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FIU Lands On Mars And Other Planets (Signing Class as of 4 p.m.)

Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars signed with FIU this morning adding the nation's No. 8 ranked linebacker to the Panthers defense.

Here are the 23 FIU signees thus far as of 4 p.m. today. There are still a few spots open so there could be more....stay tuned.

Pooh Bear Mars, Kenny Dillard, Wayne Times, Terrance Taylor, Rupert Bryan, Wesley Carroll, Jonathan Cyprien, Cain Elliott, Josh Forney, Jack Griffin, Dave Istanich, Derrick Jones, Darian Mallary, Giancarlo Revilla, Thatcher Starling, Markeith Russell, Austin Tottle, Rockey Vann, Jairus Williams, Derek Wimberly. Edgard Theliar, Tourek Williams and Jarrell McGee.


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YES!!!!! Mission to Mars!!


YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to the family Pooh Bear

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cant scream in the office but I'd sure love to!!

What a way to start the day! Congrats to both FIU and Pooh Bear.

GP Nation, We've landed MARS!!!!

Give this man some HONEY!!!!

incredible!!!!! way to go Mars!

I'm left speechless!
Thank you Mars!
Welcome to FIU

Talk about a way to start the morning!!
No need for a cup of coffee here at work anymore.

Thanks Pete.
Keep em' coming!!!

Simply AMAZING !!! As a proud alumnus, my thanks to Mario, Pete and the staff for putting together ONE HELL of a signing class.

Congrats to "Pooh Bear" - see you in the summer, get ready for coach Moore, ya hear !!

3....2....1....Blast OFF!!!

FIU's 4 year journey to Mars has begun.

Congrat's to Mr. Mars and the whole FIU recruiting staff. Can't wait to see the 'New and Improved' Golden Panthers hit the field come this September.

Go Panthers !!!

Great news!! Welcome to Golden Panther Nation Pooh Bear. You'll love it hear. Great business school and an opportunity to leave your legacy in FIU football.

Thank you PETE for your hard work!

Welcome Pooh!

Welcome Mars! You've made a bright choice.

Welcome to the GP nation Pooh. You're going to be a part of big things here in the next few years, but none of it cones without hard work.

Now let's see what other studs MC has landed.

BTW, congrats to MC, Pete Garcia and the FIU coaching staff for your relentless efforts in landing on Mars!! Great job folks! PROUD TO BE A GOLDEN PANTHER!!!!!

Wow, still in awe!!! I'm screaming in a whisper at the office LOL

Bro, plug him in day one, and let him ride.

Good start

Keep them coming.

Pete Any more News on some of our other Commits? not to take the attention off of Mars cause he is a stud and is well deserved of the attention but we still need to have the rest of the recruits sign on the dotted line

Yes! Good choice, young man! You will not regret your choice of an outstanding institution that is FIU. You will not only be successful on the field but, in your studies as well.

Good job MC!!

I am impressed how Mario, Pete and the rest of the staff are turning things around so quick.

Looking forward to a great season.

We need more news! How many times must I refresh this thing!

FIU just landed Theliar......he came back to the panthers!!!

groze13 where did you hear that?

rivals.com...the wire


well that was the cherry on top


Guys, remember the Mario Press Conference, as per FIU Athletics, will be broadcasted in Panther Pass at 11:00 AM...in 12 minutes!!


Yeah, it looks official. Rivals reports that WR Edgard Theliar has decided to sign with FIU instead of USF!!

Thanks for the reminder FIU Fanatic...I will be tuning in...

Awesome!!! Mars is going to be a great addition. The stars are aligning and FIU is headed to the top!!!!!!

Theliar and Pooh Bear? Is that TWO 4 star recuits? Holy mother of all things righteous!

As for the rest of this impressive class, you are all top stars and will prove to be 4 and 5 star players, regardless of the amount of recruiting stars you had.

Every single one of you that has chosen to be a G-Panther, welcome to the FIU Family!

Pete, any word on the undecided???

De Armas?
Van Dyke?

gPantera- ET was bumped down from 4 to 3 stars.. but he has major talent

Theliar was dropped to a 3 star

lol nicely put gpantera...agree 100%. Welcome to all who have signed on the dotted line as Golden Panthers!!

Theliar was downgraded to 3 stars by Scout.com from 4 star when he originally committed to FIU. Rivals and scout.com both have him as 3 stars...

I'm having trouble with presser, Pete...Is there a problem with Panther Pass?..Is that why it hasn't started yet?


Do you think you can throw one or two more updates before 5:00pm so we can have an idea of the final list that we are going to see at the Tail-Gate Party tonight? Sorry that I can't wait!! Best thing outside of TY and Cristobal that has happend to FIU football so far..

Congratulations to the Coaching staff and all of our new Golden Panthers! I look forward to an amazing season!!!

petes list is missing ET

Finally some serious football in action!!!

Who cares how many stars ET's rated, that cat's 6-3, he gives us size and a great set of hands.

T.Y. & ET


any news from the Press Conference

AMEN, saint.

Saint your 100% correct.. im just trying to "Police" whats said that way people like CC dont come in all crazy like and we can keep this blog strickly about the recruits coming in rather than # of stars a kid is

Don't forget Wayne Times. I can see him running the WildPanther at FIU!!!

Very impressive class...Season tickets...here I come.

Go Panthers !!!

Ok, Mars & ET are pleasant surprises.... But, I wanna here more names I did not expect. Sorry for being greedy.

I hear you CJ.

You know one cat nobody talks about that I really like is Rocky Vann. Keep an eye on him.

Great to have you, Pooh Bear and all you other guys. Welcome to the FIU Family! :)

i think we are all guilty of this kind of greed... so your foregivin lol!

Yes you are... LOL....What about Leslie Tripp? A 6-0/275 OL from Cypress Bay...1st Team All Broward and 6A 2nd Team All State.

But you know what?..I agree with you...I want more...

Wow grabbing ET from USF...

Can't wait for opening day at the CAGE

we have to keep this up!

Seems like we got a real thumper at safety in this kid from Cocoa, Fl

Meet Jarrell McGee


im really intersted in seeing how Jarius Williams from Central (6-5" WR) will be used.. along w/ ET WT, and TY and Junior Mertile and G Ellingson.. we areSTOCKED at the WR position

I think we need to get our season tickets now....before they raise the prices after a recruiting class like this....lol


Seems like we got a real thumper at safety in this kid from Cocoa, FL. When this cat hits you...you go down.

Meet Jarrell McGee


Can't wait to hear "Mars Attacks!" after a QB sack for the next 4 years.

we should name a candy bar after this guy!

Its great to have such an impressive signing class this year....FIU football is going places!!! We are going to a bowl game this year. GO FIU!

''FIU felt like home for me,'' Williams said. ``I know they're an up and coming program, and I want to be a part of the big thing Coach [Mario] Cristobal and FIU is building down there.''

damn rivals.com still hasn't updated FIU's recruiting class... they haven't added mars and added our players who have signed letters of intent today

The traffic on the blog is great, but in order to truly be taken serious as a football force to be reckoned with we MUST FILL THAT STADIUM.

Every home game regardless of the opponent, and really create a home field advantage.

Has anyone been on Panther Pass to see the signing day press conference? I can log in but i can't get it to play. Anyone else having this trouble?

same problem here

Yeah....Panther Pass didn't work.....

Pete, any more news? No other RB signed besides Darian Mallary? I know Markeith Russell,Derrick Jones Jr, and McGee played some RB in high school/JUCO, but that was their 'secondary' position....


1)How many more scholarships do we have left?

2) Is there anyone left from the Top 50 in the state of florida that did not sign?

Maybe we can still pick-up one or two more big time players from our back yard.. It's great to live in a state full of talent..

Can't wait till tonights tail-gate

Awesome !! FIU is going to keep getting better and better. Mario Cristobal is the hardest working coach out there. Just a matter of time before the band wagon jumpers join in a FIU fans. Someday, FIU will be to UM as UCLA is to USC in LA>.

I can't believe I have to stay late at work today! ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGg.

I'm so excited about next year right now. I was gonna buy season tickets at FIU today but now I'm stuck here.


Pete, can you tell us which of these were last minute deals?


Pete any news on McLoud, Angrade and Franklin????

This is a great class, I am very excited, but I think there is still room for more linemen.
To all the new Panther, welcome to the GPP Family, you have made a good decision.

Someone tell FIU that their Signing Day Conference on PantherPass is impossible to hear over all the noise.


Can you write who we are still holding out for at this point?

This is what im talking about...What a class!!! Pooh Bear & ET are going to be sick!!! Wayne Times & Darion Mallory, watch out!! Yo im so fired up, F>>>>I>>>>U is on its way!!!

Hey Pete,

Your reports leading up through today have been great; keep up the great work.

...this has been a great class and it looks like things are certainly going up for FIU football...

How many scholarships will FIU have available for next year?

Also, what happened to De Armas? You didn't put him on the list.

What's going on fellow panthers? Long time reader, first time poster. I just wanted to chime in and first of all, give thanks to MC for the extraordinary effort he's putting forth at our school.

Secondly, I honestly believe it is in our best interest right now to make a move to a BCS conference as soon as possible. I originally agreed with most contributers of this blog, win as much as possible in the SBC. But taking a page from the Dolphins 2008 season... "why not us?"

After much deliberation, I believe we should take action while we're hot. We've just had, by far, our best recruiting class in history (check out ESPN FIU recruiting from past years), and in order to bring in more and more talent, we need to take the next step. We need to give these Southern Florida recruits a reason to want to stay down here and battle for a BCS game.

I say we start a petition, who's with me??

Sounds like we got a good class of kids... on paper, probably the best ever in FIU history... but here's hoping we also got a bunch of hard-hat types who come to work all day, every day to build a winner. That kind of info is what is so often missing from all these recruiting "experts" when it comes to analyzing kids. From the looks of it, MC and the staff is pretty good at spotting that kind of kid and getting them in here.

I also hope that Mars and all the coming highly-rated recruits will remember that those ratings were often made and hyped by people who don't know much about football. There's only one way to prove yourselves, boys, and that's on the field. Get it done.

At long last, recruiting season is over. Thank God. Maybe now we can get back to talking about sports whose seasons are actually going on right now (men's hoops) or about to be (baseball).

And as for you, LonePanther... you might not be alone in your petition, but you won't see me joining you. FIU is, at a bare minimum, 5 years from joining a major conference. Probably more, since suitable basketball facilities need to be built. Let's make do with what we got in the SBC and worry about conference moves later. Like, when FIU's ready to do that.

Welcome all of the new Golden Panthers! These will be the best 4 years of your life! Go FIU!

Your not alone LonePanther, I'll sign the petition and many other would.

We can have our eyes on the next step while also being realistic and working on the missing pieces (an expanded b-ball arena, better crowds)

The thing so many fans in SOFLA forget is that those are easy TASKS that can be addressed,

the pieces we DO have for that jump,... 97% of schools can only dream of ever having (deepest local talent base in the USA, major TV market, and great weather)

CC, FIU has a history making extraordinary jumps, sometimes prematurely. Take a look at our medicine program, how quickly did that spring up? It's FIU nature to go big and go now. keep in mind, we were also the youngest team to make the switch from subdivision football to division 1-A.

as the OC said, we have all the pieces in play. realistically, you cannot expect for our football and baseball programs to be in immediate contention in a BSC conference; but we'd be on our way. the other sports will eventually catch on, no school is a power house in eeeeevery sport. build it, and they will come.

if I knew or thought my school would never live up to being a BCS-worthy program, then I would not argue that notion. BUT, I see the strides FIU is making and I believe we're capable of moving up in ranks faster than most would give us credit for.



Congratulations to all of them, and go panthers!

Any word on the Chris De armas kid we still need some help on the o-line and he would be a great jump start....

LonePanther: You just made my point.

"FIU has a history making extraordinary jumps, sometimes prematurely."

That's the truth. And since when was making premature moves a smart idea? Especially with the stakes as high as they are. FIU, realistically, may only have one shot to prove they're up there with UF, UM and FSU. You want to blow that by making a conference jump that the GP's aren't ready for? You want to blow that by going into, say, the Big East, and be the league's whipping boy right off the bat? Not to mention being sub-par in terms of fan base, money and facilities as well? Boy, all that would sure fire up the fan base, wouldn't it?

Take a trip back to Year 3 of FIU football... when, as you said, they decided to move up to D-I. What you didn't mention is that FIU did it without having a winning record in I-AA, a solid fan base, suitable recruits, suitable coaching, proper compliance, enough money or a decent football stadium.

We all know what happened next... NCAA sanctions. Loss of scholarships. A winless season in 2006. FIU consistently being the worst team in arguably the worst conference in I-A football. And let's not forget one hell of an embarrasing fight against UM that made FIU look like an absolute joke on both a local and national scale.

How about we take a step back and realize that FIU needs time? How about we just sit back and let PG, MC and everyone else go about their business? Sure, FIU has advantages other schools can only dream of, but the school isn't in position yet to utilize them properly. It's like trying to drill for oil without building the pipeline. Not smart.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither will FIU. I know it looks like that sometimes, but there's nothing wrong with taking your time and making sure things are done right. I could make a great argument that it's precisely that "get things done now" attitude which makes FIU both a great school and a frustrating one. I, like you, believe we can get to a big level quickly. But if FIU does it too quick, things may crash down again. I'd rather the admin take their time and do it right the first time.

Build up the facilities... get the fans... get the money... get the talent... and then we can talk about conference moves.


If this is the logic we are going to use, then I should not expand my business into markets where my competition has a strong-hold ??

Nope, I disagree....If I have the right management team and staff in place, financial fitness and the will to succeed, then there is no stopping me. I might be an organization, that is diminutive or new in contrast to my competition, but if I harp on the fact that my competition is more accomplished than I - well that's a recipe for mediocrity. I'd rather strive to compete with the BIG TIME, take my lumps and learn how to compete at that level.

BIG EAST is in the works......from reliable sources, a move takes time to orchestrate and no better time to start planning, than now.


Lets be honest, we don't have a solid fan base because we don't have a consistent winning team. Period. Not only that, but even if we did have a consistently winning team, you know people would point and note that we're doing it against sub-par competition. Everyone down here is a UM fan because they're the big time winning school. UM has a tremendous fan base throughout the city even though perhaps only 10% of those fans actually attended that school. The other 90% barely graduated high school or attained a very prestigious diploma from miami dade CC.

Now, if we can steal some of that UM thunder, we'd be the new hot stuff around town. You'd see the flocks of bandwagoners running to see our games. That's the way Miami is. Did you not listen to the radio during this year's BCS title game? Since when did Miami become a UF town??? Bandwagoners.

There is a reason why FIU schedules games against big football programs. 1) our opponents think of it as a freebie and 2) what won't kill you, makes you stronger.

So what if we initially begin our BCS year as a 2 - 10 team? How can you prove that we'd be anymore prepared as SBC champs? At least we'd be getting national exposure and being mentioned with elite teams around the nation. Have you seen the final power rankings of the year? Did you see where the SBC champs ranked? Yeah, they were lower-mid pack. No respect.

If you honestly believe the solution here is to wait 10 years until we can be champions of every damn sport in SBC, then we'd be achieving nothing more than just wasting more time. I'm not saying, lets move to the Big East next year, but what I am saying is, lets get this started NOW!!!

Let build on this excitement NOW!!!

CC, I know what you're getting at, and normally I would agree with you, especially if things weren't going to good at this point. And guess what? Things just got good this past season. We won 5 games, were 3 minutes from a bowl game, and are getting top-tier recruits. Why? Because of our get ambitious and relentless strategy to achieve success. According to your mode of thinking, we'd probably still be in D-1AA. We wouldn't have a new stadium, and there would be ZERO excitement for our program.

Notice how people are starting to look our way, especially in the media. Notice how people listen to Coach Cristobal and all of a sudden believe in what he's selling. Thinking big has put us in a PERFECT position to achieve success! Sure, we've had our bumps and bruises along the way, but they are starting to pay dividends.

I would be extremely happy if by around 2014 or 2015 we make the jump to a BCS conference. At that time, we should (and WILL) be dominating the Sun Belt. Our athletic facilities will be completely upgraded in most sports and our fan base will have grown substantially. Just look at the difference two years has made, imagine 5 or six years by now! We will be ready. We're not talking about a jump to the Big East next year here. But establishing ambitious goals and benchmarks is what will bring success.

Well, CC did say he'd want to wait another 5 years until FIU was ready... and that would be for 2014.

personally, I would love to push for something along the lines of 2012.

Been gone for a while working hard, but after speaking with a few people I don't expect FIU to make a jump into the Big East anytime soon, especially considering what's gone down the past month, USF will be lobbying against FIU joining. Just thought I'd pass that along.

USF is one team. What about Rutgers? Louisville? Plus any other teams we might start scheduling from the Big East. Plus the fact that we are in Miami will definetly make us a frontrunner in any type of expansion talks they may have planned in the future (whenever that is).

There are 7 million reasons why THE BIG EAST would explore an FIU invite...The viewing audience from Palm Beach to Homestead dwarfs USFs TV market. Additionally, the amount of NE transplants that graduated from BIG EAST schools and living in South Florida is huge.

Hmmm, best recruiting market in the nation, great weather, elite tourist destination and awesome location for conference leadership retreats ? Orange Bowl BCS ties....

Great way to give that other school across the ocean, as Lamar Thomas so eloquently put it.....circa Oct 2006, THE FINGER !! as they bounced from the BIG EAST with VaTech and BC and left the conference high and dry.

This is a NO brainer.

I agree with the two previous posts. the Big East has basically fallen off the map. They already lost U of Miami which was their biggest market. Why wouldn't they be interested in acquiring an even BIGGER market from the same city? Wouldn't that be a nice way to stick it to UM?

USF can lobby all they want, but at the end of the day, what do you think the Big East will do? the Big East will do what's in their best interests, not USF's.

Love the energy here guys.

I also think FIU should start planning a Conf move. I know the fan base isn't there but games against known rivals will fill the cage no doubt. Better to fight with the big boys and maybe start 2-10 than being 10-2 in the sbc for 10 years.

Sounds like we're arguing over form here. I think 5 years is possible for FIU to enter a BCS-type conference. I think 10 years is the more realistic goal. There's a lot of pieces that need to fall into place, and it's not all in FIU's control. After all, the BE has to want to expand, and there's no guarantee that they will. They may just stick with being a major basketball conference... after all, expanding in football means real complications on the basketball side. They do have a lot of basketball-only schools, y'know.

Regardless of what BCS conference it is, that long-term goal won't be reached unless the short-term goals are reached. And those would be getting better in SBC play, getting bigger crowds, getting more money and getting better facilities. To name a few.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong... if I am, sorry... but I don't know why some of you seem to think that the Big East (or any other BCS conference) would take FIU if they can't reach all or most of those short-term goals before they make it in. So what if FIU's in a major TV market or in a very fertile football recruiting area? It doesn't mean squat if you can't draw more than flies to your games, or raise money, or get better facilities. No BCS-type conference will take a project school in. You gotta bring something to the table for the Big Easts of the world to take you seriously. And "potential" is NOT the something they want. The Sun Belts will take potential. The Big Easts will not.

Remember, folks... when Miami entered the Big East, they had won national titles in football and baseball. They had a solid fan base. They had decent facilities. FIU has none of that right now. And, if they go into the BE and get drubbed like a pinata early on, do you really believe, LP, that the fans will keep coming to games? I, for one, dount it. Especially the bandwagon types. If you don't win, they don't come, and it doesn't matter who you play. That's how it works.

With all due respect, Joel, a 5-7 football record in the Sun Belt is not "good". That does not make a fan base grow and get excited. It's better than what we've seen from FIU lately, and it's definitely progress. But that's not "good". "Good" is what FAU's done... be in the hunt for a conference title and go to bowl games. FIU needs to be "great" for a move to a BCS conference to be realistic, along with better facilities, money and a much stronger fan base which will come to games no matter who FIU's playing. I'm not saying we have to wax the SBC for 10 years, but a good 2-3 year stretch would be nice.

Thinking "big" means nothing if you don't have a good plan. Those bumps and bruises Joel talked about? They weren't really growing pains... not most of them. They came in large part because of shoddy planning. I'd like for FIU to not go through that again. Fortunately, we seem to have leadership which understands how to get things done.

Barack Obama ??

Look, 5-7 is not good. You're right. But I'm saying this year proved that in the VERY NEAR FUTURE we will be going to bowl games and dominating the Sun Belt. It's not a matter of IF, but of WHEN. Strock and Co. didn't have a strong plan. Cristobal and Garcia DO have that plan, and no one can say it hasn't been working thus far. We went from a team that was 1-23 in two season to a 5-7 team that came three minutes away from a bowl game. Come on, at least we can agree that that is a HUGE improvement and that the future under Cristobal is very bright.

For the sake of argument, let's look ahead for a second. In five years, I see us having established ourselves as a Sun Belt powerhouse, a completed stat-of-the-art stadium with fantastic facilities, and a steadily growing fan base.

Cristobal and Co. have a plan and they have people that BELIEVE in that plan (as seen by this year's terrific recruiting class). Now that we have been blessed with this amazing coaching staff, we can start dreaming big.

Yes, we have to be ready to compete in whatever BCS conference we may decide to join from DAY ONE. I'm anticipating that day will not be ten years, but probably five years from now. I think from this year forward, we will be going bowling. Every year. I'm willing to argue that. I hope I'm right. And I believe in the vision of Cristobal and Co.

Plus, does the Big East really have the luxury in choosing teams with national championships under their belt to join? I think not. Those days were finished once UM and V-Tech jumped ship.

This ain't Strock and Co. anymore.

Pete, can you give us an update on how the coaches are viewing the remaining scholarships left to fill? What's the word on Jereome Swinton, Descion Baskerville, and the two JC OL Toiaivao and Schulte?

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