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Munera Gets 5th Season; Visit to a 7-on-7

FIU punter Carlos Munera was granted a 5th season of college football by the NCAA on Wednesday Munera afternoon.

Munera had petitioned the NCAA for a medical redshirt after transferring to FIU before last season from West Hills College where he was a JUCO All-American punter.

Munera, who at 6-2, 232 pounds, took out a couple of opposing special teamers last year during punt returns, averaged 41.1 yards per punt and downed 20 punts inside the 20. His long was 61 yards.

Getting Munera (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo) for an extra season will now allow Jack Griffin and Dustin Rivest to concentrate on just kicking. Both would have punted and kicked this season if Munera was not available.

OFF-SEASON WORKOUT

Was at one of your Panthers 7-on-7s on Tuesday afternoon working on an upcoming story about the FIU freshmen and thought to pass along some observations of the workout.

To start the entire team was not present due to classes, etc., but a good number of the team was there.

Before we get to the 7-on-7s, it was good to see how some of the players have taken charge and are leading the younger Panthers.

Oso With no FIU coaches present, because all throughout the NCAA, coaches are not allowed to be on the field with the players until August, certain players led the workout.

On the defensive side, you saw Scott Bryant (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) schooling the younger linebackers on the fine points of the position. SB set up some cones and went through some of the techniques of the position as Winston Fraser, Aaron Davis and Kenny Dillard paid attention to their elder (well, SB is a senior, so we can call him an elder).

Over with the tight ends, Eric Kirchenberg was doing the teaching as Jonathan Faucher, Chris Campbell and Colt Anderson, who is going to make the move from QB, listened intently.

Good news for Paul McCall and the FIU running game, the Panthers entire starting offensive line is back this season. Rare when you see all 5 linemen return for any team across the country.

The freshmen O-linemen look promising. Andy Leavine and Brad Serini were leading the O-line drills withIstanich seniors Joe Alajajian and Mario Caraballo as freshmen Dave Istanich (right), Rupert Bryan, Giancarlo Revilla and Austin Tottle followed along. On first impression, Istanich is a mountain and Bryan has the potential to be a monster. DI, who stands at 6-6 and 305 pounds, is probably not ready to play yet, but it would  not surprise to see him orMountain Bryan be the first freshmen linemen to get playing time this year.

With the QBs, PM and Wesley Carroll were giving pointers to a couple of walk-on QBs in Junior Delpe (North Miami High) and Chris Schirripa (Cardinal Gibbons High).

Anthony Gaitor, who it seems like just the other day was a freshman, was leading the DBs before they lined up against the receivers in 7-on-7s.

Among other notables: Josh Forney looks like the real deal as does Jonathan Cyprien, who already has the build of an upperclassman.

Some of the highlights from Tuesday's 7-on-7s:

Junior Mertile (thanks AJH photo), who caught the Hilton Heave last season, not only looks bigger and faster, but caught everything thrown his way, including a couple of acrobatic catches where he went across his body to Jr snare.

Kirchenberg also had a solid day catching passes. Anderson looked pretty comfortable at TE. You could tell he's a natural athlete with the way he ran his patterns and how effortlessly he caught the ball. He definitely has the height to play the position.

Not to anyone's surprise T.Y. Goodbye beat 2 defenders for a 45-yard TD and yes, you can tell Goodbye is no longer weighing 160 pounds and no, none of his speed has been sacrificed with the extra muscle on his frame. He's still running a 4.3.

Jairus Williams, all 6-5 of him, has the potential to be a nice red zone target. He had his ups and downs Tuesday making some catches, but dropping several of them. To which someone yelled, "You're going to be the strongest receiver here" because each time a receiver drops a pass they have to do push ups.

Each of the three QBs (PM, WY and WC) had their moments throwing. Delpe has good size at 6-3 and a strong arm. Schirripa had some accurate throws.

Gaitor and Cyprien had some pass breakups and Big Ontario Smith had an INT.

We're 26 days away from the start of camp and we'll have more updates from 7-on-7s before then. We'll get to the freshmen's weight room accomplishments on the next post.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw Dropped by the fieldhouse after watching the workout and it is coming along nicely. It is just about completely painted. Was able to walk out onto the patio deck overlooking the FIU Stadium field and with the sun setting behind the west side of the stadium, the deck was covered in shade with a smooth easterly breeze blowing in -- definitely best seat in the house. Also, now with carpeting installed and the walls painted, the team auditorium is pretty impressive in size. Weight room and FIU locker room also had their floors put in and are taking shape. Will have some updated photos of the place soon.

blkpanther: Question, is Gaitor squatting 475 a typo? He squatting as much as the Linemen. Pete DoesGaitor   CMack have 2 years of eligibility left since he did not play last year? Was he on scholly last year?

PP: Double-checked with Coach Moore and he says that is NOT a typo. Moore says Gaitor (right, thanks AJH photo) is "pound for pound the strongest kid on the team".

CMack was getting his paperwork in order last season so he was not on any scholly. He has 2 years to play football at FIU.

Bryan R.: Pete, Maybe you can bring the NCAA 2010 stadium issue to your contacts in FIU athletics.

PP: FIU told EA about the new stadium with plenty of time, but EA just did not include it. Also, No. 4 and No. 6 for FIU were not included by EA in the game. Would say that No. 4 and No. 6 on the FIU team are some pretty important players.

 

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