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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.



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.


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


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I have an idea for game day, maybe one sorority starts a tradition with all their sisters dressed like cowgirls and have the cowgirls section at the stadium, I am sure that will help sell tickets around that section.

Also we can call our Oline the 5 horsemen or the Draft Horses


Pete, you left out the correct choice on our uniforms: blue tops, gold pants, gold helmets. It's time to stop playing games with our uniforms and get it right. I know we'll get it right eventually.

Great news on Javon Hill, who was one of our top recruits a few years ago. Nice to see him persevere and make it back. I'm hoping that kind of resolve will earn him playing time this year. If nothing else, it will serve him well for the rest of his life. It's always great to see young kids like him put their head down and work harder when the going gets rough instead of giving up and quitting. Very impressive and I wish him well the rest of his career.


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.

PLP if you're ears are clean and right lol

George baker would be a huge pick up.
That guy is yet another 4.3 burner.

That guy was one of the top players in FL a year or two ago. He played CB, RB & KR.

Miami Archbishop Carroll

Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 170 lbs
Forty: 4.37 secs
Shuttle: 4.19 secs
Bench reps: 11 @ 185 lbs
Vertical: 39 inches
GPA: 2.7

Cedric Mack just this week was told that he must come up with the money to pay for his own transcripts from the several schools he had to attend. I remmeber Pete that you asked him about the transfer costs after you interviewed him... he was ordered to pay the full $2000 to get his papers released.

He is looking for a job so he can raise the money. He told me that this is the only thing he needs to do and he will be FINALLY cleared.

In other words 2000 dollars stands between him and the playing field. So he won't be in spring but he needs to save the money before fall to play.

Leaving USF TO FIU ?... makes you think what happend in USF.

USF just lost their OC, DC, and I believe another position Coach in their defense (defensive line maybe), so it looks like changes are coming to Tampa. Anyway, I posted an inquiry on their message board and none of their fans have heard anything regarding the rumor. I hope its true, because if so, our 2010 incoming class would include Wes, Quavon Taylor and Baker. Not a bad start to next year's recruiting. Go F I U!


I don't think it has anything to do with what might be happening at USF. I think, if the pending transfer is true, it's just another example of a local kid who overlooked FIU as a legitimate program on the rise in their own hometown. After making the mistake of not originally signing with FIU, these kids finally "see the light" and come back home.

Anyways, can't wait 'till next year!

Daquan Hargrett, are you paying attention?

I posted this a few blogs ago, but I don't know how many of you got to read it, so I am posting it again.

To all my fellow GPP readers - I am playng in a mens softball league on Sunday mornings. The league is great because it is both competitive and friendly. I spoke with the guy that runs the league, Danny Berry, many of you may already know him or his name, and he told me to get the word out because the new season is starting soon. Below is some information about the league. Also, I am going to put his number so anyone interested can call him as well. I look forward to seeing you all out there. It would be cool if 10-12 people from the blog could get together and put a GPP Team out there to kick some a**.

From the league:
Get ready for competition, camaraderie and sportsmanship. Players may join individually or bring in a whole team. Trophies are awarded to the top two teams. Games are Sundays, 8:30AM, 9:45AM or 11:00 AM at the Alper JCC.

Danny Berry's number is 305-271-9000 ext. 241

That would explain it...If it benefits us sound like good news to me.

pete great pictures of the cowgirls... would be nice to see them at the games... ill work on a few freinds see if i cant get them to dress as cow girls lol

lol i say we need to bring the cowbell to FIU!! Make some noise! lol

any news on coach for defense?

On a sidenote, is there ANY place that is selling FIU football jerseys (the authentic ones, or at least replicas of the authentic ones) besides the bookstore? I really want one of those but I won't, and can't, spend $200 on a jersey. That's crazy and they are crazy if they think people are going to line up to buy them... Maybe we can tell Champs or Sports Authority to get their hands on a few to sell? I'm sure they won't be as excessive in their pricing as the bookstore!

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

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

whats up with you guys and gold helmets?
have u seen how ugly usf's helmets are
besides our all navy blue's are intimidating

seriously, lets drop the whole "gold Helmet" thing i swear a few of you dont want to let those Gold MC Hammer Pants go dont you ? its done its over with there is no Gold FIU helmet there is no GOld Uni. seriously let the hammer pants go!

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?

Hammer pants? Is that what Notre Dame has been wearing the last 50 years? I'll take that look over the fruit-of-the-loom blueberry look any day. We look like Blue Man Group out there in those home uni's.

I think this is a generational thing. The all one-color look was purely a high school look my entire life until just the past decade or so. I'll always associate it with high school football. It's time to grow up and be big boys at some point.

yeah im not a big fan of the all blue uniforms, i thought we were the *golden* panthers, we need some gold on the unis, unless of course we become the blue panthers.

I agree with CJ, Gold helmet thats just weird. Gold helmets are played out...I think our helmets look sharp and dont LOOK like ND or USF.


I'll never be able to look at a uni with gold pants the same way.

Too Legit! Too Legit, too Quit!

P.S. I can't believe the gold helmet thing keeps coming back. Its not even a possibility.

just imagine :04 seconds left on the game clock FIU down by 5 with the game on the line and possession of the ball. crowds on its toes ready to erupt. then all of a sudden the the announcer screams out STop! HAMMER TIME! lol righ then and there the Entire FIU roster, in there recently switch Uni's w/ gold hammer pants start doing the hammer dance! lmao that would make sportscenter for sure ! lets do it !

jesus man... what is this, the project runway of college football?

Yeah I can't see gold helmets working for us.. ever. Plus, I think the blue becoming more dominant in the uniform has been a change for the better. The gold is an awesome compliment, but too much gold is overkill.

We might as well remove the "Golden". Let's just be call the FIU Panthers. I would prefer more gold in uniform, but it's time to move on...it's too late.

Pete, of our 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.

GO FIU!!!!

Pete, sorry i wasn't specific in previous question. I meant O-line recruit. Thanks in advance!!!

champ underdog... its the off-season theres nothing else better to talk about..

Project Runway of College Football... LMAO!!!!

CJ, funny stuff. Hey Pete, is it true that Wendy Napoleon will be back on the squad this Spring? I thought he retired for medical reasons a year ago. I really liked the way he got after it in the times he played a few years back.

Also, do the coaches plan to use Kambriel at LB any this year? Seems like we have to find a way to get him on the field more often this year. He's a 'tweener with his size, but they guy is a flat out football player. Do they think his ideal position is at DE?

glad you liked it southpaw... i have to say i cannot wait till basketball season is over. because the moment its over FIU will FINALLY have a coach that well... coaches...
i swear i walked into the court for the second half... watched the team go from 15 down to 5 down w/ about 8 mns left.. and what does sergio do.. take out the squad that has ALL the momentom (mind you defense lead to the scoring) he pulls freddy, the other guy that was playing foward (#4) and soto (who was on a hot streak scoring).. to put in a lineup that i can only guess was to be a scoring lineup.. ya... point is we lost all momentum once he pulled that line up... and then within the final 2 mins MSTU gets an not 1 not 2 but 3 offensive boards and runs down the clock... and no foul till roughly 45 seconds left when we were down by bout 6.. i swear Pete Garcia if your reading... pay me a bunch of money to coach the team... what do you have to lose i cant do any worse

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