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.
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. The 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 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. With those physical tools and two good years at FIU you might see DL on Sundays in an NFL stadium near you.
FIRST LOOK AT THE 40s
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."
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 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.
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?