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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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