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.
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....