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Camp Preview: Receivers and Tight Ends

Time to take a look at the strength of the FIU offense as we move to 6 days away from the start of camp.

Yes, that No. 4 is pretty good and unlike last season he will not sneak up on anyone, but that's just fineTygoodbye with your Panthers, because there are plenty of other FIU receivers that can say Goodbye to opposing defenses.

There is no doubt opposing defenses will key on T.Y. Hilton (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) this season and like the Panthers themselves, No. 4 will not be a surprise to any team this season. This, however, will make FIU's other receivers better and will likely cause an uptick in their numbers.

Not comparing here -- so don't start pounding the keyboard -- but with opposing defenses knowing what T.Y. can do and how it will benefit FIU's other receivers could be a little bit like what happened to the other Patriots receivers when Randy Moss arrived there. All of the sudden receivers such as Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney put up the best numbers of their careers with opposing defenses so focused on stopping Moss. Again, so no one calls the men in the white coats to come get me, I'm not comparing T.Y. to Moss -- just the scenario that can happen to the offense when opposing defenses have to find a way to stop a top notch receiver and how other receivers will benefit. Of course, Moss we can't compare T.Y. to Moss, because everybody knows No. 4 is better anyway........kidding, no need for a straitjacket.

As one reader was wondering, what will FIU do if Goodbye is double and triple-teamed?....Well, there are plenty of other options offensive coordinator Bill Legg can dial up.

Greg Ellingson (right, AJH photo) can beat you with his size and strength along the sidelines or over the middle. Junior Mertile is just as fast as Goodbye and is noticeably stronger thanks to the offseason strength and conditioning program.

Ty Frierson showed late last season that he could wreak havoc underneath. Wayne Times can beat you with his elusiveness. Rocky Vann runs a 4.4 and has good hands. Edgard Theliar is 6-3 and a physical receiver. Not too many defensive backs or safeties will outjump 6-5 receiver Jairus Williams for anythingGe in the air and Larry McCoy, who had a solid summer in team workouts, is described by MC as "a playmaker, explosive".

And we can't forget the senior receivers such as Jeremy Dickens and Elliott Dix, who have both shown before that they can be productive.

And we haven't even gotten to the tight ends yet. Senior Eric Kirchenberg made some nice grabs during summer 7-on-7s and is healthy going into this season.

While most of you are very eager to see what new tight end/big dude Dudley LaPorte (6-4, 240, 4.6 40-yard) can do, keep an eye on sophomore tight end Jonathan Faucher, who could surprise this season.

Faucher played special teams and backed up Kirchenberg last season and could be pressed for playing time again this season with EK and DL at TE, but JF can catch the ball.

John Ellis, who figures into FIU's running game plans, is also an option as an h-back. But with the way JE ran during the spring, it would be interesting to see him get some carries and see if the wheels on the bus go round and round.

Although the pass catchers are the strength of the FIU offense going into this season, again, the success when the Panthers have the ball will depend largely on establishing a solid running game to keep opposing defenses honest. If not, it won't matter even if you have T.Y. and Moss lining up side by side.

LogoPANTHER PAWSE

Apaw

Here are the top 5 times in the 40 from the FIU defense this past summer: Anthony Gaitor (4.43) (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo); George Palmer (4.45) and Jeremiah Weatherspoon (4.45); Kreg Brown (4.46) and Dez Johnson (4.46). Top 5 times in the 40 from the 2009 signing class: Rocky Vann (4.4); Derrick Jones (4.5); Jarrell McGee (4.52); Darian Mallary (4.55); Terrance Gaitor Taylor (4.58).

Apaw

Looks like the FIU Football PSAT was a little tough. We only had 4 people get 10 or more of the 20 questions correct. Here are those people: RFeng (17 out of 20); Sam Lewis (14 of 20); FIU Fanatic (13 of 20) and Roman (12 of 20). Thanks to all for playing. You can check out all 20 correct answers here: FIU Football PSAT Answers

Q&A

FIUJM: Pete, I hope you enjoyed your vacation. During spring Jonathan Ramirez played RB, is he on team?

PP: Yes he is, but he might end up doing a little of everything: RB, special teams and DB.

CharlieGP: what time exactly will the practice start?

PP: Looking like an 8:30 a.m. start.

CJ: have fun on the vacation?

PP: Great time in Sarasota. Highly recommend Siesta Key for beach getaway.

Apaw

As of this post, Darian Mallary had a slight edge over Daunte Owens in your vote for who will step up as FIU's No. 2 back this season. Poll is still open, keep voting. Here is another question for you:


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