English teachers and some particular GPP readers will correct my use of the word marshal in the title of this blog post, but who cares it's sports not Shakespeare we're talking about here and in particular, it's safety Marshall McDuffie (left) -- FIU's best hope for the NFL in this year's draft.
Had a quick chat with MM recently to see how he's preparing for the NFL Draft. At 6-2, 210 pounds, MM has the size and skill set to play on Sundays. He is projected as going anywhere from the 6th round to signing as a free agent.
How has this week been for you with the Draft this weekend?
MM: I've been extremely busy with school that way I don't think about the draft so much. It hasn't hit me yet that I could be picked to play in the NFL. I'm just hoping for the best.
Have you had any recent workouts with NFL teams?
The projections for you are anywhere from the 6th round to free agent signee. What are your thoughts?
MM: I really don't think about it too much, because the draft is so unpredictable. I know I performed well on my Pro Day at FIU. The scouts asked me to stay after the Pro Day was over and perform again for them.
If selected you would be the 3rd FIU player ever drafted to the NFL. Have you sought out any advice from the first two Panthers drafted in Antwan Barnes or Chandler Williams (left, thanks Sam Lewis photo)?
MM: I've talked a lot to Chandler and [former FIU defensive back and the first FIU player in the NFL] Kevin Timothee (right). They have helped walk me through the process. They've told me to stay focused on my goal and if I do get a shot in the NFL act like you've already been there before.
JDC Is FIU
We all know the popular commercial the FIU athletic marketing department came up with last year I AM FIU and there are t-shirts with the slogan all over campus. Well, good suggestion by you good people on the GPP in nominating Jerry Del Castillo for FIU football's play-by-play job.
JDC (english translation: Jerry of the Castle) has broadcast every single FIU football game in the 7-year history of the program and can give you the history of the football program in both Spanish and English, which he speaks fluently. He's seen the good (first Division I win on Nov. 5, 2005 vs. Louisiana-Monroe; winning the last football game played at the Orange Bowl on Dec. 1, 2007 vs. North Texas), the bad (7 OT loss to North Texas in 2006) and the ugly (the Rocky 7 auditions in 2006).
There is no other broadcaster out there with the knowledge of FIU sports that JDC has. JDC (right) was once the Spanish voice in football, basketball and baseball of the green/orange across town before joining FIU in 2002. At FIU, he has called football, basketball and baseball. You can also hear JDC on his weeknight sports talk show -- Descarga Deportiva -- on 1550 AM.
Haven't spoken to JDC since the last football game vs. Western Kentucky to close out the 2008 season. But dialed him up to see if he had read your comments. JDC read about your push for him and is interested in the job.
"I really appreciate all the nice things the FIU fans have to say," said JDC. "I love FIU and it's wonderful that I have been able to be there since the beginning."
RUNNING WITHOUT RYAN
A big setback for the FIU baseball team. Second baseman Ryan Mollica (.379, 8 HR, 49 RBI) is out until probably the final series of the season at Florida Atlantic. Mollica came down with mono and the Panthers hope to have him back for the Hooters, if not the Sun Belt Tournament at Troy.
Freshman Raiko Alfonso (.307 batting average) will likely fill in at 2B until Mollica returns.
Until then, tell us how you really feel about FIU football's new radio deal.