Since we're counting down days....don't worry, FIU baseball fans, I know the season opener is in 14 days and we'll have the last of TT's interview on here real soon.
MC and staff put together a solid class of players (vote below) yesterday and you'll be able to see 3 of those players (Wesley Carroll, Thatcher Starling and Jack Griffin) on March 6. Players like Josh Forney (left), Kenny Dillard (right) and the other 18 new Panthers will make their practice debuts in August.
If you didn't catch the roundup story of FIU's newest players in the MH, here it is: Welcome to the Cage
Couldn't include all the notes from FIU signing day in the story so here's some bonus FIU NSD tidbits.
The More TYs The Merrier
During the first visit of the day at Archbishop Carroll for new FIU safety Terrance Taylor, I found out FIU now has 3 TYs on the team. Taylor's nickname is TY adding to FIU's college football monopoly on the initials -- T.Y. Hilton (middle), Jason "TY" Frierson (third from left) and now Terrance "TY" Taylor (far left).
Asked the newest TY Panther about his nickname and playing Rutgers -- the team he de-committed from to join FIU.
TT on 3 FIU TYs: "After what the two TYs have done at FIU, I'm going to have to earn my nickname, but I'm willing to take that challenge. I might have to knock a few passes away from TY and TY to earn it."
TT on Rutgers: "When I heard that we were playing Rutgers this September, I got so excited. I can't wait to play in that game."
What Is MC's 40 Time?
Pooh Bear on his signing day decision: "I'm happy with my decision to go to FIU. My mom is happy too , because I can stay close to family. They are only 4 hours away and Coach Cristobal was really happy when I called in the morning. I spoke to Coach Cassano to tell him I was going to be a Panther and when Coach Cristobal heard it from Coach Cassano, he came running through the hallways to talk to me. I can't wait to team up with my new teammates and get it rolling for FIU. Tell all the FIU fans to be ready, because the A-Train (Apopka) is coming to the 305."
State Troopers With Radar Can Have A Field Day at FIU Stadium This Fall
A lineman is not supposed to go as fast as Rupert Bryan. If you went to the FIU Tailgate Signing Day Party last night at FIU Stadium, then you saw RB go about 40 to 50 yards to run down a defensive back in his highlight film that was shown in the Stadium Club. Still in the air as to which line (O or D) RB will patrol come fall practice, but what's not in the air is his 4.8 lineman speed.
Also the additions of Darian Mallary (4.3), Wayne Times (4.4), Kenny Dillard (4.4), Rockey Vann (4.4) and big defensive end Thatcher Starling (4.8) to T.Y., Junior Mertile and Daunte Owens paves the road to -- as one GPP reader put it -- the FIU Speedway.
You're Not Too Shabby A Player Yourself Edgard
Had a chance to reach new FIU receiver Edgard Theliar (right), who said no Bull, I'm a Panther on Wednesday morning. Well, ET didn't exactly say no Bull, I'm a Panther, but that's essentially what happened with his NSD decision picking FIU over South Florida.
In fact, ET's letter of intent came through the fax machine in the middle of MC's press conference. An FIU staffer briefly interrupted MC to give him a thumbs up signal and a big smile ran across the FIU coach and FIU Nation's face.
The 6-3 JUCO All-American receiver has all the tools to dominate in Division I, and he knows so do his new teammates.
ET on lining up in the same offense with TY Goodbye: "T.Y. had an amazing freshman season and he showed that you can have a tremendous impact as a freshman at FIU. I saw some of his plays last season and that kid is just amazing. I'm looking forward to playing with him and all the other weapons we have on offense. You're going to have to play some solid D to stop our offense now."
ET on Pooh Bear: "I saw his highlight tape and he's a player that has it all. He's got the speed and strength to punish you and that's what you want in a linebacker."
Christmas Comes Early For FIU Marketing
Now FIU marketers will be even busier this season with the additions of such marketing gems as: Pooh Bear Mars (after every sack and you can hear a growling bear sound over the FIU Stadium speakers or hear a NASA astronaut say over the FIU Stadium speakers "Mars has landed on you" or hand out Mars candy bars after every sack). . .Thatcher lends to endless possibilities. . .Markeith Russell got it started yesterday with his creative hairdo. . .There are 3 TYs now with Terrance Taylor. . .Sound off an alarm clock or play Big Ben (right) clock striking 12 noon when Wayne Times scores a TD. . .Rockey Vann - a silver screen boxing icon (Yo, Adrian! on TDs) or something with a large automobile. . .Edgard Theliar - went by Ocho (his number in JUCO) or play E.T. phoning home when he scores a TD. . .FIU Speedway (see above).
**** Hey FIU, feel free to use any of these ideas.
FIU Fanatic: Pete, any more news? No other RB signed besides Darian Mallary?
PP: Still have spots open and there are always walk-on possibilities.
Gooch7: How many more scholarships do we have left?
PP: Still waiting to get an official number, but it can be anywhere from 1 to 3.
FIUFPL: Pete, can you tell us which of these were last minute deals?
PP: Pooh Bear and ET.
PP: McCloud and Franklin are not likely headed this way and Angrande was never an FIU target. He signed with the Hooters in Boca Raton.
Alonzo: How many scholarships will FIU have available for next year? Also, what happened to De Armas?
PP: The full allotment of 25. De Armas could join the Panthers later.
Hey, if all these recruiting sites hand out stars like candy and sometimes have no logic on how to give these stars (example: ET dropping from 4 to 3 stars), and (my 4-month-old nephew just got 2 stars for weighing nearly 10 pounds at birth) why can't you good people hand out some Panther Paws.
Vote on the 2009 FIU football signing class: 5 Paws being FIU scored a touchdown with this class; 4 Paws being FIU kicked a field goal with the class or 3 Paws being FIU got into the red zone with this class. Sorry, for all the closet FIU fans that visit this blog, but there are no 2 Paws or less, because you can't argue about the talent MC signed this year.