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13 posts from February 2009

February 26, 2009

Spring Tour: D-Line; MC Q&A LIVE BLOG on TUESDAY 11 AM-12 NOON

LAKELAND -- If there is one area on defense where FIU could improve upon from last season it's in the pass rush and pressure on the quarterback begins with the defensive line's play.

FIU had 18 sacks last season led by Quentin Newman's 4 sacks and Robert Mitchell's 3 sacks. Overall, the FIU D-line had 10 of the 18 sacks, but FIU's defense should be able to get into the 20's and maybe 30's with bigger players this season and more talent on the way.Mc  

Before we get into this spring's D-line, still here in Lakeland with the junior WNBA finals going on, but spoke with MC this morning and he says he's good to do a LIVE Q&A BLOG taking your questions this coming Tuesday, March 3 -- the day before spring football practice begins.

The LIVE Q&A BLOG will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 12 noon on Tuesday right here on the GPP. So stop what you're doing at work on Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 12 and join us here on the GPP.

If you're in Miami, your boss will understand, because 1 out of every 2 college graduates in South Florida is an FIU graduate anyway so tell him or her to join us on here too. Back to the D-line.

As you know, spring practice is a time for reserves and younger players to shine, but more than ever that will be the case for the D-line, because of several injuries.

That Expected to miss all or most of spring ball are the following D-linemen: Jonathan Jackson (foot), James Jones (knee -- likely the entire 2009 season --redshirt), Reggie Jones (foot) and Andre Pound (shoulder).

Thatcher Starling (left) joins the remaining linemen: Ricky Booker, Armond Willis, Kambriel Willis, Jonas Murrell, Cody Pellicer, Deiondrick Roberts, Kasey Smith, Justin West, Donnell Wilson, Curtis Bryant and Jonathan Nieves.

This spring could be key for DL like Booker, Wilson and Bryant to get the coaches attention heading into fall practice.

Kambriel and Pellicer will get to show off whatever gains they've made in the weight room after coming to FIU a little undersized.

Ksmith A couple of DL to keep an eye on this spring are Smith (left) and Pound (below, right), if Pound AP is ready to return from shoulder surgery. Both Smith and Pound were redshirted last season, even though Smith played in one game (opener at Kansas).

Smith and Pound were dominant at times working with the scout defense last season. Each has the ability to crack the playing rotation. Doesn't Pound have a great last name for a defensive lineman?

Apaw

We'll take a look at the linebackers in our next spring tour.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

PLP Consulting: Pete, Any additional news on possible transfers? The other day I heard that George Baker of USF, a former A.B.Carroll standout, is transferring to FIU along with Quavon Taylor.

PP: Baker might be headed toward FIU, but nothing concrete yet. Taylor is doing some work at a JUCO and then is expected to join the Panthers, but would have to sit out the 2009 season and be ready to play in 2010. If Baker makes his way to Miami, then he too would have to sit in 2009 and play in 2010.

ridgepanther: any news on coach for defense?

PP: Nothing yet on new defensive line coach.

Joel: On a sidenote, is there ANY place that is selling FIU football jerseys (the authentic ones, or at Jer least replicas of the authentic ones) besides the bookstore?

PP: Not yet, but the jerseys will eventually make their way to Sports Authority and other stores and be less than $200. That price is a bit too much for a football jersey, even if it's autographed by the entire 2009 Sun Belt champions FIU team.

Ok, the end of that previous statement was to get you riled up. But you never know.

FIU_GPanther: how bout blue bottoms and white tops??? id like to see that combination.....with gold helmets. :)

PP: Blue pants and white tops is one of FIU's choices for road uniforms (thanks Sam Lewis photo). Let's drop the gold helmets Whiteblue already. We've beaten that topic to death here on the GPP. Let's all move on, get a cup of coffee and get on with our lives.

jm: pete, will you be giving us reports after each spring practice?

PP: That's the plan on the GPP and there will be some feature stories written in the print MH that will also appear on the FIU webpage of the MH on-line.

CJ: pete not sure if you went over this, but of the current list of seniors that just graduated do any of them have a chance to sign undrafted FA contracts this upcoming year (who, if any, in your opinion) and if there is that chance is FIU holding a Pro-day workout? what about next years prospects?

PP: First of all, great line with the MC Hammer pants. Started laughing out loud in the Lakeland mediaHammer room. And TheChampionUnderdog had a good one too with the Project Runway reference. Glad to see there are several FIU fans that also watch cable TV's fashion shows.

I think of the recent grads, Robert Mitchell probably has the best chance to catch on as a free agent somewhere. RM knows how to play football. Carlos Munera has a strong enough leg to maybe get a look and maybe Jarvis Penerton.

FIU has a Pro Day every year. At the last Pro Day, heard that scouts really liked Jeremiah Weatherspoon and Anthony Gaitor. Among next year's prospects, JW might have the best shot with his size. Big years this season out of Reggie Jones and Jonas Murrell could get them a look somewhere. Ula Matavao has the potential as well.

FIUJM: Pete, of our OL recruits that we just signed; in your opinion who has the best shot to earn some playing time? I know it's very difficult to play in O-line as a freshmen, but you never know.

PP: From what I've heard speaking to high school coaches and others involved with these players, Rupert Bryan (left) and Dave Istanich have a chance to play their first seasons and so does Austin Tottle. FIU returns   Rupert a veteran O-line, but injuries can hit at any moment. How could anyone forget Bryan's blocking on the highlight video and how he caught from behind an opposing defensive back about 60 yards downfield. DI and AT enter FIU at 300+ pounds so there's a good start right there. Now they have to show something on the field.

SouthPaw: Hey Pete, is it true that Wendy Napoleon will be back on the squad this Spring? Do the coaches plan to use Kambriel at LB any this year?

PP: Napoleon looks like he's going to give it another shot. Before getting hurt, he was mentioned in the same class as the Killer B's of Barnes, Bostic and Bouie back when Wendy joined FIU. Kambriel might be experimented at LB, but from what I've heard coaches like him on the D-line.

Apaw

The people and Project Runway have spoken: don't mess with FIU's home unis and keep it blue on Heidi blue. 59% of you like B&B, while 41% prefer blue tops and white pants. I voted for the latter. Maybe FIU can use the blue top/white pants combo for special home games sort of like the Dolphins do when they wear their aqua tops/white pants for their home games...just a thought, because Project Runway's Heidi Klum and I both like the blue & white.


February 25, 2009

Spring Tour: O-Line

LAKELAND -- In 8 days your Panthers take the field for the opening of spring practice next WednesdayOl , March 4 at 3:15 p.m. at FIU Stadium.

Let's wrap up the spring tour for the FIU offense with a look at the offensive line (We'll start looking at the FIU D on the next post). Appropriate enough since on the drive up to Lakeland today saw some big horses along I-75 somewhere between Port Charlotte and Venice that made me think of the FIU O-line.

Saw some cows too, but no cow tipping going on, Baltimore Panther. Was going to put a cow Cowgirls tipping photo on here, but figure you good people would appreciate a Cowgirls photo instead.

Did play some golf to pass the time until the WNBA junior state finals begin on Wednesday. Won't be at the FIU hoopsters Thursday game, but good old FIU Voice Roman will be covering for me and you can read his thoughts in Friday's Miami Herald.

The Panthers starting O-line should be a veteran group this season, but the spring is for the reserves and youngsters to make an impression upon O-line coach Greg Laffere and former o-linemen, head coach Mario Cristobal and OC Bill Legg.

The projected starting line O-line for 2009 is LT Ula Matavao, LG Andy Leavine, C Brad Serini, RG Mario Caraballo and RT Joe Alajajian, but that could all change with a solid spring from some other O-linemen and big fall camps from incoming Panthers: Rupert Bryan, Dave Istanich, Giancarlo Revilla, Austin Tottle and Derek Wimberly.

Sb For now let's take a look at the reserves that could make a name for themselves this spring and heading into fall practice in August.

Two guys to keep an eye on starting next Wednesday are Stephen Bailey (left), who at 6-6, 270+ and Kenny White (right) at 260+ redshirted their freshman seasons last year, but with another season in the weight room could be ready to have an impact on the FIU O-line.

White, who had never played center before, worked at the position last year on the scout offense. He White could backup Serini or could find himself at his high school position of guard. We shall see in the spring.

At 300+ pounds, Javon Hill has the size to make noise for some playing time. JH missed last season after being academically ineligible, but should be good to go this season. Let's see what he brings this spring.

Nothing new on Cedric Mack for the spring. Ari "esteban688" Gold could give us the latest if there is anything new, but last I heard CMack is not expected at spring ball. That NCAA has got more Gold red tape than a gift wrapping store at Christmas time. Geez, NCAA let CMack play already.

Among the other O-linemen looking to impress this spring are: Saf Ahmad, Michael Alls, Devon Dickerson, Chad Edwards, Juan Gonzalez, Luis Pena and James Wiggins.

Chris Cawthon, who played well last season before going down with a knee tear at North Texas, will likely miss the spring as he recovers.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

Q&A

FIURage: Are the recruits starting in the Fall allowed to practice with the team this Spring?

PP: Only Wesley Carroll, Thatcher Starling and Jack Griffin will be available to practice this spring. The other 20 new Panthers will start practice in August.

FIUPantherFan: Pete, a question for you, what's going on with Bermudez, he started the first game and had the first AB, but was then taken out for Vargas, is he injured and if so, when is he coming back?

PP: Bermudez tweaked a hamstring in the season opener against Jacksonville. He missed last Saturday's game, but pinch-hit on Sunday and drew a walk. Turtle sent a pinch-runner in for him when he reached first base. Hopefully, with a full week of rest before the next game on Friday against Brown, Bermudez will be ready for the tough tournament this weekend in Carolina where FIU plays a doubleheader against Brown, then plays single games against No. 20 Coastal Carolina and Tennessee.

Apaw

To follow up SouthPaw's post, let's add an FIU football uniform question to our regular football question:


February 23, 2009

Spring Tour: WRs & TEs (Updated with new spring practice date)

Back to our spring football tour to get you ready for when your Panthers hit the field again.

The opening of Spring Practice has been moved up to next Wednesday, March 4 at 3:15 p.m. at FIU Stadium. That first week the Panthers will also practice on Friday, March 6 at 3:15 and Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m.

Ty New date for the spring game is Friday, April 3. Moved up, because Friday, April 10 is Good Friday.

Right now the strength of the FIU offense are its wide receivers and that will only get stronger come August when ET, Wayne Times, Rockey Vann and 6-5 Jairus Williams arrive.

Goodbye (left, thanks Sam Lewis), Greg Ellingson and Junior Mertile established themselves as the top 3 WR last season. Beyond that trio it could be wide open for playing time in 2009. Although you would imagine ET and WT will see plenty of the field when they put on the blue and gold.

FIU uses a ton of receivers in its spread offense so it's always good for the Panthers to have depth. This spring will be crucial for several receivers trying to get more playing time.

Toward the latter part of the 2008 season, Jason Frierson (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez) came on and contributed. He figures to be, Frier along with Jeremy Dickens (below left, AJH photo) and Marquis Rolle, the favorites to possibly get into the receiving rotation for the 2009 season. But they will have to catch the FIU coaches eyes this spring.

Frierson, a junior, has shown to have good hands during his first 2 Dickens seasons at FIU. Dickens, who the other receivers call the "Godfather" since he is the eldest of the group, has been bothered by injuries throughout his FIU career, but when healthy makes plays. Rolle is the WR we've been waiting to see break out and maybe this is the season the junior makes his mark. Rolle has had terrific springs at FIU now he's got to carry it into the regular season.

Gf Kendall Berry (returning from ACL tear), Elliott Dix and Reggie Thompson also need to have great springs to challenge for playing time.

Over at tight end, starter Eric Kirchenberg returns, but look for Jonathan Faucher and Joey Harris to get plenty of work during the spring to see who emerges as the No. 2 TE and maybe even get a leg up on the starting job come 2010.

Faucher showed some athleticism last season in limited duty and coaches really like his potential. Harris redshirted last season, but has good size for a TE at 6-3 and 240+ lbs.

John Ellis is back for his senior season as a hybrid TE/fullback. Ellis showed he can get downfield last spring hauling in some deep passes.

We'll take a look at the O-line on the next post.

LogoPANTHER PAWSE

Apaw Looking to bring FIU coach Mario Cristobal on the GPP either next Monday or Tuesday for a LIVE BLOG Q & A with you good people. You ask the questions, MC Mc answers.

Once we settle on a day and time, I will have that information on here for you.Apaw 

Nice start by the FIU baseball team taking 2 of 3 from a tough Jacksonville team over the weekend. What a difference starting pitching makes: new starters Scott Rembisz  (left, SL photo) and Tom Ebert combined for 12 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 18 Ks.

Plus, solid starts by Tyler Townsend, Junior Arrojo and newcomers Tim Jobe, Raiko Alfonso, Mike Rem Martinez and although he had shaky start to his college career look for Garrett Wittels to be a major contributor both with the bat and the glove.

The Panthers do have to be more careful on the field -- 10 errors over the weekend won't help you win too many games.

Apaw

Here are the entries for our Win A GPP Baseball Blog:

FIUUuu (40-16, 392 runs); Baltimore Panther (37-19, Regionals, 409); Posterchild (37-19, Regionals, 449); Joel (36-20, Regionals, 410); Roman (36-20, Regionals, 385); Baseball Fan (35-21, Regionals, 420); Clawing Cancer (35-21, Regionals, 400); FIU_GPanther (35-21, Regionals, 408); Max (35-21, SBC finals, 401);  FIUBlueandGold (34-22, Super Reg, 392); FIUcanesFan (34-22, Regionals, 409); FIUPantherFan (33-23, SBC semis, 370); OC Panther (33-23, Regionals, 425); 2006PA (32-24, SBC champs, 320); FIU Fanatic (31-25, SBC semis, 402); Yandro (30-26, SBC semis, 374); Gooch7 (29-27, SBC semis, 390); TheChampionUnderdog (26-30, no postseason, 385); Crazy Cane (25-31, Regionals, 350).    

GPP Q & A

Jsuarez88: Pete, any word on AJ Grant or Dannehower? Will either play for FIU?

PP: Neither will play for FIU. Grant is not coming to FIU and Dannehower is no longer on the team.

KJHarris02: Hey Pete, how did the Walk on Football try outs go?

PP: There will be some walk-ons participating with the Panthers during spring ball, but they'd have to have a huge spring to stay with the team come August when fall practice starts. With Daunte Owens and Trenard Turner out for the spring, there will be some walk-on running backs working with Darriet Perry this spring.

SouthPaw: Pete, can you give us any update on any potential FIU transfers (DeArmas, Q Taylor) and Q signees?

PP: Chris De Armas might join the team in the fall, depends on how many more scholies FIU has available. Last I heard, the number of scholies left to give is still unclear. Quavon Taylor is taking some classes in a JUCO to become eligible and join FIU. Taylor would sit out this season and be ready to play for FIU in 2010.

Baltimore Panther: Pete enjoy your trip, and if you get bored you can always go cow tipping.

PP: Lakeland is not that boring, but just in case will keep an eye out for cows.

Apaw 
Back to the football poll questions. This time tell us which receiver/tight end will have the best spring and help himself for more playing this fall.


February 20, 2009

Big Shot Raul; FIU Baseball Opening Day

Raul Good win for the FIU hoopsters last night on a last second 3 by Raul. Jor No, this is not another Jerrell Lamb sighting or Sidd Finch (pitching, below right).

Raul is the nickname Alex Galindo (left, photo thanks Alex J. Hernandez) has been given by SR, because as the FIU coach puts it, "teams know who Alex is when we say pass the ball to Alex, so we call him Raul".Sidd

Might have to change that alias for Western Kentucky. Maybe similar versions to Raul such as Paul, Saul, Haul or Maul.

Huge game by Michael Dominguez (below right, AJH photo) with 24 points. MD has a great basketball IQ, always knowing where to pass and knowing where to be when the other team has the ball. MD made the pass to Raul for the game-winner.

Good point by FIU Fanatic, this team showed last night that it is capable Md of winning the Sun Belt if it plays like it did Thursday night.

I thought it was probably the most complete and best game that FIU hoops played this season and against the Sun Belt's top team in Troy. Even a friend of mine, who is a die-hard FIU fan, text me saying: who is this team wearing FIU's uniforms tonight?

Could be the real deal if they play like they did on Thursday.

Like SR said after the game, the next game against Western Kentucky "will let us know if we are for real, because not too many teams go into Western and win."

Base PLAY BALL

As the great Vin Scully (right) used to say when he was the play-by-play man for NBC's Saturday Baseball Vin Game of the Week back in the 1980's: "It's a gorgeous day for baseball, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the grass is gleaming". Now let's see what the new and improved version of FIU baseball can do starting less than 2 hours from now.

The pitching should be improved with some solid new starters and 4 lefties, which FIU had only 1 last season in Corey Polizzano and he was a starter.

Saw a lot of the Panthers using more of the whole field at the plate during practices and when you do that good things happen for the team and to your batting average.

Will be getting back to our spring tour of FIU football on the next post. After tonight's home opener, will be on the road for 6 of the next 7 days covering Marlins spring training in Jupiter and then some state high school basketball championships in Lakeland so there will be plenty of down time for FIU blogging after my work for the day is done, because there is not much to do in Jupiter and Lakeland.

  

February 18, 2009

Spring Tour: RBs Depth; Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition) Still Open

Back to the FIU gridiron and our spring tour to get you ready for the opening of spring practice on March 6.

Staying in the offensive backfield, one thing that could be a concern for your Panthers entering the 2009Dp season could be a lack of depth at running back. FIU had some depth last season, but after Julian Reams, A'mod Ned, Daunte Owens and Trenard Turner were all banged up, it became the Darriet Perry Show and what a show it was. (thanks, Sam Lewis photos)

Someone should make a t-shirt with an image of DP carrying 3 Hooters on his back with the words "Perry Towing" inscribed on the front and I'm not talking about the pretty Hooters waitresses. Although, I'm sure DP wouldn't mind that.

Entering spring ball, FIU has DP, DO and TT. JR and AN have graduated and Darian Mallary joins the fun in August.

The reason I think depth could be an issue is because we have not seen DP go through an entire college season carrying the load and DO has been hurt the past 2 seasons. Don't get me wrong, when DO is healthy, he can run the ball as we saw in spurts last season against North Texas and Troy.

Turner The guy to keep an eye on during spring ball is Turner (left). FIU coaches raved about his off-season last year and TT could have played a bigger role in the FIU O until he tore his knee. TT is deceptively quick and as we saw in 2007 can catch the ball out of the backfield. Who knows, if he has a strong spring and fall camp maybe he moves up the depth chart.

Mallary will play, because he is T.Y.-quick and might be even faster than Goodbye -- their race is tentatively scheduled for August, maybe earlier. If it wasn't college, Ferrari might be willing to sponsor it.

But Mallary might have to put on some weight to become RB2. Either way, eventually, look for him to be an integral part of the FIU O.

There could be other RBs walking-on, but nothing for sure yet. Maybe Shawn Bright can become eligible. Even though FIU has an army of talented receivers, the Panthers want a balanced O and the running game will be important again.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw The last possible minute to get in your FIU Baseball predictions for our Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition or Media Guide) is at 6:59 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20 -- that would be 1 minute before the scheduled first pitch of the regular season against Jacksonville. Need won-loss record, how far FIU gets in the postseason and how many runs FIU will score this season. (Postseason and runs are first and second tiebreakers, respectively)Base

Catch the FIU Baseball Preview here: FIU Play Ball

GPP Q & A

Yandro: Pete, by the way, can you find out about the 2009 FIU Baseball Media guide online?

PP: It should be on there in the next few days.

Ultimate FIU Fan: I'm not making any predictions for baseball. I thought TT would do better last year, especially how he was trumpeted by all including Pete. Is Robert Mitchell @ the NFL combines?

PP: Like Bill Parcells says, "If you want me to cook the dinner, you have to let me buy the groceries." TT inherited DP's team in his 1st season, just like MC inherited DS's team. Give La Tortuga a shot and see Tuna what he does with his groceries. There are only 3 returning starters (Ryan Mollica, Tyler Townsend and Steven Stropp) on the baseball team this season, along with regular pitchers Corey Polizzano and Jorge Marban. 21 of the 31 players on the FIU baseball roster are playing their first season at FIU this season. TT's eye for talent is different from DP's -- as the No. 15 recruiting class (FIU) in the nation shows. Only the Gators and Central Florida were ranked higher in the state of Florida. I'll look into RM and Indy.

Gooch7: Pete I have one question for you: Do you know anything about the rebuilding of the new Soccer/Track Stadium?

PP: Have not heard anything. From my understanding the FIU to-do list is: football stadium, hoops arena and then next is TBD (to be determined).

Apaw Which RB needs this spring more than any other. Vote and tell us why in the comments section.

February 16, 2009

Strong Finish/Strong Start Needed; Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition)

Start of an important week for FIU hoops and baseball in next few days.

Agal With 4 games left in the regular season, the Panthers hoops team is battling with 4 other Sun Belt teams for the 2 remaining spots to host a 1st round Sun Belt game. At 5-9 in SBC play, FIU is neck and neck with Louisiana (6-8), Arkansas State and ULM (both 5-9) and New Orleans (5-10) for the final 2 home game berths in the tourney's 1st round. Coming off a last second loss to South Alabama where Alex Galindo (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez) drained 8 3-pointers, FIU plays next vs. Troy at home on Thursday and has 3 of its final 4 games at the Bank (at Western Kentucky, home vs. Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic). FIU needs to start the SBC tourney at home, because it does not travel well with a 2-11 road record.

The FIU baseball team, led by All-Sun Belters Tyler Townsend and Ryan Mollica (below left to right, thanks Sam Lewis), opens the 2009 season with a 3-game series against a tough Jacksonville team at home on Friday night at 7 p.m. It should be an improved Panthers squad with better pitching and a pretty good freshman class that should see some playing time from the beginning. You can catch the FIU baseball preview in Thursday's MH in print and on-line. Junior right-hander Scott Rembisz, the Florida JUCO Pitcher of the Year, is scheduled to be the FIU Opening Day starter.

Blog Last year nobody won the 1st annual Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition) after everyone predicted tooFiubase lofty a record for the Panthers, who finished 20-36. So we'll try it again this season. The person to guess FIU baseball's final record or closest to the final record without going over the loss total will get to write their own GPP Blog. Second place gets an FIU Baseball Media Guide.

Since there are only so many records you can guess for a 56-game season, the first tiebreaker will be guessing how far FIU advances in the postseason or does not make it at all and the second tiebreaker will be how many runs FIU scores this season -- and like the Price Is Right it's   Pr the number closest to FIU's losses and runs scored without going over.

Here's a sample entry to help you out: 30-26, Sun Belt semifinals, 422 runs.

We'll continue our FIU football spring tour on the next post.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

CalPanther: I know we are investing a lot in the football which is awesome, but I was wondering if the U.S. century bank arena will have a new make over as well?

PP: Once the football facilites are done, the Bank would be next on the to-do things list. There have been some recent renovations at the arena such as new bathrooms.

FIUBlueandGold: Will the team be practicing in the stadium for spring ball or at the rec fields? Pete: what's the latest with FC Barca and Claure's bid with the MLS ??

PP: The team is expected to practice spring ball at the stadium. March 19 is supposed to be the day when MLS makes Miami its newest franchise.

FIU_Fiji_Falcon: Hey Pete, could you do me a favor? Can you show a picture of the old SunblazerSunblazers mascot?

PP: Here you go:

KJHarris02:  By the way Pete, are you going to be doing any interviews on some of the new and upcoming players that redshirted last year?

PP: Not sure yet what my plans are for spring ball, but I should have updates on those guys throughout the spring.

FI-UM Fan: Are any of the recruits going to start school early to participate in spring drills?

PP: The only recruits expected to participate in spring drills are Wesley Carroll, Jack Griffin and Thatcher Starling. The other 20 new Panthers begin practice in August.

blkpanther: Is there not a way to finish the bowl before the north side building is constructed in the same way that the field house is being done?

Money PP: The plans are for the north side and the student services center to be done at the same time by 2011-2012. However, money talks and if MLS Miami wants to get that north side enclosed before their opener in 2010, then I'm $$$$ure they can find a way to do it.

FIUFPL: 2) Whatever happened to the "march to the stadium" of the football players+band? I remember you said it couldn't happen until they got a locker room or something.

PP: FIU Fanatic answered question 1 & 3 for you. Here's question 2: The Panther Walk should take place with the first home game this season with team now having a locker room.

FIU0406: I have one question regarding this year's recruting class? How did we fare in comparison to th rest of the sun belt?

PP: It's like reviewing a restaurant: it depends on who you ask. For example, several sites have FIU second among Sun Belt teams and then another (scout.com) has FIU at No. 4 -- guess that site doesn't really know what South Florida high school talent can do for a team. See Hilton, T.Y. We won't really know until about 2 or 3 years from now, but this was definitely FIU's most talented recruiting class in the 7-year history of the program. As far as FIU vs. FAU on this year's recruiting, I have yet to find any site that has the Owls on top of the Panthers.

Now it's your turn to review or predict how FIU hoops will finish and how FIU baseball will do.


February 12, 2009

Early Look At The New Fieldhouse

DSC04310  Our GPP friends (GOLD & co.) up in Washington D.C. wanted to see a little progress on the new state-of-the-art FIU fieldhouse that will open this July.

Here you go from sunny Miami.

The walls are going up all around the fieldhouse and the inside is being put together. The following are photos of the FH taken a few days ago. Please click on each photo to get a larger view.

Here above left, you can see the opening in the west end zone stands has been filled with the concrete floor of the 6 extra meeting rooms/club suites. The white floor you see in the picture will be the patio area where the 6 extra rooms open up and give a west end zone view of the field. With the sun setting behind the west side of the stadium, this will be one cool, breezy area to watch your Panthers from with your favorite adult or child beverage.DSC04311 

On the right, we have a shot of the front wall of the fieldhouse -- but from an inside view. The area from a little north of the yellow Tonka construction toy vehicle and past the 2 pillars standing by themselves is where the 14,000-square foot weight room will go.

You can also see here the glass windows [rectangular openings] of the weight room where if you happen to walk by after July you could probably see your Panthers working out. As you can see the front wall of the FH is pretty high up. The area of the weight room is not expected to have a 2nd floor above it, so it will be one high ceiling for the workout area.

DSC04312  Here on the left is a better view of the weight room and the entrance to the fieldhouse -- the 4 rectangles at the end of the photo. There is the yellow Tonka toy and the 2 pillars. You can also see the back of the west side of the stadium on the right side of this photo. This sort of gives you an idea of how tall the FH is compared to the stadium. Notice the stadium concourse on the right is not that much higher than the top of the FH.

Also, notice the length of the FH. Look at the entrance and see how far it goes down to where Juan Angel (GPP photographer) and myself were standing on the southwest ramp of the stadium. DSC04315 

On the right is a better and closer look at the entrance to the FH. As you can see the FH is 2 floors for now (if the MLS soccer fellas want to have a business home it could be on the 3rd or 4th floor).

What is expected to go on floor 2 is the coaches offices, the meeting rooms/extra suites, a 100+ seat auditorium (NOT overlooking field), a Miami Herald office (nah, just kidding on that one, was told the space by the bar in the Stadium Club is reserved for the GPP).

On the 1st floor will be the weight room, FIU locker room with about 100+ locker stalls, an injury and rehab center, FIU coaches locker room, ticket office and possibly an FIU memorabilia store and Hall of Fame.

DSC04314  This photo on the left gives you a better view of the 2nd floor of the FH and you can see how far the 6 extra rooms/suites go back from the patio when you click on the photo to enlarge. Also the gentleman working with the bricks is building one of the coaches offices.

We'll have another look at the FH when it's filled out more in late March/early April.

Back to your FIU football spring tour on the next blog.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Gooch7: What year is Darold in?

PP: Darold Hughes will be a sophomore when the 2009 season begins. DH is in his 3rd year at FIU, but took a redshirt in his first season.

Apaw

After our last poll question on being Number 2, we're getting closer to reaching the entire USA with Two the GPP. A reader in Albuquerque, New Mexico thinks Colt Anderson will be FIU's No. 2 QB this coming season. Apparently, so do many of you. As of this writing 67.7% of the GPP thinks Colt is ready to move up. Then 28.1% say Wayne Younger will stay at No. 2 and 4.2% think it will be Darold Hughes. Poll is still open. Here's the up-to-the-minute scorecard:

Globe GPP WORLDWIDE READERSHIP SCORECARD:

The GPP is now read in: 44 STATES: ALA, ARI, ARK, CA, COL, CT, DEL, FLA, GA, HI, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MISS, MISSOURI, MON, NEB, NEV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, UTAH, VA, VER, WASH, WEST VA., WISC.

28 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

Again, it's in the early stages, but let's see what you think....

February 11, 2009

Spring Tour: Backup Quarterbacks

Fiufoot You good people can't get enough of FIU football as our last blog showed. Wrote about FIU baseball and most of you responded with FIU football talk. With that in mind, I guess it's never too early to start looking forward to spring practice.

This spring is going to be crucial for several Panthers and their prospects of playing time come the 2009 season. With another solid signing class last week, FIU is building some quality depth and with this depth comes more competition to see the field.

So with the opening of spring ball a little more than 3 weeks away, let's take a look in the next 23 days atPe the key battles at several positions. While spring ball has sometimes been referred to as glorified P.E. classes, this spring will be anything but for some players looking to impress and at the same time fend off the talented incoming  freshmen in the fall.

Our first tour is who gets the call to backup Paul McCall this fall? (was a poet and didn't even know it)

Wayne Younger (left) was PM's backup last season, but year 3 could be the time for Colt Anderson (right) to take Wy the next step.

CA will likely receive his redshirt for not playing a snap last season and looksAnd to enter the season as a redshirt sophomore. Since he arrived from Nebraska 2 years ago, CA has shown flashes in practice of being the QB to take the next step. Now he has to show more consistency this spring to possibly move up the depth chart.

As he displayed during 2007, WY has the ability to play QB, but like CA needs to play with more consistency this spring. Before he tore his shoulder against Florida Atlantic in 2007, WY probably had his best game the previous week against Louisiana in the OB (photo above left). WY will be a junior in 2009.

If the decision for the No. 2 QB spot was based on arm strength alone, Darold Hughes would likely be your No. 2 QB. DH has got a cannon, but is still several steps behind WY and CA.

These 3 guys will not only be battling for dibs behind PM, but also auditioning for 2010 when Wesley Carroll joins the FIU starting QB derby.Qbs

Oak There will be position battles all over in spring and fall practices, but this could be the most important, because (knock on a big oak tree here) the gap between PM and the No. 2 QB needs to be closer --should anything happen to PM.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

RoaryisMyHomeBoy: Pete, Do you think FIU will market their latest accomplishment? Of Having a 32.7% acceptance rate making FIU the most selective university in Florida http://tinyurl.com/c2pzxr.

PP: They definitely should. FIU people read this blog so they should pick up on your question as soon as this post hits the MH website.

Apaw Pretty split decisions on who you thought can have the greatest impact in their first season at FIU. Pooh Bear has 33.7% of your vote, but Wayne Times (18.5%) and Thatcher Starling and Edgard Theliar (both 13.5%) all are on your minds. Yeah, Clawing Cancer, it is too early to project on this question, but you good people like FIU football poll questions. Here's another....



February 09, 2009

Down The Lineup With Turtle

Turtle We're 10 days away from the FIU baseball season opener against Jacksonville on Feb. 20 -- a 3-game series at University Park Stadium.

Here's the third part of our 3-part preseason look at your Panthers with coach Turtle Thomas (left, Sam Lewis photo). Still plenty of time to make changes everywhere for TT, but this is what he's thinking thus far when it comes to the Opening Day lineup and other parts of FIU baseball as the 2009 season approaches...

PP: We're still some time away from the opener, but what's a rough sketch of your batting order right now?

TT: We have an idea about our top 5 or 6 guys in the lineup. Pablo Bermudez in center field should lead off. Ryan Mollica (right, Alex J. Hernandez photo), who hit second in the lineup last year, should be our second hole hitter. I would think that Tyler Townsend would be our third hole hitter. Steven Stropp will probably clean up for us or hit fifth. I think Tim Jobe may be in the fifth spot and then some other spots below that are still open for Moll competition.

PP: Stropp showed he can hit last season, but wasn't your prototypical cleanup hitter, what about Stropp makes him suited for the 4 hole?

TT: Stropp has a lot of power actually. He’s a big, strong guy. One game this fall we only used aluminum. It was one of only 2 times we used aluminum in the fall. In that game, he hit a grand slam, a three-run home run and a three-run double off the top of the center field wall. He knocked in 10 runs here in the intra-squad game. It was a pretty stellar day. There wasn’t anything wrong with the pitching he was facing that day. It was OK pitching he was facing.

PP: One guy that I thought made a pretty good impression in the fall was freshman shortstop Garrett Wittels (below, left). Could we see him in the starting lineup on Opening Day?

TT: Wittels probably has made more strength gains in the weight room than anybody that we’ve had so far. He’s taken to the weights and the bat weight stuff that we do. He’s done a nice job of getting stronger. He’s very strong from the elbows down where hitters need to be. He’s one of those guys who is Gw a self-made player that competes and doesn’t want to get beat. He finds a way to hit the ball and finds a way to field it. He’s going to play somewhere either shortstop or third base.

PP: Wittels also was a pretty good pitcher/closer at Krop High, will he pitch too?

TT: Being a left side infielder, you’re probably asking a little too much for a young guy to pitch and play the left side of the infield. You’re waiting for an arm injury or arm problem waiting to happen when you do that.

PP: Your defense was a little shaky last year during some games. How do you feel about your gloves this season?

TT: We were middle of the road in our conference in fielding percentage last year, but we were close to the top in the 30 conference games. In conference games, we really had only 1 or 2 sub-par defensive games. We went six games in a row and another time five games in a row without making any errors and that set the all-time school record. I was pretty pleased with our defense. Probably the range of our players just due to probably not having the fastest of guys, probably was the biggest detriment. But when they got to it and caught it they usually threw them out. We just have to find the right guys for the right slots that can give you a nice offensive and defensive production.

Wood PP: You guys came out a little slow offensively last year. Did you still go most of theAlum off-season using only wood bats.

TT We started picking up the aluminum on Jan. 26. We’ll be using the aluminum almost 4 weeks before we open up. Last year, it was one week before the opener and I thought it took our guys a little while to adjust to the aluminum so we are going to go with that a little bit earlier this year.

LogoPANTHER PAWSE

Apaw  Apparently there is some pretty good interest in FIU baseball, the Diamond Dinner drew 670 people -- an all-time FIU record for a Diamond Dinner.

Apaw

A nice comeback win for the FIU hoops team last Saturday after an awful 1st half in which they scored just 16 points. Down by 21 points with 14 minutes left in the game, the Panthers rallied and won it in OT. If this team can be as resilient as last Saturday, then there's no reason it cannot contend in the Sun Belt Tournament. Still need Freddy Asprilla back for a serious run, though.

 Apaw

 And you thought the Golden Dazzlers only just dance on the basketball court? Dazzler Lisa Dazzlers Sakowitz hit some 3-pointers in the 3-point contest at halftime of Saturday's game. Spoke with her afterward and LS says she stopped playing hoops at Sunset High to go into dancing.

Your questions:

blkpanther: 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?

PP: It's looking like JJ might be taking a redshirt season in 2009. It was a pretty good tear.

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

Ash PP: Saw Ash (left, No. 11) before going to an FIU hoops game the other day and he says he's feeling a lot better and expects to be ready for fall practice in August.

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

PP: By my count FIU brings back 24 seniors for 2009. If we count Darriet Perry as a starter, which is what he is, then all 11 starters on offense return, but only 6 starters return on defense.

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

PP: In the 7-year history of the FIU football program, yes, this is the best recruiting class ever at least on paper, now let's see them do it on the field starting Sept. 12 in Bama. I gave them 5 Paws on the last poll.

Ultimate FIU Fan: Question to Pete & the GPP Nation: Is there ANYONE faster in the SBC than TR!

PP: Not that I have seen from any other Sun Belt team this season. Tremayne Russell is a tremendous sparkplug off the bench for FIU.

Apaw

We had a worldy turnout on our last poll question about the rating for the 2009 FIU football signing class with readers from Lebanon, Spain, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, France, Ennis Montana and the rest of the good old USA chiming in. Thus far, 57.5% of you gave the 2009 class 5 Paws (the highest mark), 38.4% (4 Paws) and 4.1% (3 Paws).

We're 25 days away from spring practice, but let's keep the football polling going....


February 05, 2009

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.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

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.

Apaw

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.


February 04, 2009

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.

February 03, 2009

Waiting By The Fax Machine

While some college coaches across the nation will be going all "Office Space" on their fax machines onFax Wednesday, that doesn't appear to be the case with FIU. It's looking like FIU is going to pull in one hell of a recruiting class if all the final pieces fall into place and it seems like they will.

No word from planet Mars today, as we approach t-minus 8 hours until NSD. The folks at Apopka High and MC will likely be the first ones to have word from Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars. But as soon we got it, you'll have it on here.

Ru Fiuhelmet Quick sked note: FIU and Rutgers signed all the paperwork today so say goodbye to the Tampa Bulls on the 2009 sked and book a trip to Piscataway, New Jersey for Sept. 19 this year. Or book a seat for Sept. 11, 2010 at FIU Stadium when the Panthers open the season against the Scarlet Knights. Spoke to PG today and FIU is currently in negotiations with teams from the ACC, Big East, Pac-10 and Big 12 for more home-and-home series. Let's see which teams from those conferences visit FIU Stadium in the future.

Will start out on Wednesday at Archbishop Carroll where defensive back Terrance Taylor will become a Panther and there's still a chance that Taylor's teammate, Cory Ammons could decommit from UCF and join TT at FIU. Then will drive over to FIU to find out about your new Panthers.

There will be one GPP blog going on Wednesday, but I will be updating throughout the day -- so don't go punching your keyboard, because you only see the same blog title all day. There will be updates going on it so scroll down and read the updates.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

GOLD: Pete, Since you will be at the stadium tomorrow, can you take a few pictures of the field house for the good GPP people in DC.

PP: Will try and get some on here. In the next month or so, will take a tour of fieldhouse and have it on here for you as well.

FIUBlueandGold: Will any the current football players be participating at the 6pm event and will any of the guys that are signing be there too?

PP: There might be some current FIU players there, but don't expect any signees there, unless some of the January signees drop by.

fiu4ever: Any news on the MLS front?Mls

PP: In the next 2 or 3 weeks, MLS should make their announcement on the 2 expansion teams.

FIU Fanatic: Pete...why isn't your report (and very nice, btw)on FIU Recruiting not included in the "Recruiting" section of High School sports?

PP: I sent an e-mail to the MH on-line people to place the story in that section. Thanks for saving me time from researching the rankings of Mars for CC.

fiufan751: What happened to the baseball lineup and additional turtle news that you were going to provide?

PP: fiufan751, I have not forgotten, but we got this NSD thing going on. Will have Turtle's preseason lineup and other thoughts from the GPP interview later on this week.

Blue Lg Joel: I hear Edgard Theliar might decommit again and sign back to FIU tomorrow!! Any truth to this 

PP: Remember nothing is official until the faxes start rolling in Wednesday morning, but there's a good chance of ET phoning FIU home. How about that GPP Recruiting Theory? ET apparently didn't like the green and gold Gatorade and prefers the blue and gold Gatorade.

 

 

  

 

February 02, 2009

Contact From Mars

Mm While there could be some positive signing day surprises in the works for FIU, one of the bigger Lm revelations will be what happens on Mars. (sorry, couldn't help it with the planet reference)

Of course, that being all-world linebacker Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars, who is between FIU and Iowa State. 

Traded text messages with Mars today to thank him for the interview (he checked out the GPP) and to see if there was anything new as we're about T-minus 32 hours before National Letters of Intents can start bursting out of the FIU fax machines.

The word from Mars is "I'm getting closer" to making a decision. Pooh Bear has not donned his choice of college cap yet, but it could be as early as Tuesday or it may be decided on Wednesday morning.

As soon as we know of a decision, will have it on here.

The GPP plan for Wednesday is to visit a couple of high schools where future FIU players sign on the Dearmas dotted line and then camp out at FIU the rest of the day and provide you good people with updates on signings all day Wednesday.

As far as Monday's FIU recruiting trail, the Panthers might be adding 6-4, 315-pound offensive lineman Chris De Armas to the NSD list. De Armas, a former USF recruit, played at El Camino JUCO last season and played his high school ball at Miami Southwest High. Should he join FIU, he would start his Panther career as a sophomore. Nothing solid on this yet, but if and when it happens will have it on here for you.

Logo  PANTHER PAWSE

 FIUPantherFan: Pete, Can you update us on the injury situation in Men's BBall?

PP: Spoke with SR after Saturday's game and Freddy Asprilla is "week to week" with a herniated disc in his back. SR said J.C. Otero is a "long, long ways away". Everyone else is playing.

FAUFlyer: Pete, I have a question which i don't think anyone has asked. Does, the basketball team go Bluck through an off season conditioning program with the strength coach?

PP: The hoops team has Mick Smith, who worked in the NBA, to run their strength and conditioning program. Even SR said before the season that he felt his team was in the best shape ever this year. You can't control injuries. 

Gooch7: Pete are you going to give us a list of all the 20+ 2009 recruits (Including Mr. Mars) and some of their highlights? Any word on the USC Transfers that were thinking about coming to the 305, and play for the Golden Panthers? Stadium Talk: Now that they are done with Phase I and working on Phase II, what will we see by 2009 Season kick off, and 2010 Season kick off?

PP: Plan on setting up camp at FIU on Wednesday, so as soon as the players sign will have it on here. Doesn't look like any USC guys are headed this way. 2009 kickoff will have the fieldhouse and 6 meeting rooms/extra suites done. The north side is expected for 2011, but of course all this can change in a hurry in a couple of weeks if FIU Stadium gets Miami MLS.

CJ: Pete any word on the recruiting visits this weekend?

PP: The NW boys were at FIU so was Deerfield Beach DB Adrian Witty and Edgar Theliar.

Dazz CrazyCane: You all (the GPP posters) are sheep. You would follow PP if he lead right into the depths of hell.So, why is FIU and Iowa State his only two choices Pete?  Did schools like UF, FSU, Alabama, Miami, USC, Clemson, Tennessee, etc etc even recruit Mr. Pooh Bear? Please let us know.

PP: Crazy, relax man. No GPP readers and no sheep are going to the depths of hell here. Get yourself to another FIU game like you did last year with your dad and brother and get everyone in the family to wear FIU gear again like you did last November. Play some Sunday morning softball to take the edge off or buy a Golden Dazzlers calendar to brighten up the home or office.

Pooh Bear had choices of FIU, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Kentucky, South Florida, Central Florida, and Alabama-Birmingham. He has narrowed down that list to FIU and Iowa State. As one of the top high school linebackers in the nation, I'm sure Mars got looks from top programs like UF, FSU, Alabama, USC, Clemson and Tennessee.

Apaw

You know Pooh Bear may have a planetary last name, but he also reaches readers worldwide. In our last poll question: "If Pooh Bear joins FIU, would it be the best recruiting class ever in the 7-year history of FIU football", we had a record 1-day turnout of voters (140) and we reached 2 new places on the globe along with places as far as France, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Serbia.

Our two newest GPP readers hail from Ennis, Montana (voted definitely, yes FIU would have best recruit class ever) and Mexico City, Mexico (voted maybe, will still have to see them play in 2009). Poll is still open.

Globe GPP WORLDWIDE READERSHIP SCORECARD:

The GPP is now read in: 43 STATES: ALA, ARI, ARK, CA, COL, CT, DEL, FLA, GA, HI, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MISS, MISSOURI, MONTANA,  NEB, NEV, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, UTAH, VA, VER, WASH, WEST VA., WISC.

28 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.


 

 

 

 

 

 


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