Your Panthers will tee it up for the first spring scrimmage Sunday morning beginning at 10 at FIU Stadium. For some of you the scrimmage will start at 11 a.m. if you forget to move those clocks up an hour at some point Saturday night for the start of daylight savings time.
For the most part, the receivers appear to be ahead of the defensive backs thus far.
No shocker here: Goodbye (left, thanks Sam Lewis) and Greg Ellingson (right, SL pic) continue making acrobatic catches. Goodbye reached back across his body to snag a pass in Friday's drills. GE did the same Friday and Saturday. GE also faked a DB out of his shoes on a long pass play Friday, but the QB underthrew GE on what would have been an easy 6.
Junior Mertile has also joined the fun. Another season of experience and another season in the weight room has the Hilton Heave receiver primed for a big season.
Other WRs to make some nice catches have been Jason Frierson, Marquis Rolle and Jeremy Dickens. One WR that has shown marked improvement has been Jacob Younger (left) -- Wayne Younger's cousin.
All of this is not to say the DBs have not been making plays, because they have.
Emmanuel Souarin and Chuck Grace have stood out batting down balls and playing tight coverage. Petey Riley has also played some good pass D and so has Dez Johnson, who is currently lining up opposite Anthony Gaitor with the 1st team D -- whatever that means in March. AG, as his usual All-Sun Belt self, is back at it playing stellar D too.
New QB Wesley Carroll looks like he's been running the FIU offense for 10 years now the way he has practiced thus far. He threw a dart deep down the middle of the field between 2 DBs on Friday that tight end Jonathan Faucher made a leaping grab to haul in. On Saturday, WC eluded a sack with some nice mobility and connected with Dickens deep down field. WC has some solid mechanics throwing the ball.
Darriet Perry (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez), who is expected to be limited in carries this spring, because he needs to stay healthy for 2009 with already a couple of RBs on the mend from injuries, made a nice cut back move and ran away from the defense in Saturday's practice.
And Wendy Napoleon back from a spinal injury showed what a big body LB can do in the middle jumping up high to snare a Younger pass over the middle for an INT.
How about FIU baseball then and now getting off to a good start this weekend. The now part -- right-hander Scott Rembisz (right, SL pic) with 8 shutout innings and 7 Ks in a 5-0 win vs. Troy on Friday. Rembisz worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam allowing no runs in the 3rd inning and did it again in the 5th inning working out of a 2nd and 3rd and 1 out-jam. FIU has got some serious pitching this year -- these aren't your "he's bigger than me and he wanted the ball" Panthers.
Also, former FIU assistant coach Rod Delmonico, now the coach of the Netherlands national team, defeated the favored Dominicans in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.
GPP Q & A
MONSTER DONG: Pete, How does Rolle look? I think he's finally poised to make a run at quality playin' time. What do you think?
PP: Rolle looks better through 3 practices. He has all the tools (size, hands) to be an elite receiver in college football and he definitely has the quality competition around him to push him. He would give FIU another huge weapon on offense.
JulesFIU07: Does Perry look like he has added on some bulk and gone over 200lbs?
PP: Like most of the Panthers, DP has gotten bigger. He is at 200 now.