most important player still missing -- and this is no disrespect to the others -- is point guard Josue Soto (left). This is especially true when other teams throw the full court press at FIU. With Soto, you would imagine FIU would have an easier time breaking the press -- which has been its bug-a-boo the Js_2 last 2-3 years. Soto -- who transferred from Florida State and is out with a fractured thumb -- is not expected back until late February, early March right around Sun Belt tourney time. With Soto back and everyone else relatively healthy I could see FIU getting to the Sun Belt semis. Without, it can be 1 and done or possibly beat Florida Atlantic in the first round and then done.

FIU Fanatic: Pete, did FIU get to sign in hoops any of the two early commitments we had?...Terrance Beasley from Tallahasse, and the guy from Olympia HS in Orlando?

GPP: Looking into that.

FIUFP&L: I just read on Rivals.com that FIU landed Nico Flores as of yesterday!!! Can you confirm this Pete??? I know nothing is set....but IF we do get all the verbal commits to actually sign... how would u rate this class? Best class we have ever had? What's the info on Markeith Russell?

GPP: Not true, yet. It's looking like a signing day decision for NF.

As far as ranking this year's class -- that's a tough one, considering last year's class brought Goodbye, plus a bunch of defensive talent that redshirted or needed a season to get bigger. If this class has more than one Goodbye then that's an easy answer. Just like they do in the NFL Draft, we're going to have to wait and see how this class does on the field. The 2009 FIU class certainly has a great chance to be the best in program history considering just the early enrollees like Wesley Carroll, Thatcher Starling and Jack Griffin.

Markeith Russell made the Miami Herald's All-Dade team as a linebacker, but played running back too at North Miami Beach scoring 9 TDs. FIU is going to play him at LB. He's quick and is a solid tackler.

FIUBlueandGold: Is Tourek Williams a verbal to FIU ? What position will he play in college ?Vidal

GPP: Yes, TW is an FIU commit. He will line up at DE.

FIUSuperFan: Pete what do you know about former USC WR, Vidal Hazelton coming to FIU?

GPP: FIUSF, Hazelton has not decided where he's going after USC, but I do know FIU is recruiting him hard. He's from New York and supposedly he wants to go close to home, because of some family issue. Does he think FIU is close enough to NYC? We shall see.


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Pete i got an idea for the GPP. have an interview session w/ a few FIU commits after NSD. (preferably the ones that chose FIU over other major programs) what do ya think?

Here's some off season crazy talk - if FIU wants to crash the party at the national level, beat Tebow next season.

Possible? anything is

Probable? no, but then again, that's why they play the game

No one gave Troy a chance against the defending champs LSU this past season but they gave LSU hell.

Go G-Panthers!

I'm starting to lose track of all the recruits that have verbally committed. Pete, would you be able to make a list of names that you think are close to putting the ink on the dotted line? Its very hard to grade the class before NSD, but I think this class might be on its way to Number 1 in school history..

How many tickets will be available to students for the Alabama, South-Florida, and Florida games?


My O-line wish list:

Claudyson Calixte 6'7" 356lbs ESPN rating:67

Cole Gilliam 6'5" 333lbs ESPN rating: 75

Laman Toiaivao 6'4" 305lbs ESPN rating: N/A

Gilliam and Calixte probably need a year to cut weight and/or develop true D1 strength. But on film, they pancake everything they touch. Footwork is the issue from what I've seen. I think they are projects/sleepers to play on the line 2010.

Laman can probably come right in from JUCO and challenge for time on the line.

The rumor of this USC kid is very intriguing. What a story if FIU can land him. Looks like the depth is beginning to finally take shape. The way I see it. For us to really take the next step and dominate our conference, we need depth at the line of scrimmage. FIU needs to find 3 or 4 impact players from each class on both offense and defense. By the time they are seniors you have 22 legitmate starters and some depth.

So far, this class seems to be stellar and hopefully a few surprises will emerge coming NSD.

gooch theres a list here fiugoldenpanther.com

gooch theres a list here fiugoldenpanthers.com

Class of 09,

Since we do not travel, I do not expect any freebies for students. However, I am hopeful that Student Gov't can plan to charter buses for these games. Back in 1996 when the soccer team made the final four in Richmond. SGA footed most of the bill and we chartered 2 buses and made hotel arrangements. The cost to students was reasonable.

Bama, USF and UF are all easy charter deals.

The FIU Student community needs to step up. Work together (FIU SGA and Greeks) to mobilize interest for these games across the entire student body.

Someone in athletics or administration please start organizing something. Great way to showcase what Mario is building here by offering road trips to BCS programs.

What a story it would be...and already is...for FIU to be in contention, and/or land a transfer from USC who was a 5-star rated WR out of high school. However, it just dawned on me he is a Junior?....I also read he didn't redshirt, so that would be a one year only deal with Hazelton? Wow...

I just read a scout.com story where Forney mentioned that FIU recruited him for inside DL, and they (FIU Coaches) wanted him to get "bigger", without getting fat and losing his quickness/speed. So, since he's only about 240, we can expect him to redshirt this year...

In terms of pure needs, I would love FIU to get at least one extra OL that could play right away, like a JUCO like Laman Taiavao. Also one or two run stopping "beefy" defenive linemen, plus at least a linebacker, besides an extra RB or two. Other than that, get the best athlete/football player we can get our hands on..including possibly a QB like Nico Flores

Congrats to Freddy Asprilla on winning Sun Belt Player of the Week....well deserved our second winner this year.

I got an email from FIU saying if you give a $50 deposit for 2009 season tickets, you get first rights to buy UF GAME tickets.

I wonder if you can buy more than one ticket? I doubt it, but it would be more enticing if you could.


If we were UF's first game, perhaps we'd have a chance. Charleston Southern may have an opportunity to rough it up with UF, I'm sure they'll be still on could 9 and not ready come game time. However, we play them on Nov 21...deep into collegiate football play. It would be unrealistic for us to come out with a win, but regardless I will be there in my blue and gold baby!!!

FIUFPL.. thats for season ticket holders students do not purchase the season tickets.. i would like to see if and when they come out w/ a package for the students to travel

this is a totally random question but don't know where else to ask:

Why is there a Rutgers Football billboard on the I-95 in Ft. Lauderdale? Is that referring to the school in NJ??

yes it is.. that is how their program has been able to turn the corner.. they are advertising down in Miami, getting florida kids to go up there.

Something I have not seen written in the sports media circles, especially locally (Herald / Sentinel) is the impact and emergence of 2 large Florida schools in FAU and FIU ? What will be the net effect in 5 - 10 years on the progress of U of M rebuilding it's program to compete year in year out with the Top 10 schools.

I read this blog and have great admiration for the passion expressed here. So many Hurricane fans are convinced that Shannon and Miami will return to glory. However, the fact of the matter is that (2) recruiting cycles will have passed and the CANEs have not seen a BCS game.

No doubt that the recruiting classes have been impressive as of late, and this season looks awesome too...but these kids need to be coached and prepared to win games.

FAU has clearly shown steady and consistent growth - 2 bowl wins against Memphis and Central Michigan. Howard has worked with 2 star kids and your seldom sleeper gem that emerges like a Frantz Joseph or Jervonte Jackson.

FIU and Cristobal are really embarking on year 3 and not year 8. The prior handlers under Don Strock left that program in shambles. Mario has clearly shown the ability to recruit at a high level, learn from mistakes - which improves game preparation and has upgraded the coaching staff with a BIG 10 O-coordinator that was the unsung hero (Bill Legg) last season. From 1 win to 5 wins and an onside kick and false start away from 7 wins.

FAU will be constructing their on campus stadium soon, finally cementing their program to their community (students, staff, alumni.

FIU will most likely get private funding from soccer giants FC Barcelona and local billionaire Marcelo Claure once the MLS team in Miami is approved to complete the lower bowl, adding further luxury suites and additonal press boxes and other amentities...

What I see is progress by FIU and FAU. As a grad of a small private school in Central Florida and newbie to the Miami area, I'm curious to know if the University of Miami can replicate the success of the late 80s and early 90s ??

The competition for recruits and a solid fan base may be at the core of the U's mediocrity. With more kids taking a chance to play at least 3 or 4 years at UCF, USF, FAU and FIU, the allure of an average Miami football program and under-achieving ACC conference.... kids can still play high caliber opponents elsewhere.

The haters can blame it all on coach Shannon or poor offensive play calling or Larry Coker for that matter. Notre Dame can go 0 - 12 but still get top rated recruting classes every year... What has that gotten them in the last 8 years ?

The Owls and Golden Panthers are not going anywhere and if they do go somewhere it's to a NEW conference in the next 5 years.

I'll await the Category 5 fury of blind allegiance in your responses...

Posted by: Dah U got competition | January 13, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I posted this over on the UM blog, wondering if you all think I am way off base. Newbie to the area but college football junkie. Good luck next season !!

that i think is a fair assessment you have there.. i think S. FLa has enough talent for ... 2 of the three schools.. (UM and FIU haha) but really SFLA can have 3 mid to upper schools definatly

Very nice exposition of facts and also personal expectations of the state of college football in Florida, and South Florida in particular. Welcome to this board for your thoughts and insights...We'll see what will happen....

I'm sure you'll find most all FIU fans/alumns in agreement with you and you'll find the ucg fans in complete disagreement. It's clear that depth has hurt ucg and FSU more to this point than it has hurt UF. But the addition of these 4 D-IA schools has also hurt other programs that recruit the area. What's happened to Loiusville? WV? Rutgers? the directional schools of Michigan? They've all been very well known to recruit this area heavily.

It's only a matter of time before these additional Florida schools gain ever more popularity with the recruits. After all, who wouldn't want to play in front of the home town friends and family.

Dah U got competition

Your insights are interesting. I just suggest staying away from any UM related banter. Nothing good ever emerges and it brings out the worse in both fanbases. Writing pro FIU stuff on this board is one thing. Posting it on UM's blog is only going to raise the heat and tension.

just heard NICO FLORES is a golden panther baby!!!

I just found out about Nico, too! I didn't think we would land him, but WOW!! 2010 looks like it's going to be a three-way shootout for the starting job... So who would you think fits better with the system that is being set up here? Colt, Wes, or Nico?



I would love to see a final list of all our recruits and which are the "prized" recruits.

Also, which were "steals" from other schools.

These kids from NMB are the real deal. High energy kids. Real tough and smart football players.

The start of the 09' season is waaaayyy to far off. Lets go Panthers!

Yessssss!!!! Welcome to FIU, Nico!!! I suspect he is one of those recruits that could spur some others to end up at FIU....Some will say somethin like..."wow..if he went there, so can I"....Mario is doing some magic indeed!

Congrats are in order!

also if you could include the schools they come from.

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