« T.Y., Gaitor, Serini All-Sun Belt; More from the 7-on-7s | Main | Friday's 7-on-7s »

In The Gym With The Panthers: Freshmen

Continuing our off-season look at the weight room gains of your Panthers as we count down the daysMoore until camp opens on Aug. 10: 19 days.

Here's a first look at some of the freshmen that stood out for FIU strength coach Rod Moore (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo) in the offseason strength and conditioning program. These are preliminary numbers -- same as we had with the Panthers veterans. Following the freshman numbers, there are some 40 times from the veterans. The freshmen have yet to be timed in the 40.

Since the first post of weight room numbers here on the GPP, there have been several players come up to me after 7-on-7's saying they lifted more. As soon as I get those new numbers will have them on here. For now, enjoy the freshmen's weight room accomplishments.

Mars Pooh Bear Mars opened several eyes with his 515 squat in the first week of workouts. Coaches said they had to stop him there, even though Pooh Bear was ready to squat more. When you get to an open practice when camp rolls around take a look at the Bear's tree trunk legs. PBM cleaned 275 pounds and benched 300 pounds.

PBM arrived at FIU weighing 230 pounds, but is getting close to his playing weight of 220. Remember, PBM told us back when he signed that he got the nickname from his mother, who said that with PBM's shirt rolled up his belly looked like Winnie the Pooh when he was a kid. ThePooh belly is being trimmed in the FIU weight room.

Freshman walk-on defensive end Anthony Maltagliati (Miami Coral Reef High) was the second name that RM mentioned. AM cleaned 295, benched 250 and squatted 365.

Jonathan Cyprien, who physically looks a junior or senior and has played like one during 7-on-7s, squatted 415, cleaned 275 and benched 275.

You get a look at Rupert Bryan's (left) numbers and you wonder (in a good way) how did this offensive lineman, in high school at Glades Central, chase down a defensive back, who was returning a fumble 80 Rb yards? RB had a 250 clean, 365 bench and 405 squat. Although, he is just a freshman, having seen RB at the 7-on-7s must say he has the makings of being (with apologies to El Monstruo).... a monster physically during his career at FIU.

Dave Istanich, who at 6-6, 305, is the biggest freshman physically. But like all the other freshmen he has room to develop. Istanich had a 275 clean, 305 bench and 425 squat.

Linebacker Markeith Russell with his play and intelligence on the field reminds me of a young Scott Bryant. MR cleaned and benched 275 and squatted 425.

Although he is not a freshman, with his size and speed, junior tight end Dudley LaPorte (below, right) should have a big impact on the FIU offense. DL reported at 240 pounds, but coaches say he has the frame to add another 10 pounds and not lose any speed. DL has cleaned 300, benched 365 and squatted 450. WithDudley those physical tools and two good years at FIU you might see DL on Sundays in an NFL stadium near you.


Once again T.Y. Goodbye and Junior Mertile are the 2 fastest Panthers. According to coach Moore "both ran the same time, but T.Y. runs faster on the football field." The official times were T.Y. (4.34) and Jr. (4.35).

RM says if we go by high school numbers, expect Rocky Vann and Wayne Times to challenge T.Y. and Junior in the Panther 500 at the FIU Speedway. Both Rocky and Times each have run 4.3s before arriving at FIU.

The next 3 fastest Panthers ran high 4.4s: Daunte Owens, Elliott Dix and Marquis Rolle.

Ty Frierson and Greg Ellingson each ran a 4.5. Darriet Perry clocked in at 4.57.

Will have updated times soon along with freshmen 40 times.

Some offseason workout program thoughts from coach Moore:

"The difference between the strength and conditioning program in the summer of 2008 and the summer of 2009 is that a lot of the players were getting crushed last year, because the program is intense and demands a lot. This year they now know what to expect. They are still getting crushed, because the program is as intense and demanding as ever, but now they are competing and they are giving that extra effort. Competition is at an all-time high in the weight room and with the new freshmen it's all about competing with them."

"A lot of people were excited last year for the team being 5-7, but the kids and myself saw 5-7 as a disappointment. Losing to FAU and ULM made us more hungry in the weight room."


Apaw One thing not mentioned in the two posts on the weight room is that the new FIU weight room in the fieldhouse will have a mini astro turf field for the linemen to work on their footwork, etc. The field is similar to the field you see on ESPN's NFL Live show or on FOX Sunday NFL pregame show.


FIUJM: Was Cristobal coach that voted FIU to be in first place in conference or are they not allowed to vote for their own team?

PP: Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams in the Sun Belt preseason poll, so there is another SBC coach that thinks FIU will be conference champs this season.

FIUPantherFan: Pete, Have they identified the radio football announcers?

PP: They have: Jeremy Marks-Peltz (play-by-play) and Jorge Sedano (color).

TowersFIU: Pete, don't forget that Radiate FM will be carrying every football game on the radio (Rutgers Rodney might not, still have to figure out the money on that.) show the Student Media some respect, Pete!

PP: Not sure where the "no respect" came out of, but I've never disrespected the student media. In fact, I go on the student media sports talk show whenever you guys ask and even helped out Andrew during a baseball game last season.

Quijote: Just received word from a Dazzler that the FIU Cheer team is back! Pete can you confirm this?

PP: It happened a few weeks ago.

Cog: Hey Pete any word on how MC and Def. staff plan on using Sr. Artis Warthen at DE or LB this season, he's as healthy as he's been in 2yrs.Look forward to seeing more of him this year on the field.

Aartis PP: Artis (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) is looking to see playing time on the defensive line. MC has said it will be a battle in camp for all defensive linemen to earn playing time this season. MC says "Artis looks good".



The Sun Belt coaches voted FIU to finish 5th in the conference's preseason poll. What do you think about that?



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

FIRST! Finally!!! lol

Woah a TE having the 5th best time on our time means one of two things:

1) He is really fast
2) The team, excluding some standouts, is really slow.

Has the Defense ran their 40's? I didnt see any of them up there... and what is up with the sc"UM" advertising when i opened this page

When is the Sun Belt media day?

I think we finish second, troy is still stacked. Although if we are able to pull out a win down here we may have a shot to win the sun belt.

Regarding FIU's 2009 Sunbelt Finish:

3rd place finish - minimum expected progress
2nd place finish - that's special, sligthly ahead of schedule
1st place finish - FAU shuts down it's football program and UM prays their recruits don't notice

Cool stuff...thanks for the info...PBM seems to be another freakish athlete....

Has LaPorte 40's (since he is not a freshman) been timed? I expect several DB's to Pooh Bear is as well...

Nice to see Sedano get in there with his Alma Mater...he'll increase loyalty to his morning show by doing this...don't underestimate the GP nation. Shrewd move Sedano.

Hey pete any news regarding a fanfest before the football season starts???

I read in Sun Sentinel that FAU has delayed its Stadium because they could not get sponsorship. They may even end up reducing their original size.

I voted for 2nd place, but of course I'm hoping for 1st.

I didn't think we were too behind Troy last year, not sure if this year we'll be at par with them, but one more year of fine recruiting by MC should make us favorites in the SBC.

I will say, however, flying under the radar is probably a good thing. More recruits will start to notice the sudden emergence of FIU football and so will the casual fans.

Hey, Pete.

Wasn't trying to work on my Rodney dangerfield impression there, that 'respect' bit wasn't supposed to be serious.

hey Pete, when you writing up about how the defense is doing...#86?? Would like an update thanks GO FIU!

FAU needs to focus on recruiting more than building a stadium. I still dont understand how HS can possibly wait till the minute to recruit.

FIURage.. i dont want to be the downer but... even w/ their "lack of recruiting" they still have beeten us every time but once that they have played us.. they have won the conf. and 2 bowl games. i may not like them Owls but i have to respect what HS has done up in the rats mouth... i agree that if they dont up their recruiting a bit more MC may surpass FAU... however, i cant say that they dont do well in recruiting

Im not talking about the past im referring to the proposed stadium and their future. I see it going downhill.

Mars is an animal... I can see it now ... TY, Gaitor and Mars on the side of our Stadium.

Pooh Bear 515 squat? Or do you mean to say half squat or even quarter squat. And then on the 6-6 kid thatweighs 305 and benches 305. That's not impressive for a lineman-he's got alot of work to do even if it is the Sun Belt conf.

I think that Troy is also the team to beat. We should surprise everyone by finishing second and going bowling during December.. I think.....

2009= First Bowl Game ever
2010= First Sunbelt Championship/2nd Bowl Game
2011= Recruiting Class among the Top 50, and another Sunbelt Championship..

Note: By the start of our 2011 Season we can have an in-campus stadium that will take 45,000 crazy FIU fans.. 2008 is were we started but the future looks VERY Bright!


It's great to hear Coach Moore and the players were disappointed with last year's 5-7 record. I said at the beginning of last season that anything less than 6-6 would be a disappointment, so I agree. We were a better team than 5-7 last year.

I think anything less than 7-5 this year will be a disappointment. I actually expect us to finish better than 7-5. I think this is the year we're going to shake up the world.


Another poster mentions above that we're going to have 45,000 in the seats in 2011. I thought they had temporarily put the stadium expansion plans on hold with the budget crisis and economic uncertainty? Can you give us an update?

Also, any news on 2010 football recruitment? ESPN recruiting shows three guys committed (Wade Isaac, Khambrel McGee, and Randy Williams). Are we hot on the trail of any major top 150 recruits (no disrespect to the three aforementioned recruits)?


The next item pending completion is the fieldhouse. I took a tour yesterday and it is truly stunning. That picture Pete posted of the gym doesn't do it any justice. The place is huge!!!

Afterwards they'll finish the north hole of the stadium and complete the lower bowl. The engineering paperwork apparently is finished. Hopefully it should be fully wrapped by the 2011 season and the adjoining six floor athletics and registration offices will be complete.

The top bowl probably won't be incorporated until at least 2013, pending a conference upgrade. Honestly man, once the entire Phase 2 & 3 is complete (fieldhouse, lower bowl complete and registration student welcome center) the facility will look pretty amazing. Heck it looks nice as it is. Not really concerned about the upper bowl right now.

Pete, want to add to any of this?


What about the 40 times of the defensive guys? I think guys like Gaitor, D. Clark, and Weatherspoon, along with a few others, were 4.4 guys last year. Once again, great job covering our Panthers!

Since we are talking about the stadium and seats:

What are the chances that we sell out (18,000 fans) the first game as well as Homecoming Game and the FAU game?

I hope to see:

Toledo= Sold Out! (Second time in school

Homecoming= 12,000 (Not bad..)

FAU= 12,000 FIU fans 6,000 FAU fans (Close to another sold out game)

Agree with Quijote, totally. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there as to the timeline and approved funds for our stadium. As Quijote stated the next phase (with plans and funding attached to it)would be to enclose the lower bowl with its attached Student Center on the North Side of the stadium.

This would become the "Main" facade of the stadium once it's finished. As of today, the funds to build that haven't been received it its totality yet. FIU is hoping to receive, as part of the PECO funds, about $20-25 million in FY 2010-2011, so that the project can be started. There's already like $4-5 million in the kitty right now for the project, according to facilities management website page.

So I would assume the north facade will be done for the 2012 season, maybe 2011 with some luck. As far as I know, the upper deck project (future phases) are not funded yet and specific plans are not drawn either, and will ONLY come to fruition when it truly becomes necessary based on attendance...and more importantly...when funds become more readily available.


12,000 for Homecoming? I say we need to have at least 15,000... Honestly, we need to try and sell out, or come as close to selling out, all 5 home games. Student power alone should be able to fill the place, but yeah when we know about student apapthy... hopefully that'll change.

And for FAU, we need more than 12,000 FIU fans there... we need to DROWN out whatever number FAU brings to show them the kind of benefits an on-campus stadium has. That MUST be a sell-out, and it must be an FIU-dominated crowd, without question. Especially considering it may very well have bowl game implications. I don't want to hear "Finals Week" as an excuse like it was last season against WKU...

Love the passion here, but we cannot rely on FIU mobilize attendance and support for this season. It starts here with students and alumni.

Everyone in the alumni community that patrols this blog needs to email everyone in their address book that is an FIU Grad and encourage them to participate in the Panther Preview Special event on AUGUST 20TH at the Stadium Club. More details to follow...Have a friend that is one of the alumnus' that is putting the event together with FIU Athletics. Sounds like an awesome opportunity to bring friends out to see FIU Football up close and get jazzed up for the season !!!

It starts here. Save the date: 8/20 6pm

Oh absolutely, it starts with the students and alumni... but it starts with getting them excited for FIU football and shaking this commuter school image and mentality. This is going to be a GREAT season and we need to rally around this team. I know I'm gonna do everything I can to get as many people as I can to that stadium, at FIU or not. Students NEED to know it's free for them. They NEED to know they can bring in a friend for free. They NEED to know that this is a great way to spend a Saturday night. The school needs to do WHATEVER it takes to BOMBARD students with info and beat it into their heads that there is FIU football on campus and that this team is a great team. There needs to be an AGRESSIVE on campus effort to bring students out to the games EVERY game.

And Pete, when do you think the FIU baseketball schedule is going to be released? And besides Ohio State and FSU, what other OOC opponents do you think we will be facing? Which ones at The Bank?

Event - Alumni Panther Preview
Meet Coach Cristobal
Tour the Stadium and New Fieldhouse
Bring the Family
It's Free

Save the Date - Thursday, August 20th at 6 PM at FIU Stadium.

Here's the link:


Invite a friend.

Sounds like a great time! Open to everyone, right?

Yes Joel, open to all those interested in FIU Football's best interest (students, alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends of FIU as well as the casual fan who wishes to support this town's state university via athletics).


The comments to this entry are closed.