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29 Days Until Spring Practice

Now that the newest Panthers are signed, sealed and delivered, you can look forward to spring practice, which begins in 29 days on March 6.Kdil

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.

Forney 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 Mon now has 3 TYs on the team. Taylor's nickname is TY adding to FIU's college football monopoly on the Tay  Tyh  Jf 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?

Spoke with Pooh Bear late Wednesday night after his basketball game at Apopka. On Wednesday Mc morning he made several people happy.

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

Cop 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 FIUEt 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

T.Y. Hilton had John O' Meara and the rest of the FIU marketing department busy last season with the Bear AOL signoff at FIU Stadium and T.Y. football cards touting Goodbye for Freshman of the Year.

Mars Now FIU marketers will be even busier this season with the additions of such marketing gems as: Pooh Bear Mars (after Timess 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 Roc (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.

groze13: Pete any news on McLoud, Angrade and Franklin?  Hoot

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.


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I don't like giving this class a grade until all schollies are given, but for now, I would give it a "4" only because we didn't get Hargrett or McBurse. I think we need someone with a little size who can take some of the load off of Perry. Would also like to see another JC offensive lineman.
But overall, with the sigining of Mars, this class was out of this world.

I give this class 5 stars because our offensive line had some great additions, but in general outstanding recruiting. I want the football season to start already!


I bought 3 season tickets! 2009 Football here we come.


A NASA astronaut saying "Mars has landed on you" sounds like the best idea from the above.

This can easily become a tradition of The Cage. Anyone else think it should be The Jungle?

I think the additions on ET and Mars easily makes this class outstanding. ET will bring size at 6'3 and playmaking ability opposite T.Y. And Mars well...he's gonna be a stud.

I think we already know what we are getting with Pooh Bear and ET, they are good and they will contribute right away.
But also we will have great production from W T and the load of DB's that are heading our way. I am sure those guys will develop as play makers for our team. I think we still need a better production from the D line, they need to open the holes for our LB's. The good thing is that we now have the weapons to score lots of points in the Belt. Heck I even think we might score a touch down against the Gators.

I want a mars bar

I give this class 3 paws. As good as it is, there is always room for improvement and i set the bar high for this coaching staff. Thus i look for an even better class next year. Yes, it is a great class for a young program and is heads and tails above any that we have had, but this class falls into mid-major status [which is great for us as of now] But, I will begin throwing out 4 and 5s when we get the classes of USF and better.

Secondly, Pete have you heard anything on James Jones. I know he blew his knee out at the end of the season and he is likely to miss most if not all of next season. But how is it going with him?

Pete: do we have an update on the status of Ash Parker and his recovery ?

i give 5 stars for what it is rating a bunch of highschooler's... that being said there is a bunch of talent speed and actual "Football Players" on the feild next year at FIU. cant fully grade till they are in pads a year or 2 but from what i see this class has a lot of potential

The Jungle FP&L? The Cage is probably the best and widest known and used nickname/tradition we have. Don't see that ever changing.

Great recruiting class. Improved over last years very good class. One more MC class will put us over the top I think.

Put my deposit down for the 2009 season! I'm definitely excited and ready to watch my Golden Panthers continue their rise to greatness

GO FIU!!!!!

Pete thanks for the info, another great post...Anyway i went to the FIU NSD party at FIU Stadium Club and saw some renderings of the new Fieldhouse...Woow it is nice!! Can't wait to see the rest of the stadium, once it's built! Hopefully we hear some good news soon from MLS!

Relative to our past classes, this definitely is a 5 paw class. We should definitely be in the running for a SBC title next year.

When is the UF game? If it's later in the season, then we should be gelling at that time. We could put a game, just look at Troy, they almost upset LSU. If it's early in the season, then we might have some difficulties adjusting with all our new players.

For the record, before we have any bashers, by making it a game I mean keeping the game well within the spread.

I think the nickname Pooh Bear for a linebacker is enough to warrant five stars.

If people call you Pooh Bear you must either be incredibly soft or one bad mother-shut yo mouth.


You drive a hard bargain. You're judging against USF who can sell BCS conference, has broken into the top 25 and has almost a decade head start. That comparison is not apples-to-apples. Judging FIU against it's past and it's conference competitors, this class is a 5.

Don't get me wrong, i like your vision as to where FIU should be headed, but for now, let's take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.

Moment over...on to Spring ball.

ya seriously you know your bad a.s.s. when you walk on to the field and everyone knows to avoid Pooh Bear... side note now we have el oso and pooh bear in the LB corp... next year lets see if we can find yogi bear too

Great blog.....I gave it a 5 mostly due to the expectations I had of this class prior to knowing the many top players we were still in the hunt for.

Comparing this class to previous years gives you the impression, at least on paper, we have done masterfully. Of course, it we would have landed one or two extra studs (a la Frank Crawford, McBurse, Jeremy Wright, Josh Robinson, the DL guy that signed with Kentucky) that chose BCS or 'bigger' programs versus FIU, it would've taken this program over the top.

Anyways, what a ride. Despite the obvious jealous comments from fans from other schools about the worthiness of Pooh Bear, other high ranked FIU recruits, and rankings.....it is clear to me we had...again on paper....a great haul.

Congrats to Mario and staff!!!...and to our recruits:

WELCOME TO FIU!!! It's gonna be awesome.

P.S. I just love the enthusiasm and love NMB's Markeith Russell showed donning FIU colors. His final comment on The Miami Herald video should be captured and quoted....

"I mean...I'm a FIU Panther now, so, they are doing something right"

Honestly, I gave it 5 paws just to be optimistic and keep in mind the context of our young program and conference ...but, we still have A LOT of work to do. Thankfully, this class and the last will definitely give us something to work with and, the coaching staff has this program heading in the right direction...

Also, Pete, how many seniors will we have next year and, how many starters for both offense and defense are returning?

For those that don't know. Season tickets start at $50 (at the west endzone)and that gives you first rights to the UF game.


I've seen addidas hats with the new FIU logos in pictures and at the signing day party and they look SHARP! When will they be available at the bookstore or anywhere?

Imagine this:

Everytime Pooh Bear makes a big stop or a sack you hear "hmm there's a rumbly in my tumbly" hahaha.

I like the announcer yelling out "Mars Attacks"


I understand your point, but the question asked how do i rate this class. It did not say how do I rate it against our past or the conference. So, if like fanatic said had gotten Frank Crawford, McBurse, Jeremy Wright, Josh Robinson would this have been an 5++? As I said it is a great class by FIU past standards, but it could have always been better.

I only made the comparison of USF, because i already think we are pulling classes comparable to UCF, and USF is the next step up.

Lone Panther; the UF game i believe is Nov 21st or around that date...Can't wait till the "Panthers" get their taste of some "Gator Tail"!!!!!! lol GO FIU!!

Amen to that, KJ!!!

Well it looks like in the excitement of signing day we've forgotten about FIU basketball... well we lost on Thursday, but it looks like tonight we just pulled off a heckuva a comeback victory against ASU (thank you, ESPN gamecast). We won 66-63, how about that? Maybe there's life in this team after all?

oops!! the game is in OT now!! Gamecast messed up!

Great Win! Nice Second Half come back for Sergio and the Boys!!! GO FIU!!! Can't wait until conference tournament

Just when you think that they are on life-support, this team somehow pulls off a win like this after being down by 21... sheesh I don't know what to think about this team!! Ahh why didn't I go to the game tonight?!?!?!

Those rating agencies are themselves over rated, ND would be top 5 every year. Pete how many "stars" did TY Hilton earn his senior year.

2 stars did Eugene T.Y. Hilton earned...

play lil wayne's "Phone Home"

Yeah, no kidding, Joel. Talk about one schizo squad Rouco's got on his hands. Then again, I think the injuries probably haven't helped with the consistency. Still, that should get better as the season ends, and come tourney time, I feel confident that FIU had a squad which could win and get into the Madness. Not saying we will, but I think this team's talented enough to do it. It's been a while (if ever) since FIU's had a team which could come back from 21 down to win a conference game, even if it was at home. I know there's a lot of SR haters on here, but this kind of a win proves to me that he's doing something right.

I just hope we catch fire in the tourney. Hopefully, this kind of win builds some confidence in the boys.

I think its a great idea for marketing Dept. to start putting a little more effort in selling the amazing product on the field. This is my list of sounds during the game (there should be more also):

1) T.Y.= AOL Goodbye after every big play!

2) Mars= Sound of a Bear, after every sack, or tackle for loss, or Int.

3) E.T.= "E.T. come home" recording after every big play!

4) Times= The sound of the big Clock after every big play!

5) Greg Ellingson= Something that can relate to his magical hands. The kid can't spell "drop"..

Note: I know there is a lot more players to market, but you simply have to earn it..

Marketing Dept: The ball is on your side of the court.. Make it happen!

Marketing needs to definitely take this and run with it.

We can become the first university to do such a thing.

Hey, Pete - I don't think you ever answered whether this is the best recruiting class or not.

Great Signing Day and Great victory for SR and the boys!!! Raja Bell and his folks picked one hecka of a game to attend. Spoke with Raja and he was quite excited about the comeback from 21 pts.!

Guys, TY is lightning on the grid iron, however Tremayne Russell is A BLUR on the court. I know Galindo and Dominguez played some spirited ball, however without the infusion of speed and electricity that TR brought to this game, those big shots would of never meant anything.

Question to Pete & the GPP Nation: Is there ANYONE faster in the SBC than TR! He is a heart-attack to ANY opposing guard with the ball. Wow!!


noone liked my winnie the pooh reference.....

i liked it haha!

lol alt we are going for the intimidation factor!!! otherwise your suggestion would've been a winner!!!! ding ding ding!!!!!

personally when it comes to announcers and player nicknames... i would like to stick to K.I.S.S.= Keep It Simple Stupid. when you have a nickname like "pooh bear" i saw stick w/ that " sack by "Pooh Bear Mars" that way when the QB hears it on the speaker he will think.. bro.. i just got leveled by a guy named Pooh Bear... thats demoralizing..

Also i think unless the player has proven himself on the feild incredbily there should not be a special chant for him.. TY did it last year and deservingly of his chants and fame.. Gaitor or Bryant (el OSo) should prob get some recognition.. but dont go out of your wait to give these kids a fat head until they deserve a chant like that ..

Well said CJ... especially the part about the kids proving themselves before we give them a big head.

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