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17 posts from December 2009

December 31, 2009

FIU vs. South Alabama LIVE HOOPS BLOG

Helmetlogo After 37 days away from home due to the 88th annual Farming Investors United convention taking place at the Bank, your Panthers finally have a home game this afternoon against South Alabama. FIU went 2-6 on the recent road swing and face a Jaguars team that upset then-No. 18 Florida.

Sa We're about less than 10 minutes from tip-off and we have a very friendly deadline today since it is a noon game so we'll be here until the final buzzer.

The last LIVE BLOG we had was of Shula Bowl VIII, so in case you forgot about our friendly, little blog reminders, here they are:

***So that the question is not asked 500 times during the LIVE BLOG, here are your viewing & listening options for today's game: 

Blog BLOG: Right here.

Tv VIDEO: Panther Pass at fiusports.com.

Radio RADIO: None

A few reminders for all GPP LIVE BLOGS:

1) The size of the LIVE BLOG window is at its maximum, but the way the blog program works by making the window larger it takes away the scroll button. However, you can still view previous comments by using your arrow keys.

2) There are only 25 spots to be an unmoderated commentator which allows you to post comments without my approval.

If you are 1 of the first 25 to log-on AND I think you will contribute some worthwhile comments then I will go ahead and approve you as an unmoderated commentator.

3) After the 25 spots are taken up, I then have to approve each comment from each reader. So if your comment takes a minute or so to show up it's because I'm busy, but I will eventually get to it.

Let's go blogging....

December 30, 2009

Adding to the Recruiting Legion

Former Illinois guard Alex Legion (right) is in the process of transferring to FIU which would make him eligible toLegion play for the Panthers as a senior in January 2011.

Coming out of high school, Legion was a 4-star recruit who was also the No. 11-ranked shooting guard in the nation. Apparently, he and Illini coach Bruce Weber had some differences. Legion was an original Kentucky signee before transferring to Illinois. Maybe his third team -- FIU -- turns out to be the charm.

Here's his bio from the Illini website: Alex Legion


Aaapaw Don't forget will have LIVE BLOG coverage of tommorrow's (Thursday) FIU/South Alabama hoops game from the Bank. We'll go LIVE BLOGGING at 11:48 a.m. for the 12 noon tip-off.


Gloriet Boyd: Pete why do you think Scott Bryant is so underappreciated? It is obvious that he's a phenominal player but just undersized... is that the reason or is it because he attends a smaller school? I think he deserves to be on the official 1st team defense in my own opinion.

PP: Scott (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) is a phenomenal defensive player, but he might be underappreciated by some, because of his Sb size. You are preaching to the choir here, I voted for him for 1st team defense.

Gooch7: Pete: Can FIU make a bigger effort in updating their athletic web page? its all about changing the little things..

PP: I will let them know and they are voracious readers of the GPP so they will read your comment here.

SouthPaw: Pete, what happened to Larry McCoy? Is he still on the team?

PP: No longer on the team. Nothing negative with him not being on the team, just had to take care of some off the field stuff.

PantherPride: Would Corey Ammons have to sit out a year? Or would he be ready to play come fall?

PP: That's being figured out, we'll probably know by spring ball when he would be eligibile.

Quijote: Pete, Who would be on YOUR realistic shortlist of Defensive and Offensive coordinators, considering our budget?

PP: The defensive candidates mentioned in the previous post have worthy credentials. However, there are some darkhorse candidates that might be available toward the end of the week. If they become so, then you'll have them here. We don't have the full list of DC candidates yet so there might be some other intriguing names.

Offensively, I think you can look at some Sun Belt coaches, who have plenty of experience running the spread that is so popular throughout the conference. Also, don't discount some coaches from successful FCS offenses and the same goes for defenses. For both positions, it's tough to really say who the best coach for the job is since we're not interviewing the guy. We're just going by what we read in their bios and stats.


Look at Possible 2010 Offense & Defense

As the search begins for the next FIU offensive and defensive coordinators, time to ask what kind of schemes would you like to see from both sides of the ball next season.

Before we get to that, here's some of the latest from the DC search. This is the week that DC's will interview while the OC interviews begin next week. Word is that MC would like to have a DCCoach hired by sometime next week and the OC in place by no later than the second or third week of January.

Among some of the first names to emerge to interview for the DC position are: Illinois linebackers coach Dan Disch, former Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, former Akron defensive coordinator Jim Fleming and Akron linebackers coach Vince Okruch. There are other defensive coaches that are ready to  throw their hats in the ring for the job, including some Sun Belt coaches, but will wait until there is confirmation of the SBC coaches before posting on here.

In other FIU coaching news, tight ends coach Alex Mirabal has been named the Panthers offensive line coach and former offensive line coach Greg Laffere is now the FIU tight ends coach. 

Tell us your takes on the FIU O & D schemes for next season. Here are a couple of takes to consider:


Times With the speed and athletes FIU recruits in the state and of course, locally in the tri-county area, the Panthers would probably be best served sticking to the spread offense to get those playmakers the ball in open space and utilize their speed to the max.

Ideally, would like to see the Panthers establish a clock-chewing, big-yardage running game to complement the spread, but FIU needs to develop or sign some big backs, along with a punishing offensive line. Can someone like a Jeremiah Harden or Kedrick Rhodes become that back? We'll see. As for the O-line, of course more beef is needed there. Certainly, the experience freshmen Dave Istanich and Rupert Bryan got last season will help.

With the new OC, would also like to see FIU take more shots passing downfield. The Panthers certainly have the speed with T.Y. Hilton, Junior Mertile, Wayne Times (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) and Dudley LaPorte, but Wesley Carroll will need the protection to have time to throw deep.

Also, keep working the WildPanther into the playbook. Kendall Berry was very effective running it last season and Wayne Younger also had his moments like the winning TD run vs. North Texas. Would be interesting to see T.Y. run the WildPanther, although not as much as KB, because of size concerns. From the Hilton Heave, we certainly know Goodbye can throw the ball.


Read in previous GPP post comments where some of you think FIU is best suited for a 3-4, because of the talent of the Panthers linebacking corps.

Not sure if FIU has that size upfront defensively to make the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4. You have to beTwil encouraged by what Tourek Williams (right, thanks AJH photo) and Andrew Mattox showed last season as freshmen, but the Panthers need more of that on the D-Line. Thatcher Starling also had his moments.

Agreed that FIU's D strength right now are the LBs. However, the only problem with that is that you need some big monsters on the D-Line to give the LBs some space to work their magic.

Maybe some of the incoming D-linemen will have the type of impact TW and AM had as freshmen last season. But who knows, maybe the new DC finds a way to play the 3-4 with what FIU has on the defensive line next season.

You have to like the potential of the FIU secondary with the type of season Jonathan Cyprien had last season, plus a senior Anthony Gaitor, Chuck Grace, Dez Johnson (expected to get a medical redshirt for an extra season), Jarrell McGee and the debut of Terrance Taylor and his former high school teammate and expected UCF transfer Corey Ammons. Yes, Ammons, who was between FIU and UCF on signing day last February is expected to join the Panthers for spring practice.

Aaapaw Your Panthers basketball team returns home after one month on the road for a 12 noon game against South Alabama on Thursday from the Bank. Will have a LIVE BLOG from this New Year's Eve afternoon game.

December 27, 2009

Legg Leaving; Galiano Going

Offensive coordinator Bill Legg is leaving to be the offensive line coach for Marshall.

Defensive coordinator Phil Galiano's contract will not be renewed.

So your Panthers will have a new offensive and defensive coordinator next season.

Legg will now be 30 minutes from his home and closer to his family.

MC said: "Coach Legg's contributions to FIU are greatly appreciated. He's made a great impact which we will take from here. He will be closer to his family. It was a tough decision for him."

MC has several candidates for the offensive coordinator position, but chose not to comment on any names. MC expects to have his new offensive coordinator in place soon.

MC did not have any comment regarding Galiano.

These are the first of what might be several changes to the FIU coaching staff this off-season.

December 25, 2009

The FIU Christmas Song

Merry Christmas to all of our GPP readers. Thanks for your input and readership the past year and ever since this blog started in 2007.

It's that time of year again for the GPP's Christmas extravaganza. Although to some with their input regarding the past two GPP Christmas extravaganzas (Dec. 2007 & 2008) this might be a lump of coal.Nkc Well, then Bah, Humbug!

Still like St. Nick guiding his sleigh and reindeer through the northeastern snow, we press on undaunted to try and bring a little Christmas cheer to the blog.

The last two Christmases have featured: 12 Days of FIU Christmas and T'was the Night Before Christmas at FIU.

Now sit back and sing along with Nat King Cole the FIU version of The Christmas Song:

Chestnutt's soccer team roasting the Sun Belt on an open fire,

Rosa T.Y. scoring and Yarimar spiking never gets olde,

Ole, Ole carols being sung by a choir,

And folks dressed up in blue and gold.


Everybody knows a Turtle and two numero unos,

Help to make an FIU baseball season bright.

Golden Dazzlers with their outfits all aglows,Fiudaz

Will make everyone at FIU Stadium happier tonight.


They know that recruiting Santa's on his way;

He's loaded lots of wins and good players on his sleigh.

And every other team is going to spy,

Gpp fansTo see if FIU really knows how to fly.


And so I'm offering this simple phrase,

To GPP readers from one to ninety-two,

Although it's been said many times, many ways,

A very Merry Christmas to you


December 24, 2009

T.Y. on The Herald's All-Florida Team

Ty The Miami Herald's All-Florida Team was released today and FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton made the first team. Linebacker Scott Bryant made the second team, but punter Carlos Munera got hosed. Take a look below at the picks and then let us know what you think. Also is there another Panther that deserved a spot on either team?

Here is the 2009 All-Florida team as voted on by the Herald's college football beat writers: Joe Goodman (Gators), Susan Miller Degnan (Hurricanes), Manny Navarro (Hurricanes) and myself (Panthers).

1st Team Offense
T - Jason Fox, UM; T - Andrew Datko, FSU; G - Mike Pouncey, UF; G - Rodney Hudson, FSU; C - Maurkice Pouncey, UF; TE - Aaron Hernandez, UF; QB - Tim Tebow, UF; RB - Alfred Morris, FAU; WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU; WR - Rod Owens, FSU; WR Leonard Hankerson, UM; K - Matt Bosher, UM; ATH - Curtis Pulley, FAMU.

2nd Team Offense
OL - Robert Okeafor, FAMU; OL - Jah Reid, UCF; OL - Ryan McMahon, FSU; OL - Sampson Genus, USF; OL - A.J. Trump, UM; TE - Jason Harmon, FAU; QB - Christian Ponder, FSU; RB - Brynn Harvey, UCF; WR - Bert Reed, FSU; WR - Josh Philpart, JU; WR - Riley Cooper, UF; K - Caleb Sturgis, UF; ATH - Jacory Harris, UM.

1st Team Defense
DL - Jason Pierre-Paul, USF; DL - Jermaine Cunningham, UF; DL - Allen Bailey, UM; DL - Bruce Miller, UCF; LB - Kion Wilson, USF; LB - Ryan Stamper, UF; LB - Darryl Sharpton, UM; DB - Joe Haden, UF; DB - Brandon Harris, UM; FS - Nate Allen, USF; SS - Marcus Bartels, FAU; P Chas Henry, UF; ATH - Cory Hogue - UCF.
2nd Team Defense
DL - Carlos Dunlap, UF; DL - Jarvis Geathers, UCF; DL - George Selvie, USF; DL - Torrell Troup, UCF; LB -Colin McCarthy, UM; LB - Brandon Spikes, UF; LB - Nigel Bradham, FSU; DB - Jerome Murphy, USF; DB - Josh Robinson, UCF; FS - Major Wright, UF; SS - Ahmad Black, UF; P - Blake Clingan, UCF; ATH - Scott Bryant, FIU.
Here is my ballot:

OT Jason Fox, Miami
OT Andrew Datko, Florida State
OG Mike Pouncey, Florida
OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State
C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida
QB Christian Ponder, Florida State 
RB Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic 
WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU
WR Rod Owens, Florida State
WR Riley Cooper, Florida
ATH Bert Reed, Florida State
K Caleb Sturgis, Florida

OL David Matlock, Florida Atlantic
OL Jah Reid, Central Florida
OL Ryan McMahon, Florida State
OL Samson Genus, South Florida
OL A.J. Trump, Miami
TE Jason Harmon, Florida Atlantic
QB Tim Tebow, Florida
RB Brynn Harvey, Central Florida
RB Jeff Demps, Florida
WR Josh Philpart, Jacksonville
WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami
ATH Curtis Pulley, Florida A&M
K Dustin Hopkins, Florida State

DL Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
DL Jermaine Cunningham, Florida
DL Jarvis Geathers, Central Florida
DL Bruce Miller, Central Florida
LB Scott Bryant, FIU
LB Ryan Stamper, Florida
LB Darryl Sharpton, Miami
CB Josh Robinson, Central Florida
CB Brandon Harris, Miami
FS Major Wright, Florida
SS Marcus Bartels, Florida Atlantic 
ATH Cory Hogue, Central Florida
P Carlos Munera, FIU
DL Carlos Dunlap, Florida
DL Allen Bailey, Miami
DL George Selvie, South Florida
DL Kevin Cyrille, Florida Atlantic 
LB Nigel Bradham, Florida State 
LB Brandon Spikes, Florida
LB Kion Wilson, South Florida
CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State
CB Joe Haden, Florida
FS Nate Allen, South Florida
SS Ahmad Black, Florida 
ATH Michael Lockley, Florida Atlantic
P Matt Bosher, Miami


December 22, 2009

1st Early Signee

FIU lost a valuable weapon on special teams for next season with the graduation of All-Sun Belt punterBrisk Carlos Munera.

With the first early signee of the 2010 signing class, the Panthers have added former Duquesne and former All-State American Heritage punter Josh Brisk.

Brisk averaged 39.7 yards per punt in his last season and had a long of 55 yards.

Brisk becomes the second player signed for the 2010 class after former Syracuse running back Jeremiah Harden.


Aaapaw Nothing new on the Drew Gordon front as of today. When there is, will have it for you here. Supposedly, his family wants him to play west of the Mississippi River -- which would be closer to home -- but there is a basketball Hall of Famer and one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players coaching a Division I college basketball team in Miami. So we shall see.


pikedanny: Pete, Do you expect Galiano to be around as D-Coord. next year? It's been a couple of weeks now since the last game and there has been no announcement of his firing. I think FIU needs to show it's fans that being ranked dead last in total defense is unacceptable by firing Galiano RIGHT NOW. What could they be waiting for? We need to act fast, don't we?

FIUFan: Pete, are we standing pat with or defensive coaches, esp. the DC? Why or why not?

Remember, having one of the worst defenses in D-IA should not bode well for your future. What's the thinking in the Athletic Dept?

PP: Not sure what the thinking is about the coaching staff for next season. MC has not been available due to recruiting. Hopefully, after the holidays we'll know something.

There is no doubt the defense has to improve from last season if the Panthers plan on improving themselves. How they go about improving it remains to be seen. Could be a change in scheme, staff or just getting better players. It will be interesting to see how the Panthers go about it.

Not sure how having one of the worst defenses in D-IA affects my future, I get paid by the Herald regardless of where FIU's D is ranked.

Gooch7: Pete: Is there any talks about bring back the band next year? When are they planning to build the Hall of Fame? When do you think they will nominate the first class of athletes/coaches?

PP: Nothing in the works last I heard about the band coming back. The priority before the HOF is finishing the lower bowl of the stadium so the HOF will have to wait.

danny ryan: Pete, why wasn't Chris Schirripa mentioned with the redshirts?

PP: My mistake I overlooked him. He will also get a redshirt.

UFChris: No disrespect since I am a guest on your board but when did honorable mention count as an All-American?

PP: Yarimar Rosa, Natalia Valentin and Jovana Bjelica are listed as All-American honorable mention which is part of the All-American team so therefore they are considered All-Americans. There are also 1st, 2nd and 3rd team All-Americans.

December 20, 2009

Ex-UCLA hoopster to visit FIU

Former UCLA power forward Drew Gordon is expected to visit FIU soon as he tries to decide where he willGordon play the rest of his college career.

Gordon, who was the No. 15-rated forward in the nation in 2008, was recently released from his scholarship with the Bruins, because he and coach Ben Howland did not see eye to eye.

Gordon recently visited Notre Dame and will next visit UNLV today [Sunday]. Gordon would like to enroll in his new school by January so that he would be eligible to play by Jan. 2011 and not have to sit out an entire season. Wherever Gordon ends up, he would be a redshirt sophomore beginning in 2011.


Defensive back O'Darris D'Haiti is among the final 3 for the Rudy Award. He joins Brian Coulter Odh (Missouri) and LeVon Morefield (Akron) as the finalists for the Rudy.

The winner of the Rudy will be announced Jan. 11 in Orlando.

December 16, 2009

4 for 4 for Yarimar

Yr Yarimar Rosa earned her fourth consecutive All-American honor today for another stellar volleyball season.

Rosa, who is FIU's all-time kills leader, becomes the first FIU athlete to be named an All-American in all four of her college seasons.

Joining YR with All-American status are also Panthers setter Natalia Valentin and freshman Jovana Bjelica.

The FIU ladies are coming off the best season in the program's 23-year history where the ladies were 1 of only 3 teams (Penn State and Northern Iowa) to win 30 or more matches this season. FIU advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

December 15, 2009

GRT In Action

Gat So this is the Gatorade Recruiting Theory in action. There is a story floating in the worldwide web about Northwestern defensive lineman Todd Chandler supposedly leaning toward FIU and now apparently with his eye in Tampa for South Florida.

Well, it all could be just for TC to get back to his original school of choice -- across town in Coral Gables.

Spoke to some people close to the whole situation today and apparently, TC's heart has always been in Coral Gables, but that school is not happy about TC taking all these visits to other schools. So now other schools are coming into the mix, including your Panthers and the latest da bulls.

For those keeping score at home: TC is a 4-star defensive tackle and the No. 14-ranked player at his position in the nation. The Gatorade Recruiting Theory states that high school players have a tough enough time picking what flavor of Gatorade to drink, that picking what school they will play at for the next 3-4 years is almost impossible to know until he signs on National Signing Day.

We're still 50 days away from National Signing Day so stay tuned.



TheChampionUnderdog: hey pete, is it possible any of the seniors will get a look by the pros?

PP: Scott Bryant, Jeremiah Weatherspoon and Carlos Munera might get a look. All depends on how they and the other seniors do during FIU's NFL Pro Day.

SouthPaw: Pete, can you tell us who will get a redshirt from this past season? Is Edgar Theliar on track to be eligible next season?

PP: You can expect the following players to get redshirts - Junior Mertile, Jonathan Jackson, Franklin Brown, Dudley LaPorte, Terrance Taylor, Dez Johnson, Cain Elliott, Derrick Wimberly, Austin Tottle, Jairus Williams. Will look into Theliar.

jcalex22: Pete any news on potential early signees from the JUCO ranks?

PP: No early signees to pass along.

Ultimate FIU Fan: Pete, on the FIU front, aren’t there a couple of basketball players who will be eligible now in Dec for Coach Thomas? I hope so, if not, WOW we FIU hoops fans are in for a long season! Will there be an NFL day @ FIU for our seniors? If yes, when? Do you think any senior starter will get a smell at the draft? Will Scott Bryant, Munera, Weatherspoon or any senior be invited to the combine? Please let us know.

PP: Guard Martvaious Kee, a Temple transfer from last season, is expected to join FIU hoops in the next few weeks. There is an NFL Day, no date set yet. Not expecting any senior to be drafted, but some could get free agent tryouts.

December 12, 2009

Top 5 FIU Recruiting Needs

Yes, it is the first Saturday without your Panthers playing some football. Yes, I know there was a bye week after the game in Gainesville and the very unpopular first week bye, but now there is no game next week or the week after. In fact, no game until Sept. 4, 2010. The closest yours truly will be to football tonight will be later in downtown which is close enough to the grounds of the old Orange Bowl.Fiu

So with that in mind, time to stoke up the old recruiting fire with a prelude to our FIU recruiting preview. It's that time of year when FIU is looking for more recruiting gems like these four on the right, but as you will read down below, not exactly all the positions the Panthers should seek.

We will have a more comprehensive look at your Panthers recruiting soon, but for now here are the top 5 positions FIU should be heavily recruiting. Of course, take these with a grain of salt as I'm no recruiting guru nor have I played one in any movie.

Tell us your top 5 after checking these out:

1) Offensive line -- There are some potential explosive weapons on the FIU offense next season at the skill positions, but without any kind of blocking or protection from the OL, it won't matter if the Panthers have the New Orleans Saints offensive skill players. Only two OL upperclassmen that played significant snaps are back: Brad Serini and Ced Mack.

2) Defensive line -- You might flip-flop this with OL in our list, but the thought here is that there are some young solid defenders such as Tourek Williams who got valuable playing experience. Still would like to see some big, monsters occuping the interior of the line. Just as OL is the main ingredient to a successful run game, the DL is huge when it comes to stopping the run.

3) Big, punishing running back -- FIU returns some effective backs and Jeremiah Harden will certainly help, but to go with the returning backs and JH, the Panthers need that workhorse back that can carry 2 or 3 defenders like DP did against the Hooters in the 2008 Shula Bowl. Maybe DP is that guy with another year in the weight room.

4) Defensive backs -- Like the Sun Belt in baseball where you can never have enough pitchers, the Sun Belt in football is where you can never have enough DBs and as we saw this year with all the injuries FIU certainly lacked depth at the position. And you can classify safeties here too, because although freshman Jonathan Cyprien did a good job in his first season, Ash Parker's experience was missed.

5) Punter -- Don't laugh at the position. You good people witnessed what a valuable weapon Carlos Munera was the past two seasons. CM provided fantastic field position for the FIU D time and again. Right now -- and I'm sure that will change -- Jack Griffin is the only kicker/punter on the roster with the graduation of Dustin Rivest and CM. Griffin will stick to the placekicking duties next season.

Your turn with your top 5 and vote in our poll....

December 11, 2009

OD nominated for College Football Rudy Award

FIU defensive back O'Darris D'Haiti has been nominated for the College Football Rudy Award.Odh

Here is why OD has been nominated: A Day in the Life of ODH

You can vote for OD here: Vote for OD

I know OD posted this info in the comments section of the previous post, but just in case you missed it here it is.


The FIU ladies received more recognition for their best season (32-4, round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament) in the program's 23-year history.

Fiuvolley Yarimar Rosa (no surprise there), Natalia Valentin and Jovana Bjelica (left to right in the photo) all were named to the Division I All-South Region team.

We should know within the next couple of weeks if YR receives her 4th All-American nod.


Yes, last week was the final football game for 19 FIU seniors. This senior class endured some tough seasons as the program won 9 games in their four years.

Bryant Would like to take this time to acknowledge a couple of seniors -- who were called on to speak after every game and at just about every practice -- for their cooperation the past 4 seasons. As the face of the defense for 3 of his 4 seasons, El Oso Scott Bryant (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) never turned down an interview and always spoke even when a lot of times thingsPmc were not going well with the program. Same goes with Paul McCall, (right, thanks AJH photo) who as the offensive leader the last 2 seasons, plus 1 game, always talked after a game regardless of how tough the game was and as you saw this season PMC took a beating.

Having the privilege to work in this field, covering and writing about professional/college teams and athletes, I can tell you it is not the norm for athletes (more so pro athletes) to face the music when times are tough or when there is a lot of losing. However, SB and PMC were always stand-up guys and always spoke whether it was a win or loss.


Apaw With 55 days until National Signing Day, we'll start our recruiting outlook soon as we breakdown your Panthers position by position.

Apaw Fomenter: Pete, What are the restrictions/parameters of the blog? Just looking for any direction and to play within the rules. Thank you.

PP: No restrictions or parameters. Just keep it clean language-wise and have fun.

NYCFIUFan, your 2009 Sun Belt Media Football Guide is being mailed out on Friday. Enjoy!


December 09, 2009

Interview with QB Dylan Favre....yeah, that Favre

Dfavre FIU is recruiting quarterback Dylan Favre -- Minnesota Vikings QB BrettBrett-favre-vikings Favre's nephew. Dylan, who owns just about every high school quarterbacking record in Mississippi, won his first state championship at St. Stanislaus High (Miss.) last week.

Dylan owns the Mississippi high school records for career TD passes, passing yards, total offense along with single-season passing TDs, single-season passing yards, single-season total offense and TDs accounted for. He also owns the national record for TDs accounted for. In other words, Dylan is pretty good.

Currently, Dylan is being recruited by FIU, Mississippi State and his uncle's alma mater, Southern Miss. Dylan was scheduled to visit FIU on a recruiting trip this Saturday, but will now come to FIU in the second week of January. But don't let me tell you all about Dylan, let's hear from him:

GPP: How did you and FIU start talking about possibly becoming a future Panther?

DF: I was contacted by [FIU assistant director of football operations] Jeff Malley to see if I was interested in FIU and I am. I spoke with [offensive coordinator] coach Bill Legg and he saw some of my film and he said he likes what he has seen. FIU wasn't ready to offer me, but coach Legg and I have been talking on a weekly basis.

GPP: Why wasn't FIU ready to offer?

DF: They want to get to know me more and I understand that. Your quarterback is the most important position on the field and you want to make sure you have the right guy under center or taking the snaps atDylan shotgun.

GPP: You were scheduled to visit FIU this Saturday. How come your visit was switched?

DF: FIU told me they are hosting the JUCO players this week and they don't want to mix the JUCO players with the high school players so we just moved the visit back to the second week of January. That's OK, I am not in a big hurry to make a decision anytime soon. Last week, I got more people to see what I can do on the big stage. We won our first state championship in school history. So I'm sure that opened up more eyes around the country so that more people got to see what I can do.

GPP: What kind of offense did you run in high school and what do you think of the FIU offense?

DF: We run the spread offense. We run the no-huddle all the time. I've seen the FIU offense on TV several times this season and I've talked with coach Legg about the spread he runs and they like to throw it around a bit just like we do. [The FIU offense] seems like a good fit for me.

Df GPP: I've read in several recruiting stories that some schools are a bit worried about your size. How tall are you and does that bother you that some schools make such a big deal about size?

DF: I'm 5-11, 190 pounds. I think it's completely unfair when people talk about how size makes a good quarterback. I don't see how 2 or 3 inches more is going to make you win ballgames. But you know what, I can't control how big I am and I'm not worried about it. I let my play speak for itself.

GPP: Have you played quarterback since you began playing football?

DF: Since I started in the league for 5 and 6-year-olds I have played quarterback. But I've also always played defense too. Even this year I played outside linebacker and free safety on defense.

GPP: How much has your uncle Brett helped you develop your quarterback skills?

DF: My uncle has always had his own season to play. But he did tell me to focus a lot on the mental part of the game, because that's what separates the good quarterbacks from the great ones. My offensive coordinator Stu Rayburn, who is the best in the state, has kind of worked with me since I started playing high school football.

GPP: Will your January visit down here to FIU be your first visit to Miami as well?Daz

DF: Yes it will. I'm very excited to get down to the FIU campus and Miami and check out the city. I've heard it's very nice down there. I don't know much about the city, but I want to see it for myself.

A big thanks to Dylan for joining us on the GPP. We'll catch up with him again after his January visit to FIU.


Apaw Congratulations to T.Y. Hilton (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) for making the All-Sun Belt first team. Anthony Gaitor, Brad Serini and Carlos Munera were named to the second team. Scott Bryant and Jonathan Cyprien made honorable mention.

Apaw Congratulations to Fomenter and NYCFIUFan for being our 1st and 2nd prize winners in the 2009Ty Win A GPP Blog extravaganza. Fomenter you can e-mail your blog to me and I'll post it. NYCFIUFan if you are in Miami you can pick up your 2009 Sun Belt Football Media Guide on Dec. 31 at FIU's next basketball home game or you can e-mail me your address and I'll mail out your prize.

Here are the final standings:



Fomenter (176)


NYCFIUFan (225)


FIU0406 (203)


CJ (228), FIU Fanatic (229), theINTERNATIONAL (236), Joel (261) 


SouthPaw (260)

GPP: 9-3, (203)


FIUPantherFan: Pete, Will there be any changes on the defensive side of this coaching staff? Is Coach Cristobal satisified with the Coaching staff? Is he aware that the on the field results have set the growth of the fan base back a year? Is Pete Garcia aware of how small time it looks when you don't have a band out there? Pete Garcia, are you satisfied with the growth of this program? Pete Garcia, the UNT AD just stated that he will not be satisfied with a 6-6 season next year at UNT, what will you be satisfied with? With the decrease in State Funds, how have donations to the program been, what is your plan to excite the fans and increase those donations because the on the field results are not working? Will you (PP) ever ask a question of the athletic department that is not sunshine and rainbows and how we (the fans) should be ok with this because they came after Don Strock (that was 3 years ago, it's getting to be an old excuse) and we have so many injuries (so do the other 119 FBS teams)?

PP: Yes, it was not a season to be happy about. We will have to wait and see on the answers to your questions. Trying to get MC to come on here, but he and his staff are in the middle of recruiting. I'm sure he'll join us when he gets a chance. When I have a chance to speak with MC we'll get to your questions Sr and if you want we'll even throw in some sunshine and rainbows questions as well.

quijote: Pete, any word on a finalized press box being ready for next season?

PP: Finalized press box will not be ready for a few years, because it is going to go on the north side of the stadium where the visiting team bleachers are right now. When the stadium is enclosed, then the press box will be on top of the new north stands along with more club suites. That is the plan. However, FIU does need to enclose the temporary press box, because it's not a good thing when rain is blowing in there and there are electrical wires all over the place. Almost lost my laptop last Saturday to the water.

FIU Fanatic: Pete, why is Ted Hutton still obsessed about anything FIU?. He has already make numerousDazzling derogatory comments about our stadium, even took a swipe at you....and in his latest blog about something else, he dedicates a good portion of his last section to diss MC, the stadium, and recruiting, more so than defending Weatherbie. I wonder if he also is jealous of you?

PP: Not sure about Ted's FIU obsession, maybe he got his car towed at FIU one time or maybe the vending machine at FIU didn't return his change?? Maybe he wishes the Golden Dazzlers were the Owls dance team?? Send him an email and ask him about it. That's Ted's favorite picture on the right.

I don't think Ted took a swipe at me. He just said that my credibility is out the window, because I think Isiah was a good hire and Ted does not. Not sure how you can judge someone's credibility on an opinion, especially when IT has coached 11 games and does not have his full complement of players or his first full recruiting class yet. But IT has signed some solid recruits for next season and is working on some of the top high school players in the nation, plus what could be a big transfer. More on that if it develops later this month.

pikedanny: Pete, you on vacation buddy? Tell us something...

PP: Not on vacation. If I go on vacation I will hang a sign (left) or post it on here -- like when I gave you guys that FIU football quiz last summer. Took a couple of days off after the football season ended on Saturday night, On_vacation then had a family emergency so that's why the GPP has been idle. But we're back and now you know more about Dylan Favre.


December 05, 2009

Game 12: Florida Atlantic vs. FIU LIVE BLOG

Welcome to Shula Bowl VIII as your Panthers try to erase the painful ending to last season's Shula BowlFiuhelmet at the hands of the Hooters.

No need to rehash the 4th quarter of that game, you all know what happened.

It's a drying out FIU Stadium as we had some heavy rain just about 20 minutes ago (Jackie was right again).

I had to do a little janitorial work in the open-air press box -- which is a lawsuit waiting to happen when someone gets electrocuted when it rains. I had Ted Hutton take a photo of me making sure nobody gets electrocuted in the front row of the press box. You can check out Ted's blog for my cleaning photo.

Before we begin to find out who will carry the Don Shula Trophy for the next 365 days, here are some friendly LIVE BLOG reminders:

***So that the question is not asked 500 times during the LIVE BLOG, here are your viewing & listening options for today's game: 

Blog BLOG: Right here.

Tv VIDEO: CSS and espn 360.com. What channel is Comcast Sports Southeast? I don't know. Contact your local cable company.

Radio RADIO: 1080 AM -- the part-time home of FIU Football; 95.3 WRGP

A few reminders for all GPP LIVE BLOGS:

1) The size of the LIVE BLOG window is at its maximum, but the way the blog program works by making the window larger it takes away the scroll button. However, you can still view previous comments by using your arrow keys.

2) There are only 25 spots to be an unmoderated commentator which allows you to post comments without my approval.

If you are 1 of the first 25 to log-on AND I think you will contribute some worthwhile comments then I will go ahead and approve you as an unmoderated commentator.

3) After the 25 spots are taken up, I then have to approve each comment from each reader. So if your comment takes a minute or so to show up it's because I'm busy either writing down the previous play for my game notes, working on the FIU/Hooters notebook for Sunday's paper or posting on the blog at the moment. At that time, I am not able to publish what you posted, but I will eventually get to it.

Let's go blogging....

December 04, 2009

Don Shula Bowl VIII Preview: Who's Going to Play FIU Volleyball Defense?

Fiu The buses are all gassed up in Boca Raton and Del Boca Vista Phase II as the Hooters prepare to drive down to Miami and FIU Stadium in about 15 hours for Shula Bowl VIII.

Your Panthers are on the prowl looking for payback for last year's 4th quarter.

Your LIVE GPP BLOG of Shula Bowl VIII begins at 6:45 p.m. right here from FIU Stadium on Saturday night.

Fau Good to see the enthusiasm flowing on the GPP and over on Ted's FAU blog. Last year's game took this Shula Bowl rivalry to another level. Whether you were rooting for the Hooters or clawing for the Panthers, last year's game at Dolphin Stadium was a classic and there should be many more games like that in this series in the future....beginning with Saturday's showdown at FIU Stadium.

It's the first Shula Bowl at FIU Stadium since 2005. While FIU Stadium was being built in 2007, FIU hosted the Shula Bowl that year in the Orange Bowl -- which I just got off the phone with the OB and she says from stadium heaven to thank FIU for closing the OB the right way with a win over North Texas.

Back in the 2005 Shula Bowl, FIU tied an NCAA record with 4 interceptions returned for touchdowns and routed the Hooters 52-6. On Saturday it will not be that kind of a rout for the Panthers.Volley

In fact, neither team will win in a landslide, because of their defenses, which brings us to the title of this post.

We'll get back to the Shula Bowl VIII preview in a second, but first let's salute the FIU volleyball team which finished its season 32-4 on Friday with their loss to Florida in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

The FIU ladies set a program record with 32 wins this season and were only 1 of 3 teams in the nation to win 30 or more games this season. Only Penn State and Northern Iowa won 30 or more games this season.

And a special salute to FIU's 3-soon-to-be-4-time All-American senior Yarimar Rosa (left), who leaves FIU as the greatest volleyball player in the program's 23-year history. They'll be hanging the No. 3 jersey in Rosa the U.S. Century Bank Arena rafters soon enough.

Back to our Shula Bowl VIII preview. The Hooters and the Panthers bring two of lowest ranked Ds in the Sun Belt and in the nation to FIU Stadium on Saturday. FAU is 7th of 9 Sun Belt teams in total D and FIU is ranked last in total D in the conference. FAU is 6th in points allowed in the SBC. FIU is 8th. So you kind of get where I'm going with this.

Will the final score be an NBA halftime score again? My guess is no, because both offenses do not have all their weapons, but then again they are also facing generous Ds.

So which team's D is going to rise up like the FIU volleyball team did in its match against the crosstown Hurricanes on Thursday? The lady Panthers with their D stopped two match points before eventually eliminating the Hurricanes back to Coral Gables with a loss.

That's what Shula Bowl VIII will come down to. Which defense makes 1 or 2 more stops than the other D.Bryant

There will be plenty of points and yards to satisfy any fantasy football owner that has an FAU or FIU offensive player on their team.

However, you will see that either the Hooters D or the Panthers D will make 1 or 2 crucial stops in the 3rd or 4th quarter to decide Shula Bowl VIII. Maybe it will come when El Oso Scott Bryant (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) makes a tackle to break Keyonvis Bouie's FIU all-time tackles record. El Oso has 296 tackles, Keke has 299. Recently, spoke to Keke and he's proud of El Oso. Keke is a linebackers coach in Pahokee High nowadays.

We can't forget about our final weather forecast of the 2009 season and we can't forget about Jackie, who has never been wrong with the gameday forecasts this season.

Jackie Jackie says this might be her ugliest forecast of the season. You might want to bring an umbrella or a poncho for tailgating time. Jackie is looking at afternoon thunderstorms with a 50% chance of rain.

Jackie says the weather should clear up by halftime with temps in the upper 60's. It's a TV game so halftime is expected to be about 9 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game. TV always slows a game's pace.

Speaking of slow, there will not be any of it when the clock hits 0:00 in the fourth quarter on Saturday, because like 2005, it will be a race to see which Panther gets to the FAU sideline first to carry the Shula Bowl Trophy back across the field to the FIU sideline.

GPP says: FIU 43, Florida Atlantic 38

December 03, 2009

The View from Del Boca Vista Phase II

Claw T-minus 43 hours until Shula Bowl VIII kicks off from FIU Stadium. Time to learn a little bit about the Boca Raton Hooters.

Boca Raton's and Del Boca Vista Phase II's college football team wasDbv expected to contend for the Sun Belt title this season, but with the season-ending injury to their starting quarterback things went south. Let's find out more about Morty Seinfeld's favorite college football team.

Ted Dazzz Please welcome Sun-Sentinel and Hooters beat writer Ted Hutton as he fills us in on what's happening in Boca Raton. That's Ted there between photos of his favorite dance team -- the FIU Golden Dazzlers.

Apparently, Ted and myself -- like most people involved in sports --  tend to disagree on certain aspects between Dazzlerssthe two teams we cover. We also tend to disagree as well on Isiah Thomas's hiring. click here for Ted's Excellent Adventure, to learn why Ted and his favorite dance team are so well displayed on this post.

But when it comes to Hooters football, Ted knows what he is talking about -- after all he's covered them since their inception. So please, do not go questioning Ted's credibility when it comes to FAU sports. The man is a fountain of Owls knowledge and wisdom.

Here's what Ted had to say about Saturday's game:

Dazzsi 1) Besides Rusty Smith going down for the year, what else went wrong for FAU this season?Dazz2

TH: The defense never showed up. We knew they were going to be inexperienced, with eight new starters who had picked up very playing time in previous years, but this group just has mediocre at best and awful too many times. The offense also broke down at critical times, but it is the defense that takes the fall for this season.

Dazzlr 2) Should the FIU defense's main concerns be Alfred Morris and Jason Harmon?

TH: Yes and yes. Those two are doing the most damage. Morris is a strong runner who rarely goes down on first contact and has the speed to make big gains once he gets some open space. Harmon is back to his usual self, and is very tough to cover and also is good an picking up yards after the catch.

3) What's the latest on the Owls on-campus stadium?

TH: They haven’t broken ground yet, but it does look like FAU will host its first game in a new, on-campusDaaazzzz Dazzzzing stadium in 2011.

4) Who will have a better program in 3 years -- Mike Jarvis or Isiah Thomas?

TH: I am going with Jarvis because he is building with freshmen while I see Thomas taking a shortcut with a lot of JC transfers. Jarvis has turned the roster over in on year, and the players he has brought look really good right now…FAU has four freshmen in Daazz the starting lineup, and the quality of players from top to bottom is the best it has ever been. If Thomas keeps up, hats off to him, but I expect FAU to be near the top of the Sun Belt next season and stay there as these kids grow up and improve.

5) Your Shula Bowl VIII prediction and final score?

TH: At the start of the season I predicted that FAU would go 8-4 with two conference losses, and those losses would be to Troy and a much-improved FIU team. But FIU has been as disappointing as FAU has been, and I think FAU wins this one. High-scoring and close, but FAU 38, FIU 31.

Thanks to Ted for joining us on the GPP and to show our appreciation we'll post Ted's favorite photo hereDazz on the right>>>>>>>>>

Hope you were able to read Ted's thoughts above.

Will be back on here Friday with your GPP Shula Bowl preview and prediction.

One last thing to get to........If you like the FIU Golden Panthers Prowl better than the Jump FAU blog, then jump in the air.

Thank you ladies.

December 01, 2009

FIU signs No. 1-rated Baseball Players in U.S. & Canada

Machado Yes, it is Shula Bowl VIII week, but let's take a little timeout here to acknowledge the work FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas and his staff did with the latest FIU baseball signing class.

Who does FIU baseball think it is signing the No. 1-rated position player in the U.S. and the No. 1-rated position player in Canada?.........The New York Yankees?

Brito High shortstop Manny Machado (left) -- rated the No. 1 position player in the nation by Baseball America --signed with FIU. Here on the left is Machado hitting in a game at FIU's University Park Stadium.

Canadian Junior National team catcher Kellin Deglan (right) -- rated the No. 1 player in Canada -- also signed with FIU. In the photo on the right, Deglan is hitting in the Blue Jays home park -- Rogers Centre, formerly Skydome.

Machado led the U.S. National team in hitting this summer as the Americans won a gold medal.

Both players are expected to be highly drafted in next June's Major League Baseball Amateur Draft andDeglan may never set foot on FIU, but you never know. Machado is represented by Scott Boras, who has been known to play hardball with MLB clubs before so maybe MM decides to end up at FIU.

For details on the rest of FIU's 2011 signing class click here: newest FIU Baseball players


No, Howard Schnellenberger and MC did not wrestle or wring each others ties to see who would kickoff on Saturday. Instead, there was a lot of mutual admiration for both your Panthers and the Boca Raton Hooters by both coaches on Monday night at the Stadium Club at FIU Stadium.

HS said he was "sweating bullets" on the sideline during last year's Shula Bowl, because FIU was on the verge of knocking the Hooters out of bowl contention. Of course, you know what happened toward the end of the game as the Hooters erased two FIU 14-point leads and came back to win 57-50 in OT.

Sbowl Although the Hooters lead the Shula Bowl series 6-1, four of the seven games have been decided by 10 points or less. Saturday should be no different according to HS:

"I just know it's going to be a competitive game. It's going to go down to the wire and the team that comes out of it with a win will gain a great deal of momentum into the off-season.''

For FIU, a win would give the Panthers their best Sun Belt Conference record ever (4-4) since FIU joined the conference in 2005. It also would leave FIU one game shy of last season's 5-7 record, which considering how this season started, it would not be the worst thing on Earth and at the same time provide some momentum into recruiting as we are T-minus 64 days and counting until Feb. 3.

MC thinks the Shula Bowl series has the potential to develop into one of college football's best rivalries:

"If you watched college football this past weekend you see Alabama and Auburn going at it. You see Florida State and Florida, and Clemson and South Carolina. You look at places that are jam packed with enthusiasm and excitement and it didn't start that way, but it has become that and that's what is going on right here. Two special programs that are building and building is special, because it allows you to put your thumbprint on it.''

Sure, the Hooters are the Panthers rival, especially since the team across town doesn't man up and play FIU. Yeah, I know we'll get the blog hits on this one.


Aaapaw Check out on Wednesday at the Miami Herald's FIU page a story on retiring FIU media relations guru Rich Kelch written by MH intern Michael Zeff.

Aaapaw LIVE GPP BLOG of Shula Bowl VIII begins at 6:45 p.m. from FIU Stadium on Saturday night.

Aaapaw Will have Hooters beat writer Ted Hutton on here later this week with his take on the Shula Bowl. Here's what TH has been up to for Shula Bowl week: Ted's World .Dazz

BTW, as you will see on TH's blog, the Golden Dazzlers leave the FAU dance team in the dust. In case you need a reminder here you go.........

Aaapaw For now, let's get your thoughts on what is most important about an FIU win in the Shula Bowl....

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