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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....


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

JUCOs, JUCOs, JUCOs. Is there a push to get some JUCO players at those key positions? Those guys will come ready to play at least even if there here a year or two.

They can use a new HC

For the O-Line & D-Line as was stated by elperro, we need JUCO players b/c they'll come in with the size to compete. We may have good Fr or Soph linemen but they haven't filled out. They often get pushed around against some fully developed senior linemen. We need size, weight and good footwork to get our talented skill position players in space to run.


When punter makes the list, I'd add "new team" to the list as well.

Lets recruit some D-coordinators as well.

yep D-Coordinator is the biggest off-season need. And we need a bunch of JUCO linemen.

We need Mario Cristobal to stop worrying about The U and doing segments for them on ESPN and worry about getting kids to come to FIU. No reason he should have been on that!

I have to disagree about DP. I think Darriet Perry spent too much time in the weight room last off season and he lost his speed and burst. He needs to spend the spring working on getting back his speed and agility, and then I think he can be our #1 back once again.

Pete, can you tell us who will get a redshirt from this past season? And what happened to Larry McCoy? Is Edgar Theliar on track to be eligible next season?

we need a band.....

YOU KNOW!... come on guy, get over it. yes, the fact that he took an hour out of his day to add to the documentary is going to change fiu's recruiting outcome... I thought he did well in The U. MC should build a team like Howard and Jimmy did. them boys were realllll hard.

I was a good thing that he did that documentary.
It gave him a national spotlight and put his name out there. It can only HELP recruiting.

My one complaint is that he was not wearing an FIU shirt during this national spotlight (Howard wore an FAU shirt!)

FIUFloridaPower&Light - that is because Howard is Howard (an icon and the movie could not be done without him) and MC is..well..MC, a nobody in comparison.

FIU definitely needs to find a way to bring back the Marching Band.

Bands are a huge college tradition (and with FIU being a young school/team, we need to start NOW to build more traditions).

I think OL and DL is the biggest must. Antying after that is extra. Also might want to add a new Defensive Cord to the list. I think MC has an ability to recruit some realy good skill players but he is missing the most important part of the team OL and DL..

I also hope that during the long offseason the coaching staff can find new ways of getting the ball to their play makers a little more often. We honestly need to stop playing the spread on 3rd and 1.. What happen to a simple draw up the gut..

Go FIU!!

Clint Hurtt for D coordinator!


I saw the U. It wasnt that bad honestly. It gave me hope for our program.

I do have to agree with FIU shirt thing though. I was shocked and even felt a little bad that Mario was not wearing an FIU shirt. Schnellenberger had a nice FAU logo for the world to see. Why couldnt Mario do the same? Did he not want to upset the UM faithful by wearing a shirt from the school 9 miles away where he is the head football coach?! If thats the case then Mario just said he cares more about the opinions of UM then he does about the school that he is at.

maybe im taking this too far? haha.

Oh yea our friend Antwan had a nice game yesterday, a few tackles and a sack. Thats what you get when you actually let him play.

I wonder how srongly FIU is pursuing guy like:

Jeff Godfrey - QB - Central
Michaelee Harris - WR - Northwestern
Wllis Wright - WR - Miami Springs
Vinnie Mauro - OLB - Aquinas

Guys who are apparently looking into FIU

-Go FIU.

FIU needs a new head coach. Period. They will NEVER be a winning program with MC at the helm.

And in response to YOU KNOW......

MC bleeds orange and green. He came to FIU hoping it was going to be a stepping stone to the same role at The U. However, Randy Shannon's success and MC's failure has proven that it will NEVER happen. He was on the ESPN thing because he is a Cane and will never be anything but a Cane. He has no love or loyalty to FIU. GET RID OF HIM!!!

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

Randy Shannon's "success" is one of the biggest oxymorons i've heard in a while.

I'll take their "success" this season anyday over what we had this year.

Chandler hoping to find a home
By Jesse McCormack ThaRinger.Com December 14th, 2009

Miami Northwestern standout Todd Chandler may be committed to the University of Miami, but he sure doesn’t sound it. What schools still appeal to this heralded Sunshine State Defensive Tackle? Read on to find out.

ThaRinger.com interviewed Chandler way back in the summer, and though he was exploring his options then,
his commitment to UM seems more in question now than ever.

“Right now there’s just a lot of recruiting going on so I’ll just say I don’t know about that (his commitment).” Chandler said. “I couldn’t really say a percentage because I’m just going through everything and just trying to get recruited by the best colleges for me”

Though multiple schools are still recruiting Chandler, he admits one program sticks out over the rest.

“Right now the biggest program is FIU. They’re my number one school right now” He said. “After that I would say Colorado State and then North Carolina.”

Chandler has no problems coming up with things when asked what stands out about FIU.

“They’re a tremendous college and I’m thinking about jumping on board with them because they have a special group of kids and a special group of coaches. They’re recruiting me hard and they keep their word with everything they say and what they’ve told me and they just show me by the way they’re recruiting me that I’m truly their number one guy.” He said.

“I visited there and it was tremendous out there. The facilities are nice and they they’re building a new weight room and it’s going to be tremendous and they showed me everything and it was just one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.

“I just connect real well with the coaches and I have bonded real well with their coaching staff. If I was to de-commit from the University of Miami, coach Ponce and coach Cristobald would be the main reason why.”

Chandler, who also plans to visit Colorado State this weekend and possibly LSU, plans to announce his final decision on National Signing Day, but dropped a bombshell when asked where he would sign right now if he had to.

“FIU.” He said.


Thought you guys would enjoy some reporting from the recruiting trail.

Also Godfrey seems to be a USF lean at the moment. There he would play with Brandon Gainer (RB) and Joshua Reese (WR).

Harris is a Cane if they want him.

Wright may have trouble qualifying from reports that I've heard. If he works hard and gets in Cane in my opinion.

No real knowledge on Mauro but looking at his Rivals profile it seems to be between Navy, Vandy, and Wisconsin. I would hedge my bets with Vandy.

I think this program is going as far as it is going to go with MC. FIU has access to the same talent pool as The U. It has better facilities, its own stadium and a much larger student body. There is no reason why this team should still be mired in the basement of the Sun Belt. The excuses are wearing thin. If this team does show vast improvement next year it is time to let MC go. Time to stop the experiments with inexperienced coaches and hire someone who knows what they are doing. Al Golden at Temple is one name that come to mind. There are also quality coaches at Division III schools (or whatever they call it now) who would jump at a chance to help this team reach its potential. Tick, tock, tick, tock, the clocking is ticking for you MC...you too Pete.

My bad. I meant to say if this team does NOT show vast improvement next year, then MC should go. If it does, all calls for his head should subside...at least temporarily.

Ive wondered the same thing Mr. Gpanther88.

Our talent is not the worst out there, but yet we can never win more than 5 games a season and if we ever do get to 5 wins its rare. I know our talent is much better than FAU's talent, yet they've had 8 win and 7 win seasons in the last 3 years. Not to mention they are a perfect 2-0 in bowl games. FIU's averaged 3 wins a season over the last 3 years. Including a 1 win season that might have been no win if Wayne Younger didnt get injured.

As good as great recruits sounds, it does no good if the coaches dont know how to utilize the talents of said recruits. We can have the best players in FL (we have at least 1, TY), but if the coaches dont know how to call plays, manage clock or motivate then we end up with what we have seen out of FIU for the last few years.

Al Golden isnt a bad find. However, Im kind of on the fence about him. His record has shown improvement each and every year, but Id like to know that this seasons 9-3 record wasnt a fluke.

Our head coach isnt going to change this year, but some assitants should, especially D coordinator. So I want to get everyone on the Clint Hurtt for D coordinator bangwagon!

Oh, here's another name for possible replacements for MC....Mark Whipple. He already knows how much talent there is in S. FLA and his ego is big enough that he just might be interested in taking a program from obscurity to national prominence. I can't see that his ego and Randy's can co-exist together for too many years, so he may be available soon enough. I know there is talk of him getting an OC position in the NFL but I don't see that he is THAT accomplished to get such a gig yet. I think he would fit in nicely at FIU. We should all put that on our Christmas wish list.

I think you're wrong GPanther88, people are way too critical of MC. He hasn't had much time, he's essentially building a program from nothing (and one that wasn't ready to leave D-I AA or whatever it's called now) and FIU's lacking in a few key areas that UM isn't, they have a name, play in a big 6 conference, history, tradition, championships...So people really need to leave MC alone. However I do think we need better assistant coaches.

I do think we are a little too critical of MC, but what can you expect? We have good players and yet we still lose games. I know we had a lot of injuries this season and we had to play "young" guys, but thats where the coaches come in. They have to scheme to the strengths of those players. Plus with all this off season conditioning and TDAOS stuff we heard about you would expect these "young" guys to come in and contribute easily.

The truth is that FIU football has to start winning and it has to start winning now. People's patience is wearing thin and every losing season that passes the more fans we lose. This semester I heard so many students and teachers complain about the football program. They say that it is a waste of money and that that money should be used on academics. This kind of sentiment was echoed by a lot of students. It seemed like I was the only one in many of my classes that supported FIU football. When your own students dont want a football program, thats when you know you have a problem.

As for Mark Whipple, the guy looks like a bigger jerk0ff than what we thought MC was. I definitely dont see him and Shannon co existing past next season. No to him coming to FIU. I dont think he would do it, nor can we afford him. He will command a much higher salary than MC does. But there is no question that he does his job well. This year's UM offense was so dangerous. Although they did the deep ball thing a little too much as the season went on. Its cool, what was it 19 INT's for Harris? haha.

MC is going nowhere and he deserves to stay at FIU. However, he needs to change the D-coordinator. There is just no excuse for what the defense did out there this past season.

Clint Hurtt for D coordinator!

Come on. Dont you love this face? hahaha.


when is FIU moving to the Big east? ;) and the state of the art weight room?

Well at least our offense was testing some trick plays against FAU. (Punt fakes, more ty handling the ball, Etc..)

and as for MC, there aren,t many better recruiters in College football like him
It's hard to bring in players of the highst talent level to a school with no tradition, no stability, no winning records, and our only big football headline in the last years was a braw, and we are surounded by the some of the best schools in the country.

If I remember correctly he said he was following Rutgers gameplan to fame, when he described it he said it would take around five years.

And as for recruiting websites such as Rivals, Scout, and others. unless they show interview I do not blieve any of the schools in running interest things because alot of the time there wrong and lastly what happend to RB Casey turner why did he decommit and commit to Rutgers is my Quetion


Is Edgar Theliar going to play next season w/ WC and DLP?
What happend to Casey Turner?

That Chandler article is completely wrong. "Tharinger" is known for having false info. There are reasons Chandler has been dropped by UM and not having any other big schools stepping up to the plate, even their horrific rivals reporter came out with a story a few weeks back saying how he doesn't expect Chandler to be in the class. I think their scout writer has been saying that for a while now too. Seems Fishbein and some other "mentors" got involved and UM jumped ship, they don't have the Bama type pull. Feel bad for the kid because he wanted to go there, but I wouldn't take him at FSU either so I don't blame UM for their course of action.

As for hiring Hurtt, UM fans seem pretty disappointed in his performance and he's another inexperienced coach FIU would be hiring. It would be a bad move, I think hiring someone better prepared would serve FIU better, think a poor man's Al Groh.

Mark Whipple I don't see moving to HBC at FIU. He was already HBC at UMass, if he leaves Miami it would be for the NFL (Bill Cowher apparently loves him) or for a step up to a BCS program at least.

I don't the Chandler article is totally false. While I do agree that he doesn't have a commit able offer from UM anymore, that doesn't mean that he's not looking at FIU. He was as good as Marcus when he was a sophomore. If he does ever get healthy and regains his form from 2 years ago than he would be a great signing for FIU. Tharinger has some good info but like all websites they can't be in the mind of the recruits so they just have the recruits words to go by.

I agree on Hurtt though. If you want him as defensive coordinator than you have not been watching UM recently. Hurtt is clearly inexperienced and its evident to Canes fans.


From what I understand ACADEMICS are 1st for Chandler and he is an HONOR student !!! So what would be the reasons that UM and other BCS schools don't want him ? Maybe it's that FIU is in the pole position and others know it.

Please re-read what I wrote. I never even mentioned academics.

Read between the lines. There's a lot of issues going on with him, specifically with Fish and mentors involvement. I practically spelled it out. As far as FIU being in the pole position, it's not because of anything FIU has done, it's just a lack of offers. There are certain things scaring off the other schools. UF is in the pole position for UF and other schools haven't backed off him. Same for other top recruits. I'd love to see him end up at FIU, I think he's a solid player.

Again, if UM pulled his offer and he has his grades in order, that kind of narrows down the other possibilities, and with all the smoke going around him the past month I wouldn't doubt if some of it is true.

Correction I meant UF is in the pole position for Dunkley.

Agreed. - but why FIU pursues and is willing to risk the scholly on him ? Why ??

Because he'd be the best player FIU would ever pursue.

Anyways, he apparently committed to USF with Godfrey and Jose Jose just a few hours ago, so it's yet another interesting recruiting season.

"I saw the documentary on the "U" and I thought it was very good. I lived the early days of UM going to the OB when there were 7 - 10K people there. I rooted for UM along with my dad to see the likes of Mike Rodrigue (QB), Pat Walker (WR), OJ Anderson (RB), etc. I still rooted for UM with Howard b/c he kept control of the program. I followed UM’s turnaround from beating a No. #1 ranked Penn State in ’79 with a young UM QB named Jim Kelly, their first bowl game in a long while (Peach Bowl vs. Ta. Tech) that same year. The victory in ’83 over No. #1 Nebraska is still to this day one of the best games I ever seen (College or Pro) and UM’s first National Championship!

I stopped rooting for UM when Jimmy Johnson came in and let the inmates run the asylum! Those were some incredibly talented team that brought great athletic success and attention to the former Sun-Tan U, however a steep price was paid in the school's reputation. Remember, a good reputation takes a long time to build but a bad reputation takes a second to build!

I think the documentary will make the fans of the "U" remember some amazingly great teams and the "haters" of UM (that would be me) will remember why is it they DON'T root for UM. I recommend fans and non-fans alike to see it.

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.

The reasons why I have been a Clint Hurtt cheerleader has been because:

1)He can recruit. Especially on the Defensive side. He is known as a good recruiter in So. Fla.

2)The UM D Line has been good the last two seasons. Im not sure why UM fans are disappointed in him and whatnot, but I saw good play from a group that he has been in charge of.

3)He does bring experience, especially when dealing with the So. Fla recruits. We have a lot of great talent down here and we need to keep that talent here. He has recruited most of the outstanding defensive players UM currently and previously has had. We could use someone like that. Truth is that the good, local players know who Clint Hurtt is and many would love to play for him. Im not so sure we can say the same about the defensive coaches on the current coaching staff.

Honestly the Clint Hurtt thing has just been a suggestion. There were a lot of guys that would be good hires. But it just seems like it would bring a lot of positives to our program. Plus he's worked under Randy Shannon and that guy's had some good defenses.

Too bad, I guess, he picked USF over FIU....Oh well, next....

Shocking...."tharinger's" information was completely wrong. Talk about predictable.

Are you saying the quotes from the article are false and wrong? Based on what?

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