With solid 2010 seasons, you are more likely to see FIU Panthers walk across the Radio City Music Hall stage in next April's NFL Draft than you are in this year's draft. However, that's not to say that a group of former FIU players won't catch on as free agents or get invited to an NFL camp this summer.
One of those former Panthers looking to get a shot at the next level is linebacker and FIU's all-time leading tackler Scott Bryant (left, thanks AJH photo).
Checked in with El Oso and this is what he had to say about possibly joining El Monstruo at the next level.
PP: How's it going as you try to get a chance to play pro? What are you doing while the draft is going on this weekend?
SB: So far, so good when it comes to my preparation. I'm back home in Lakeland for the weekend spending time with my family watching the draft. I'll be back in Miami to graduate from FIU on April 27. I'm focused on getting on a team or getting in a mini-camp. I don't care how I get there. I just want a chance to show that I could play football at the next level.
PP: What have you heard about your draft chances and what teams have shown interest in you?
SB: My agent has told me that he's hearing I can go in the 7th round or possibly sign as a free agent. I've worked out for the Dolphins, Bucs and the Raiders and Bears have shown some interest. I'm looking to play as a linebacker at the next level, but if a team says "Can you play another position?" then I'm playing that position.
PP: Have any teams asked if you can play elsewhere or anything like that?
SB: The Dolphins have talked about me possibly playing safety. They play a 3-4 defense and at my size (5-10, 225) it would be tough to play outside linebacker in the 3-4.
PP: Have you ever played safety?
SB: No, I have not, but I've always thought about it. I'm always mistaken for a safety or a running back, but I always played middle linebacker at Lakeland High and then I played outside linebacker at FIU. I think the biggest thing in making the switch to safety would be the footwork needed to play the position and being able to react to the plays. I trained for about a month with Jeremiah Weatherspoon and he helped me out a lot. Maybe we can play together again, he was getting some interest from Miami and Seattle.
SB: I got off the phone this morning with Alexander Bostic (right, making a tackle vs. Troy, thanks AJH photo) and earlier this week I spoke with Keke Bouie (left, thanks AJH photo). They both told me to keep my head right and don't get discouraged. When those guys both played they both had a never-give-up attitude and those are the kind of people I look up to. And you can see that as they both continued playing in arena football. Keke won a championship [United Indoor Football title playing for the Sioux Falls Storm in 2008] and Bostic is playing arena ball in Atlanta.
PP: What have you heard about what teams like about you?
SB: My agent has told me that scouts like my productivity and always being around the ball since I started playing football. They've said when they look at film if I'm not in making the tackle that I'm always in the play. As far as the mental aspects, they won't know about that until they sit down with me and ask me about the plays.
*[Last December, SB broke the all-time FIU tackles record previously held by KB]
PP: What's your mentality as far as your future if you don't get that chance?
SB: I will never be disappointed, because you never give up and you keep on going in life. Only the strongest survive and I will always know that I gave everything that I had and I never gave up. I trained and played my hardest and I did my best.
From talking with several scouts throughout last season, these are the Panthers most likely to get a look in NFL camps before the 2010 season.
Jeremiah Weatherspoon -- Although JSpoon did not have the spectacular senior season to open up some NFL eyes, the former Panthers safety has all the physical tools to play at the next level. It's just matter now for JSpoon to get a chance to show those physical tools. Some scouts said they like JSpoon's athleticism, speed and size (6-2, 225) for the position.
Carlos Munera -- As you all know CM (right, thanks AJH photo) has got a cannon for a right leg and it doesn't hurt that he's built like a linebacker (6-2, 232). Besides the long punts, CM has the ability to pin an offense deep in the red zone. The one thing mentioned by some was that CM needed to be a little more consistent.
John Ellis -- With his size and smarts, the Bus -- as he was called by his teammates -- could get a look for a team in need of fullback depth or special teams play. You remember his fake punt run last season to spark the comeback against North Texas.
While FIU released a 2-deep chart today, I wouldn't read too much into it. A lot of national publications ask for a depth chart after the springtime as they prepare to write their annual college football previews instead of actually showing up to camp in August and doing some work.
Yes, there are some givens on there like Goodbye, Gaitor, Little Canada, etc. However, remember the highly-touted freshman class has yet to step foot on campus, plus training camp has not happened and the season opener is still more than 4 months away. How about a 12 noon start against Rutgers on Sept. 11? Could be, to see if the Scarlet Knights can stand the heat down here.
Anyway, those of you on the ledge come down, relax and have a cold one.
The GPP Worldwide Readership keeps on adding new friends around the globe. A reader from Bogota, Colombia [Shakira's native country] says FIU baseball should finish 11-4 or better in the final 15 conference games. As of this writing, the Panthers defeated Western Kentucky 7-6 in 10 innings late Friday.
Get out your pencils and scorecard for an update: