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 2009 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.
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.
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)
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 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).