If real estate is all about location, location, location, well, then the 2010 FIU signing class is about size, size, size. With the latest signing class, FIU addressed several positions of need, particularly getting bigger on both the offensive and defensive lines -- which was missing from both lines last season.
Of course, when you talk about this FIU class you have to start with receiver Willis "Man-Child" Wright, who just made the FIU offense that much better with his size and strength. That's M-C on the right there shaking hands with high school and newest FIU teammate Randy Williams. (Thanks to Phil De Stefano at the River Cities Gazette for the photo)
Both players bring much needed size with M-C at 6-2, 205 and Williams, a safety, enters FIU at 6-2, 210.
So much for opponents double and triple-teaming T.Y. Goodbye, because now FIU foes will have to pick their poison when they want to double cover. That triple-teaming of Goodbye last season, that won't happen again.
Not only does the addition of Man-Child make Goodbye even more dangerous -- if that's possible -- but suddenly the other FIU receivers: Wayne Times, Greg Ellingson, Ty Frierson and tight end Dudley LaPorte have a lot more room to roam with defenses having to figure out ways to stop the 2 former Miami Springs playmakers.
MC [the FIU coach, not the new WR] said he was looking to add size to his receiving corps. With M-C (6-2) he did that and also with the additions of receivers Glenn Coleman (6-2) and Mitch Wozniak (6-3).
POWER LINES & LINEBACKERS
The primary recruiting focus was on the lines. FIU got 2 massive O-Lineman that are physically ready to start vs. TBA Sun Belt team on Sept. 4. David Delsoin (6-6, 280) and Ceedrick Davis (6-4, 305) now have to prove in fall camp that they can pick up the offense and have the technique to earn starting spots.
The FIU D-Line needed help from last season and they got it on Wednesday. Jordan White (6-4, 330) and Jerricho Lee (6-0, 285) are the kind of big bodies the Panthers have been looking for to plug into the interior D-line. Again, the size is there, now they have to go and grab the starting spots in August.
FIU struggled with its pass rush last season. MC believes he got some defensive ends to solve that problem. Isame Faciane (6-5, 265) and Jeremy Jermin (6-3, 235) both have the credentials and Bryan Robinson (6-4, 240) also will help sophomore Tourek Williams and the return of Jonathan Jackson should also fortify the D-line.
The FIU linebackers also got bigger. Another new Panther with tremendous size is linebacker Greg Hickman (6-1, 270). You could picture Hickman (left, trying on his new FIU cap) stuffing offensive backs with Aaron Davis, Big Ontario Smith and the young FIU LBs.
You remember last season's lack of depth in the FIU secondary, because of the injuries and past years scholie limits. The Panthers got better there with 3 All-Miami-Dade first team defensive backs and 2 big safeties.
MC gave a preview of what the returning FIU DBs and this trio of new DBs are in store for on D:
"[Defensive coordinator Geoff] Coach Collins is implementing several things that they did at
The 2 very long and rangy safeties are Williams and Justin Halley (6-1, 190).
Let's not forget about the talent FIU added in the offensive backfield. Quarterback Jake Medlock (6-3, 210) has all the tools to be an elite QB in Division I football. Medlock has healed fine from his injury. He's been throwing a football since December and is currently playing on the Fletcher High basketball team.
Running backs Kedrick Rhodes and Jeremiah Harden give an immediate boost to the FIU running game. And again with the influx of additional receiver talent [see Man-Child], not only do the other FIU receivers benefit, but so do the running backs. It's like adding a power hitter to a baseball lineup -- everyone else in the lineup suddenly gets to see better pitches. Everyone else on the FIU offense suddenly has less attention from defenses.
OTHER NSD NOTES
FIU still has 3 to 4 scholarships available. MC said he might be saving them for "mature JUCO bodies".
MC also said FIU for another two years will not be able to recruit to redshirt. Until FIU has a full roster of 85. FIU had a roster of about 60 players last season. The main reason for not having the full roster is due to the past APR/NCAA issues.
Former Central Florida DB Corey Ammons did not qualify academically so he is not expected at FIU.
Whatchu signin 'bout Willis?.....FIU (for a better view, click on Phil De Stefano's photo on the right)
Below in the Pawse, vote on what you think of FIU's 2010 Signing Class.
Will have a LIVE HOOPS BLOG from Saturday's FIU/North Texas game which is a rare afternoon game. The LIVE BLOG will begin at 1:56 p.m. Tipoff for the hoops matinee is 2 p.m. or 30 minutes after the FIU ladies take on NT.
Gooch7: PETE: Big question. Do you think this recruiting class will be better then last years? I know the best way to judge that is in 2 or 3 years but what do you think?
PP: Yes, in 2 to 3 years we might have a better idea, but as of right now I think this is the best FIU recruiting class in the 8-year history of the Panthers football program. Here's why: not only did FIU add a T.Y.-like receiver, but the pressing needs along the lines were met. Although, it would not hurt if FIU can sign 1 more big O-linemen from JUCO that is ready to come in and contribute. Also getting 3 All-Miami-Dade first team DBs is huge. We're talking about 3 of the best DBs from the area where the best high school football in the country is played. And I think Greg Hickman is going to have a big impact on D.
PP: Off-field issues that are not needed at FIU.
PP: Looking like FIU is targeting more beef for the lines, but they could also go after the best players available regardless of position. I'll look into the JUCOs and see who shows up for spring ball.
OC FIU PANTHER: Hey Pete, I know its been crazy but I got used to your live blogs of the FIU Basketball games.
PP: The team is in Louisiana tonight. I'm in Miami. But come back on here on Saturday at 1:56 p.m. for the next LIVE HOOPS BLOG.
LadyInRed: Are we going to hear at anytime this year about BASEBALL????????? You know a glove, a bat, and a ball?? Season starts in TWO weeks!!!!!
PP: Had to re-read the question, when I first saw BASEBALL in all capital letters I thought of BABEBALL (yes, any reason to get Dazzlers photos on here). No, but seriously, I'm planning on heading out to FIU baseball practice this weekend and will have some baseball posts on here next week.