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Size, Size, Size

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 --Willisrandy 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.

Hickman 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.

305 COVERAGE

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.

Richard Leonard, Khambrel McGee (right) and Sam Miller just made FIU's secondary coverage that much better.Mcgee

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 Alabama involving man coverages and combo coverages. These are the ideal guys to run those specific schemes. They will be joined by two very long and rangy safeties."

The 2 very long and rangy safeties are Williams and Justin Halley (6-1, 190).

OFFENSIVE BACKFIELD

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 dueWwsign 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.

 

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

 

Aaapaw 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.

 

Q&A

 

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.

 

CJ: I know we dropped mac brown.. whats the final word on him?Gda

 

PP: Off-field issues that are not needed at FIU.

 

Jorge Suarez: Pete, can you inform us on what's going on with the last 3 spots we have open? Pete, anyway you can find out what JUCO players we could expect to be in spring camp?

 

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.

 

Aaapaw Time to exercise your right as an American and vote:

 

 

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I gave it an A because even with the fact we didn't have a great season this still was arguably the top class in the belt. If we start winning imagine what kind of players we can recruit.

The WKU rivals page is claiming the top sunbelt recruiting class, What are the thinking !

Pete, are you a reporter or an FIU apologist? Seems to me you are just a mouthpiece for the athletic program. A report on how giving class priority to these "student-athletes" prevents numerous FIU students from graduating each semester would be appreciated.

JAG = cry baby. Take that up with the administration, not a sports journalist for the Herald.

JAG huh? You are a retard and don't make any sense...

GO FIU!!! Great recruiting class...Who dat? Dat be Willis ManChild Wright dat who! Smart young man for coming to FIU...

Im fired up, can't wait for football season!!

Pete,

Is Man-Child Wright academically eligible?

JAG, EVERY university does that. Get off your high horse.

Every school in America is giving itself an A. We won't know what grade we earned for 2010 for another 4 years. Lets take a view at each of our last 3 classes, 2007, 2008, 2009.

Pete please evaluate our spring 2-man depth chart. When you Look back at our 3 last recruiting classes how are they shaping up?

1. how many Spring 2010 starters came from each class, from walk-ons, and from transfers?

2. how many Spring 2010 players on the 2-man depth chart came from each class, from walk-ons, and from transfers?

We wont know how good this class is until 2012 when all of them have been here for at least 2 years. But this is how I see it so far...

2008 Recruiting Class:
TY and company made MC first real class pretty good. I think to only negative part to this class was the OL and DL (and now we payed the price for that).. Grade: C

2009 Recruiting Class:
Poo Bear, Times and company made this class extremly good. I think this class will be hard to beat. Lots of swager and some amazing talent in key positions like (QB, TE, RB, WR). Once again OL and DL were left out of Top recruits but our LB will be amazing for the next 4 years.. Grade B+

2010 Recruiting Class:
We wont know for at least 2 more years but I think picking up 4 DL that are actually BIG and the 3 CB (can never have enough CB's in the Belt) was amazing. Oh yeah and some pretty good player at WR (lol).. Big mistake was once again the OL. We fixed some of the issues at DL but if our boys dont get protection form the OL it wont matter if we picked up Jerry Rice and Montana.. Grade: B+

2011 Recruiting Class:
If we go Bowling in Dec then be very careful because we might just see FIU among the Top 50 Recruiting classes in the Nation and for what its worth we can have our first 5 star pick up.. It would be nasty!!

MCs first class was in 2007, granted he only had a about 6 weeks to deliver.

Of course, we don't know how this class will pan out, first because we need at least 2-3 years to see how some of them develop, second because we still have some slots to fill up, and third because we don't know how many of these kids will actually show up, qualify, and STAY at FIU for a period of time.

However, just looking at "paper recruting", I would also have given a strong B+ grade. We got a highly recruited WR (Man-Child), and several pretty well thought of recruits as well in many positions (10 or more rivals 3-star players). However, I feel we fell short a bit in both lines, particularly at the Offensive Line position, and maybe one more stud as a DL, not a project. I gave an A rather than a B in this poll, but if there was a B+ or A-, I would give a B+ to this class on paper for the time being.

Looks like WC is going to have a bunch of weapons at his disposal this year. We just need to give him some time and/or roll him out so that he can make plays. I give the class a solid B+ with the only ommission being more JUCO beef on the O'Line.

p.s. JAG, this is the FIU sports blog...you got a problem with class availablity, take it up with the administration (geez, what a puss).

Based purely off of the needs addressed and talent brought in, I would say this class is better than last year's. We still have another three or four spots to fill, and we still don't have a full 85 man roster, so it will still take another year of recruiting to see this team playing at 100%. However the bolstering of the lines (especially D), the addition of three CB's and two safeties, as well as two LB's (especially the freak that is Hickman), two very good RB's, a potential all-conference QB, and three very good receivers (remember Coleman is one of the top five receivers in Louisiana and Wozniak is 6'4" with a 4.5 40) means that this class can have immediate impact. If we can fill another three or four spots with a couple more big bodies on the O-line and maybe someone like that Willie Ross kid we could be in a really good place both offensively and defensively.

At the beginning of this recruiting cycle we had three ESPN 150 or borderline ESPN 150 kids interested in attending FIU, they are Willis Wright, Todd Chandler and Torrian Wilson. Obviously we signed Wright. For the 2011 recruiting cycle we have eight ESPN 150 kids interested in FIU. If we can show improvement on the field, if we can show a winning season, a bowl game, and increased fan support, then we can steadily increase our recruiting classes and instead of nine three stars and one ESPN 150 maybe we get 12 three stars and two ESPN 150 players. Steady improvement will pay off, this isn't a sprint, this is a marathon, and time is on our side.

Pete, we recorded the Early Show yesterday morning on the DVR, and we did not see the Dazzlers at all. We recorded this morning's show also just in case they showed up. What happened to them? That kinda stunk since we were excited about it and looking forward to seeing them on TV. :(

Also, I am very excited about Willis Wright. My cousin who also goes to Miami Springs High was excited about T.Y. when I took her to a couple of games. She is even more excited now since Wright and Williams signed with us. That makes me smile because that's how we can make big FIU fans out of people. Now she is excited about FIU and is planning on going to school there after she graduates. :)

One more thing, Pete. I can't be any more excited about FIU baseball and reading your blog on it soon!

Just throwing this out there... I think FIU should have some kind of fan event to kick off the baseball season, just like football and basketball. ;)

Miri,

Baseball has probably the best event of all FIU sports to kick-off the season, The Diamond Dinner! I already have my table reserved and if it's anything like last year, prepare to have a blast.

Now, about the recruiting class, 1 word: WOW!!! Incredible what a 1st class facility (the weight room) will do for your recruiting, now we'll finally start getting the creatures that MC is targeting. If you guys havent seen the weight room with all the new equipment, you need to swing by the Fieldhouse and check it out, IMPRESSIVE.

We got a 6'7' Left Tackle! That would have never been possible a mere two years ago.... and Man-Child, that kid is the truth, he reminds me of young Andre Johnson (same build, size and speed) only with better hands at this age.

And all the UM trolls, notice I said Willis Wright reminds me of Andre Johnson AT THIS AGE (18 years old). We'll see how he develops... Wesley Carroll has to be licking his chops with all the weapons, next year should be fun!

One last thing for JAG, I was a student-athlete at a small private school out of state before doing my masters at FIU, and i know for A FACT that EVERY SCHOOL ALLOWS STUDENT-ATHLETES TO REGISTER FIRST, so like many of the FIU whiners JAG is just uninformed/ignorant. If you go to school, you should have learned the first thing you must do before posting an opinion is RESEARCH.

JAG-OFF...get wankers like this off our blog...Christ go check out the UM blog and *uck off!

Facts are facts. All this money spent on sports teams, stadiums and recruiting AND they still suck. Focus on maintaining the business school's esteemed reputation and improving the other academic programs NOT letting in "students" with an ACT score of 15 and adding insult to academic injury by allowing them to register first for class!

That happens in every school, relax... Don't be such a negative nancy.

You're probably talking about a few hundred people, far less when you break it down by class year and even less when filtered by major. How could this possibly be a material issue impacting the masses? Sounds more like you were just unlucky.

Agreed on that...what's the out-of place whining about that?...Unbelievable....

Gooch7...

2009 Recruiting Class

Once again OL and DL were left out of Top recruits but our LB will be amazing for the next 4 years..
___________________________________________

I think we did ok on the OLine 2009. Remember we got 2 Nationally Ranked Linemen. They may have been undersized but with all Freshman they will be judged by their junior year. But look for them to integral parts of the OL Rotation this year.

Jag,

I realize you have NOT done ANY research whats so ever so Im going to try to help you out (without any name calling)..

As a former student-athlete at FIU I got the opportunity to register for classes before ANY "regular" students. Not only did we register first but someone does it for us.. Does FIU take care of their athletes? I would like to say yes for the most part..

Now why all this extra stuff (tutoring, early register, scholarships, etc..)
What was the last time 15,000 people showed up to one of your business meetings, or when was the last time a business meeting was on TV or even the radio.. Sports brings in money. Actually in many schools it bring in PLENTY of money, so yes we need to invest more and more $$$ into athletics to make all this happen. People like my wife and I are true supporters not only in the stands but with some small donations (I wish there was more to give). First thing you should have learned if you were paying attention in business school is that you need to do your HW before posting something that makes no sence. In other words "dont go to any games, just go through college like everyone else does and get your degree from a great school and start working for the next 50 years, but dont hate". I love my memories with the Sunbelt and ALL the competition..

Go FIU!!

The problem is that FIU may take care of its athletes but its athletes certainly do not take care of FIU: Football: 9-39 the last 4 years. Per the Knight Commission, only 25 athletic departments didn't LOSE money (FIU is NOT one of these schools) and the average deficit an athletic department runs is 8.9 million. I can think of a lot better uses for that money in FIU than a football team that averages 10 losses a year. It is called Return on Investment.

Hey JAG, the Athletic Dept. is a whole lot more than the Football Team. The football team, brings in money for the other sports. Plus no other collegiate program brings more attention to the university.

Things may not be going well for you just now, but don't take your angst out on us or the football team.

JAG as much as I disagree with your POV I'll just keep it simple, wrong time and place buddy.

That is all.

Gooch7 Well Said. If anyone can do the work and keep up with me they can register for my courses. If they can't keep up they will flunk.

Paul McCall will always be someone special. He managed to lead a football team, graduate early and excel in an engineering curriculum. For the next 50 years he will be a great ambassador of FIU and its athletic programs. I hope he can find a great job in Miami and continue to be a leader among the Alumni.

If he couldn't keep up he would have flunked out or changed majors. We are fortunate that he chose to come to FIU. Thanks again for your contributions in the classroom and on the football field.

Jesus JAG, you sure are negative. I wasn't a student-athlete at FIU and I never had any problems with registration, and certainly being a regular student never hindered my graduating on time. As far as investing in academics, I'd invite you to check out the new business school building (and the proposed expansions to it), or maybe you can check out the new College of Medicine that is going up. How about the new intertnational affairs school building going up next to the new law school building? Seriously, unless you're living under a rock, FIU has spent plenty of money on upgrading its academic facilities as well as hiring top notch professors, the money for sports is paltry compared to the school's overall budget.

So JAG, you expect a brand-new Football program, that has been in D-1 less than a decade to consistently win?!?!?!?

You have NO idea what you are talking about.

Prime example and Exhibit A: The University of Miami had been playing football for the better part OF A CENTURY before they smelled any success. Miami Football was a joke up to the 80's and Nobody knew or cared about UM. Fast forward 30 years and 5 National Championships later and the UM Football team is the Beacon that rallies the Alumni at Miami. UM just raised over A BILLION DOLLARS in private donations, you think that would happen without a succesful athletic program?

What is the first thing you think about when I say Notre Dame? (a fine academic institution): Golden Domes, Touchdown Jesus, The Fighting Irish

What is the first thing you think about when I say Duke? (a top tier University): Blue Devil Basketball, The Cameron Crazies, Coach K

What is the first thing you think about when I say Florida? (a top-50 university): The Gator Chomp, The Swamp, Mr. Two Bits

It is an undisputed FACT that a succesful athletic department will raise the profile, standards, admissions, caliber of faculty, and caliber of students at a school.

FIU has made the commitment and is taking the steps to become a legitimate Division 1 Athletic Program, but Rome was not built in 1 day. If you expect the Football team to be succesful after less than 10 years of existance, less than 6 years in D-1, less THAN 1 YEAR WITH ADEQUATE FACILITIES (i.e. a real WEIGHT ROOM, not a converted raquel ball court with hand-me-down weights) than like I said earlier, you are delusional/ignorant.

Give it time, with Turtle, Isiah and Mario leading the revenue producing sports, FIU is in the cusp of something special that will translate into alumni support, increased private donations, national recognition, and academic excellence.

If you want a real university you have to have a football program... yes we don't have a history of winning but we don't have much of a history. Our program is taking the right steps to becoming relevent in college football by instilling the building model rutgers and south Florida used. Recruiting, coaching and brand recognition= winning program we are well on our way with all three categories. As for jag your begree is going to be worth more when our football program wins. In the long run making you more money so stfu

FIUloyal,

I would love to go to the Diamond Dinner sometime, but it's pretty pricey. I'm talking about a free event. lol

Jag, don't really know what the point of your post was, but let's leave the business school out of this argument. Clearly, FIU is and will continue to invest in it's flagship program, just look at the latest rankings.

**its

JAG is a #AG!

I Thomas leading canidate to take over Clippers coaching job according to Fox Sports!!!

Man i had big hopes for Corey Ammons the DB from UCF he has size speed and the ability ti cover, man we could have used that kid. Where is he now?

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