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Opening Spring Practice

Rm The first of 14 spring practices leading up to the Blue/Gold Spring Game on April 3 is in the books and this is what we saw on the first day your Panthers returned to FIU Stadium after an 87-day break.

Want to lose that gut? Pack on some pounds of muscle? Or do you ladies need help with those hips or thighs? Then FIU strength and conditioning coach Rod Moore is your guy.

The FIU off-season strength and conditioning program really works by taking a look at some of the  Cc creatures roaming around the FIU Stadium field on Wednesday afternoon.

To start sophomore LB Aaron Davis  (below, left) and redshirt freshman LB Winston Fraser might be some of the biggest and strongest LBs FIU has ever had after they bulked up to 245 and 232, respectively.

Some of you were concerned with Kambriel Willis's size last season. Well, come on out to practice Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and Adavis look at the man wearing No. 55.

The Hilton Heave duo also made some gains. Goodbye has packed on about 10-12 pounds. Junior Mertile looked bigger as well. Don't think they did it on purpose, but safety Jeremiah Weatherspoon and DB Brandon Ellison practiced on Wed. with their sleeves rolled up.

One guy who looks ready to blow past the Alabama O-line right now in March was new DE Thatcher Starling (below, right). The first look at the D-line on Wednesday showed big No. 99 getting by the FIU O-line and getting to Paul McCall during team drills.

Franklin Brown is looking like he will play mostly at linebacker this season toTs join an already dangerous core of the El Oso, Davis, Fraser, Tyler Clawson, Little Canada, Jarvis Wilson, Pooh Bear, Kenny Dillard and Markeith Russell.

And Wendy Napoleon re-joined the LB mix after a 2-year absence due to injury. WN also looked like he's made a second home in the weight room.

On offense, PM looked he added a few miles per hour to his fastball. Standing on the sidelines, the added zip on the FIU QB's passes was quite noticeable.

New QB Wesley Carroll (below, left) showed early signs of why he was an All-SEC freshman at Mississippi State with some of his throws.

Wcarroll Darriet Perry looked ready to take the first carry of the season. DP just looks like a football player and a No. 1 RB. One walk-on that caught the attention was receiver Jonathan Ramirez, who played his high school ball at McCarthy in Pembroke Pines. The freshman lined up in the backfield with the RBs and at WR, his natural position and made some plays.

Incoming freshman RB Darian Mallary watched the first practice and he looks ready to graduate from Gulliver and join the FIU backfield.

There were a lot of orange jerseys in the first practice, but MC later said that a lot of those guys will join spring practice after spring break on March 24.

It was a good sign to see guys coming off knee injuries like Ash Parker and Chris Cawthon moving around the field without any issues.


OCPanther: Pete, Can you get us an update on Antwan Barnes and his progress from the Ab injury?

PP: El Monstruo is recovering well and is expected to be 100% ready when the Ravens opening training camp in July.

ArrozConPollo: Hey Pete, I was wondering if u knew or could find out how many people actually signed up as fans for FCB Miami.

PP: From what I heard the numbers were between 2,000 to 3,000, which apparently was way below what MLS and co. were hoping for.

CJ: hey pete before i make my prediction is the shula bowl goin to be played in the cage or in DS?Dstroph

PP: The Shula Bowl always alternates home sites each season. This year it's at FIU Stadium and in 2010 it will be in Dolphin Stadium. And you can always change your prediction, there's no prize at stake with these schedule predictions in March.

pikedanny: Pete, I see that we only have 5 home games in 2009. Will we start having 6 home games starting in 2010?

PP: Right now, unless the 2010 schedule changes, FIU has 5 home games again in 2010 -- 4 Sun Belt games and home vs. Rutgers. The other 2010 non-conference games are at Texas A&M, at Central Florida and at Maryland.

Right now 2011, would be the first season FIU plays 6 home and 6 away games. Here is the link to a blog I wrote about this last year: No Place Like FIU Stadium

panthernation: Pete, I loved the MC live blog and the spring practice articles- keep the good news coming! Unlike crazycane- You Are The MAN!

PP: Thanks.

quijote: way too early to be predicting outcomes come on pete you know better than that.

PP: quijote, have a little fun in March. I won't hold you or any other GPP reader to your March predictions. Hell, we'll ask again in early September before the season starts. So everyone vote below....


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Great to hear all of that!!! Will definetly try and pass by the practices tomorrow after my classes finish!! GO FIU!!


How does Rolle look? I think he's finally poised to make a run at quality playin' time. What do you think?

Does Perry look like he has added on some bulk and gone over 200lbs?

JSpoon is looking like a BEAST !!!

yes suh!

A bit of interesting news linked to our cross town dbags...I foresee a similar article in 3 years on their current unedumacated head coach.


Is there football practice today ?

Yes at 3:15pm


Are we going back to "Florida International" or is this latest article headline blunder again the work of the comedians at The Miami Herald.

Can someone please post the sports editor's contact info for me ? Thanks.


I think that was Pete's article.

...but the titles...headlines...are put in by the editors, not by Pete..as I'm sure Pete knows this by heart, and lets anyone know around him what is what FIU wants to be called....

Its something that will always come up. Some people say UM some say University of Miami. I think its good that FIU is what we want to be called but Florida International is the full name and some people will just use that instead of FIU.

Are we going back to "Florida International" or is this latest article headline blunder again the work of the comedians at The Miami Herald.

Can someone please post the sports editor's contact info for me ? Thanks.

* Jorge Rojas 305-376-3213

FIUBlueandGold, you are lucky they are even being referenced in the Herald, who cares if it is FIU or Florida International?


How old are you?

Hey CC, just remember one thing...you never went to UM!!! You're a poser!!

i personally don't mind whether we are referenced as FIU or Florida International - as long as we are getting the media attention.

However, while trying to build our brand it would help to be consistent with one name that way people who are not so familiar with us don't get confused.

Either way...

FIU = The Real 305

Pete FIU stadium sucks Garber did not like it. One reason we did not the the expansion team.

Larry. Soccer sucks. boo hoo. FIU stadium was built for football. get over it.

In response to all your inquiries, FIUBlueandGold: You are sucdh an internet tough guy. You think you are so smart to * some letters to avoid the PP GPP claw. call me all the names you want bro, you do not me, so I do not take it personal, I leave those hurt feelings to be had by h*m*s like you.

#32 : I'm old enough

Pantera Dorada: what about me not going to UM makes me a "poser" What, I cannot like a school i didnt go to? If I did not go to college at all, could I not root for any team. Ever think of that argument jerk? Didn't think so.

TheChampionUnderdog: what makes FIU the real 305? Is that the average SAT score amongst its students? Is that the amount of fans that show up to home games? Is that the room number for the class "English for Spanish as a first language?" Is it the number of students that go to the school that are originally from the United States?

Nice to see we have some 12-year-olds posting on the blog. What's next, boys? You going to start a taquito war after practice?

Anyway... I'm saddened to hear about the MLS team not happening. Would've been nice to have a team to root for in MLS (which, as a league, is a lot better than people give them credit for). Unfortunately, I think the market might not be there. I know there's lot of soccer nuts in South Florida, but too many of them come from other areas and won't come out to support local teams. Only getting around 3,000 season tickets is pathetic. Miami FC can't draw flies in Tropical Park.

There ain't a damn thing wrong with playing the MLS games at FIU. That stadium's just as good as many others in the MLS. What screwed them was not getting better support locally. MLS got burned once here already with the Fusion; I'm not surprised they didn't want to go 0 for 2. People in South Florida have got to start stepping up if they want to see soccer happen.

I picked football to go 7-5. I think this is the year we can expect to win the Belt. I can't see us going through conference undefeated, but I can see a 1 or 2 loss season in the SBC. I'm not predicting games; way too early for that. But I'd be surprised if we win more than one out-of-conference game this year, and that one is probably Toledo. That's a tough schedule, no doubt about it. Maybe we can sneak out Rutgers if we play the game of our lives.

FIUBlueandGold - threats, nice. Is that all you lil FIU brain can resort to when you run out of words to say?

Actually, i can't go out there today because I have a job, apparently unlike you. Also, I am not so much of a loser I need to go watch practice, i mean we are talking about practice people, practice, we talkin' about practice.

I ask you GPP blog, who is out of line now?


Do I need to tell you again - I am managing partner in my business and people work for me. Ironically several are scUM grads, but they get the job done and are handsomely rewarded for it.

Yes it's practice. So what ?? Beat it !!

If you are a managing partner in your business, then I am President of the World and invented water.

alright lets settle this like adults.
Rock-paper-scissors it is!!!


I go away for awhile and come back to see you are still convinced you are a managing partner in some business...I guess when you and your (no doubt) FIU grad buddy are head of the bathroom attendants, you are partners who manage something. Congratz

And dont try to claim you are the Sanitizer...not only have you both claimed to be managing partners with UM employees, but the name is no doubt a representation of the business you are in.


How dumb are you kid ?? There are plenty of FIU alumns with successful businesses. As a matter of fact, I am one of the very few hiring in the local technology sector. You think you have it all figured don't you ?

NO, you don't though, you're just another ungrateful BRAT from the NE without any class and wasting Daddy's $$$ at UCG. Go home to UNION CITY where you belong.

You are also not welcome here either. No your place scUMbag.

Josh is a H*m* and CandyCane is a poser bandwagon UM fan...After a couple of more years of UM losing & when he sees FIU rising, dont try to switch sides then faker...

Seeing as how the "UM fans" are going nuts I would like to point out a few things to them. Mayor's Alvarez, Diaz and Slesnick are all FIU alums. They are all currently in office, and are the mayors of Miami-Dade, Miami and Coral Gables.

I would also point out the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a FIU alum, former Mayor Raul Martinez is a FIU alum, Elsa Murano, the current president of Texas A&M is a FIU alum. There are five state reps in Florida and Maryland that are FIU alums.

I suppose we can keep on going with this, but I will end it by pointing out some other little facts, like FIU's law school having a higher bar pass rate and average LSAT score than UM's. It has the 15th ranked undergrad, and 11th ranked graduate business schools nationally, thank you US News and World Report. UM's acceptance rate in 2008 was 38.6% of applicants, FIU's was 33.1%. I would quote average GPA, but UM only lists the average weighted GPA as opposed to actual GPA, but the average SAT score only slightly favors UM at 1290 to FIU's 1246.

So, as far as I can tell, FIU is on par with UM academically, so those of you who come here to belittle FIU are clearly suffering from a massive inferiority complex and very obviously need something to make yourselves feel a little better.

Two quick Topics I was thinking about:

1) I am part of the FIU Fans that did not like the schedule to much. It could be worst, but it also can be allot better. 4 out of 5 games (away) is not the best call. I still think we have a good chance of finishing 7-5 for the season, and I can Guarantee 6-6 for the 2009 season.

2) CrazyCane save your money this season because I can also Guarantee that the University of C.G. will go 3-3 (thank God for Florida A&M coming to Miami) this season. Not a bad result for such a "Power House".

Note: I realize a U of C.G. degree is far fetch for you and an FIU degree is even more crazy, but since we are both proud fans of our Schools (at least I graduated) we can make a fun prediction of both teams.

My Prediction:
FIU 7-5
UCG: 8-4 (what a power house)

Your Turn!

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