« June 2010 | Main | August 2010 »

7 posts from July 2010

July 29, 2010

Commissioner’s List and Academic Honor Roll awards announced

The following 124 FIU athletes were honored on Wednesday.

2009-10 Sun Belt Commissioner’s List (FIU) – 3.5 GPA or higher (47 student-athletes)

John Caballero (Baseball)

Justin Leith (Baseball)

Jose Velasquez (Baseball)

Marlon Bright (Men’s Basketball)

Cherisse Buddy (Women’s Basketball)

Elisa Carey (Women’s Basketball)

Fanni Hutlassa (Women’s Basketball)

Maja Krajacic (Women’s Basketball)

Carmen Miloglav (Women’s Basketball)

Christopher Edwards (Football)

Matthew Garris (Football)

Paul McCall (Football)

Brandon Paquette (Football)

Complete list after the jump

Continue reading "Commissioner’s List and Academic Honor Roll awards announced " »

July 28, 2010

And so it begins; Thomas watch; TV update

Hi everybody,

First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. I am Justin Azpiazu and starting today (July 28) I will be taking over Pete Pelegrin’s duties covering FIU sports on Golden Panthers Prowl.

As many of you know, Pete left The Miami Herald last week. Personally, I feel, Pete and I were always friendly in the newsroom and I want to wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.

I know Pete built GPP from the ground up and I want to promise to readers that I will cover FIU with the same vigor.

FIU beat writer Adam Beasley and I are very excited for this coming sports year. GPP fans please don’t fear, we will not disappoint you.

Please feel free to ask questions or suggest story ideas in the comment section. Adam or I will answer them as quickly as possible.

That being said, lets get started.

Isiah Thomas watch

Still no word on what, if anything, will happen with Thomas. After a flurry of activity a few days ago (including a story by Beasley and Barry Jackson link here about it) things have settled down.

FIU football TV update

FIU season opener on Saturday, September 11th against Rutgers will air on ESPN+  pay-per-view and ESPN3.com (formally ESPN360.com). As of right now, the only other games on TV will be Western Kentucky (Oct. 9) and at North Texas (Oct. 16). Both will be on the Sun Belt Network. According to Media Relations Coordinator Ivan Irizarry both games might get picked up locally by CSS. 

Continue reading "And so it begins; Thomas watch; TV update" »

July 23, 2010

LeBatard: Isiah meets with Knicks

From Dan LeBatard's Twitter account:

No joke- inside source telling us that Isiah Thomas flew into Ocean City, NJ airport today & met w/ highest levels of Knicks management.

meeting was super secret/private airport, according to a source whose info i trust 100 percent but a source i couldn't personally trust less

We hear that Isiah will be on his 790 AM show at 6:20 p.m., presumably to discuss his future.

UPDATE: Apparently, Thomas didn't pick up his phone when The Ticket called. When we know more about what exactly is going on, you'll be the first to know.

UPDATE NO. 2: Full story in tomorrow's Miami Herald, but here's the university's take:

FIU sports information director Paul Dodson, who had been in contact with Thomas earlier Friday, said the school was "surprised" to hear LeBatard's report, but expressed confidence that Thomas would remain at the school.

"He's our coach now, he'll be our coach tomorrow, and he'll be our coach this coming fall," Dodson said.

Thomas, who is in the second of a five-year contract with the Golden Panthers, oversaw a 7-25 season last winter, but that hasn't stopped the former Piston great from amassing back-to-back impressive recruiting classes.

He's on the road this week, visiting recruits in Orlando Saturday and Los Angeles Monday, Dodson said.

July 13, 2010

More 7-on-7s

Back for some more 7-on-7s the other morning and got to see some of the newer Panthers make some plays.

Linebacker Winston Fraser looks 100 percent after battling some injuries the last couple of seasons. AndWf to prove it, No. 34 stuck with Darian Mallary on a long pass play preventing Oooh from making the catch. WF (right) also was active in defending the running game.

A couple of veterans made some tough catches in traffic: Greg Ellingson reached down low to snare a ball with a defender draped on him. Junior Mertile beat two defenders across the middle to the ball. Junior then made an over the shoulder catch.

One guy that looks like he can make an impact this season is linebacker Kenny Dillard. Not only physically -- because KD's gains in the weight room are noticeable -- but in what is expected to be one of the more competitive positions on the team.

Remember, Dillard (left) led Dade County -- where dam good high school football is played -- in tackles his senior season at Northwestern.

KD had Glen Coleman covered like a blanket in pass coverage and from seeing Coleman's elusiveness a few times now -- that is not an easy task.

Freshman linebacker Greg Hickman had a day as huge as his physique the other day. At 6-1, 270, Dill Hickman has the physical tools to play right now. Whether, he gets the playing time will be decided in camp when everyone is battling for a playing spot.

GH picked off 2 passes -- intercepting both Wesley Carroll and Wayne Younger.

On the WC INT, GH scooped a low pass in the middle of the field. On the WY INT, GH returned it 52 yards for a TD.

Back to Coleman, like Willis Wright, GC has good size for a receiver at 6-2, 205. In the 7-on-7s, the freshmen do not have jersey numbers, because they won't be assigned until camp.

However, on one play GC borrowed No. 4 from Goodbye and of course, his teammates let him know what number he was wearing, yelling out "Little T.Y.". A little ironic, because at 6-2 GC is not little.

Anyway, GC donned No. 4 and on the first play -- yes, you guessed it -- GC makes a catch down the middle of the field for 21 yards.

Jairus Williams continued his development by reaching back to make a nifty catch.Four

Tourek Williams's motor has not slowed from last season. He sacked quick WY.

Defensive backs Antwoine Bell and Terrance Taylor broke up a jump ball for Jonathan Faucher.

Senior Ty Frierson showed some sticky hands on a fastball from WY. Frierson had two defenders around him when WY slipped the ball in there.

We all have seen how fast and shifty WY is when he takes off with the ball -- such as the game-winning TD run vs. North Texas. However, on this particular play WY could not shake Anthony Gaitor. WY made a Lee slick move that shook me out of my shoes on the sideline, but Gaitor didn't bite and tagged him for the stop.

Dez Johnson, granted a medical redshirt for last season, played some nice pass D toward the end of the session.

At 5-10, 285 pounds, Jerricho Lee (left) is built like a tank and at first glance I will admit I didn't think he had the quickness to catch someone in the backfield, but he certainly would be an asset in run D.

Jerricho proved me wrong at the end of the workout by chasing down WY, who is probably one of the 3 or 4 fastest players on the team. My apologies, Jerricho, I will not make that mistake again.


Paw Miami Central QB Rakeem Cato (right) has committed to FIU.  Cato threw for 2,777 yards and 37 TDsCato last season while getting picked off just 9 times.

Paw Whoever said football was not an international game? In the last poll question asking where would FIU football finish in the Sun Belt this season, responses came in from: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Caracas, Venezuela; Goiania, Brazil; Brighton, Unitred Kingdom; Madrid, Spain, Tokyo, Japan and the 2 newest readers to join the GPP: a reader in Burkina Faso in Africa and a reader from George Town in the Cayman Islands.

Time to update the scorecard:



42 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Peru, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 2 TERRITORIES: Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico.


July 09, 2010

FIU View From Around The Sun Belt

Nine writers that cover the 9 Sun Belt Conference football teams organized a conference preseason pollSbc with predictions for each team.

Here's the final SBC preseason poll and what each writer thinks of FIU's chances this coming season with each writer's predicted finish for FIU. My rankings are below all this:


Voted on by nine newspaper beat writers, one per school, and created independent of the Sun BeltHel Conference.

Team    Votes
1. Middle Tennessee (6) 78
2. Troy (3) 75
3. Louisiana  58
4. Florida Atlantic 48
5. FIU     44
6. ULM 38
7. Arkansas State    32
8. North Texas  22
9. Western Kentucky 10
* First-place votes in parenthesis.

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year — Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year — Jamari Lattimore, Middle Tennessee


MTSU beat writer
The Daily News Journal
(Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

5. FIU
With games against Rutgers, Texas A&M, Maryland and Pittsburgh to start the season, FIU could be pretty good but still be 0-4. I think FIU will be the most unpredictable team in the league, but I’ve still got a hunch that FAU is better.


Troy beat writer
Dothan Eagle
(Dothan, Ala.)

4. FIU
The Golden Panthers have recruited plenty of talent over the past few years. It’s time for that talent to talk the talk.


ASU beat writer
Jonesboro Sun
(Jonesboro, Ark.)

7. FIU
Same old Florida International.


FAU beat writer
South Florida SunSentinel
(Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)

6. FIU

Coach Mario Cristobal brought in new offensive and defensive coordinators to try and squeeze more out of the talent on the roster. If they don’t, he could be gone.


UNT beat writer
Denton Record Chronicle
(Denton, Texas)

5. FIU

It looked like FIU was ready for that breakout season last year, but finished 3-9. With T.Y. Hilton back and maybe the best recruiting class in the league coming in, this could be the year the Golden Panthers get to .500. FIU will have to improve defensively to get there.


ULL beat writer
The Daily Advertiser
(Lafayette, La.)

5. FIU

Good luck predicting how the Golden Panthers will do in 2010. Coach Mario Cristobal was poised for a breakout year but won only three games in '09. WR T.Y. Hilton is a stud but needs a quarterback to get him the ball.


ULM beat writer
The News Star
(Monroe, La.)

6. FIU

The Golden Panthers put up a lot of hype last preseason only to produce a mediocre season, therefore it is difficult to give too much optimism this season with the entire offense left to rebuild.


WKU beat writer
Daily News
(Bowling Green, Ky.)

5. FIU

Intense early schedule with a new quarterback could cause some early issues for FIU. Always one of the more athletic squads in the league, the Golden Panthers need to start turning athleticism into victories.


FIU beat writer
Miami Herald

Offensive Player of the Year — Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee
Defensive Player of the Year — Jamari Lattimore, Middle Tennessee

1. Middle Tennessee
Dwight Dasher is the most electrifying player in the conference and the key to a potent offense. Despite losing Chris McCoy, the Blue Raiders should be fine defensively led by Jamari Lattimore. Middle should unseat Troy for the conference crown.

2. Troy
The Trojans have plenty of offense to defend their Sun Belt crown. 2009 Sun Belt Player of the Year Levi Brown is a big loss, but DuJuan Harris and Shawn Southward returning at running back and Jerrel Jernigan at receiver will keep the Troy offense humming. Although, it won’t be enough to knock off the Blue Raiders.

3. FIU
The Panthers could be in the top 3 in the league or somewhere in the middle of the pack. A lot will depend on their offensive and defensive lines. FIU has plenty of talented skill players on offense and speed to burn. New defensive coordinator Geoff Collins has turned around defenses everywhere he’s coached.

4. Florida Atlantic
FAU will not have to break in a new quarterback despite the loss of Rusty Smith to the NFL. Jeff Van Camp filled in admirably last season. Explosive running back Alfred Morris is back and the Owls always seem to hang around the Sun Belt race.

5. ULM
Running back Frank Goodin should help new coach Todd Berry in his first season. Berry should bring a new look to the offense. Despite losing linebacker Cardia Jackson, the Warhawks should play gritty defense and are solid on both lines.

6. Louisiana
The Cajuns should be ranked higher up, but for some reason have underachieved recently. Plenty of starters return and sophomore running back Yobes Walker should have another strong season. Quarterback Chris Masson and the passing game need to step up and balance the offense.

7. Arkansas State
The Red Wolves lost a ton of talent, including defensive stalwart Alex Carrington and quarterback Corey Leonard. Someone else will have to emerge at running back with the departure of Reggie Arnold.

8. North Texas
North Texas’s big question mark is who will play quarterback after Riley Dodge moved to receiver. Coach Todd Dodge and new offensive coordinator Mike Canales have to find a reliable signal caller or the Mean Green will struggle moving the ball. Running back Lance Dunbar will help move the chains. If UNT doesn’t improve defensively it could be competing with Western Kentucky to stay out of the SBC basement.

9. Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers will struggle again, but with a little luck and an improved defense they could be knocking on North Texas’s door to avoid last place


July 07, 2010

7-on-7 Visit

Brewed some Cuban coffee the other morning and headed out before sunrise to a 7-on-7 to see howCof your Panthers are looking with training camp just a shade over a month away.

The first thing I noticed was again the size gains of another off-season in the FIU weight room -- which by the way is now looking like a Division I weight training center filled from wall to wall with free weights, machines and everything you need to get in shape. Nice touch with the Panther eyes on one wall and a huge FIU logo on the south wall. A lot of these players looked like they spent their summer in there Jw and in bowls of Cuban potajes.

The first two players I had to do a double take to recognize were receivers Jairus Williams (left) and Jacob Younger. If you follow FIU football, you'll know that each of those players arrived at FIU with not too much meat on their bones. They are both now close to 200 pounds and with muscles. Jairus, in particular at 6-5, now looks like a legitimate D-I receiver and could be a serious threat in the red zone this fall.

During the 7-on-7s, Jairus made a nice catch in traffic over the middle from Wesley Carroll, whoAjiaco looks like he ate some of the potajes that this team has consumed in the offseason. By that I mean, the healthier Cuban potajes like "Ajiaco".

WC looks to have a little more velocity on his passes this year. Turtle might take him from MC after football season over for some work on the pitching mound. Throughout the workout, WC was throwing darts.

Yes, I know Rutgers is still 2 months away, but my first impression of Willis Wright (right) on the FIU Stadium fieldWw is that dude is ready to play right now. The first thing about WW is his presence. You see him line up outside and he just has the look of a playmaker -- big, strong and Allstate might recruit him later because he also showed some good hands on a couple of passes thrown his way.

Khambrel McGee looks like an Anthony Gaitor-clone. KM showed some feisty play on pass D and made life miserable for the receiver he was covering. Like WW, Khambrel also looks like he can help out this season.

A bigger Jonathan Faucher made a couple of catches on mid-range passes. Faucher could give FIU a double TE threat with Dudley LaPorte. DLP looked good coming off that foot injury.

Any concerns about Rupert Bryan's health should be alleviated after watching him go one on one with Jeremy Jermin. Jermin looks like he will be a handful for opposing offensive linemen, but on this morning Rupert held his own and then some.

One defender that had a big day was DE Isame Faciane, who with his speed and quickness got around the corner four times.

Again, the entire team did not participate and nobody was in pads, but others that caught my attention were: Glen Coleman with his elusiveness. Kedrick Rhodes has the size and skills to get a good number of carries this season. Darian Mallary has bulked up. Jake Medlock is a big dude for a QB. The majority of the newcomers were there with Jordan White and Jason Fitch expected to join the team in the next week or so.

Punter Josh Brisk finished the morning with a 60-yard punt that had his teammates let out some "Ooohs, aaahs".

Working on getting off-season weight room gains for you on the next post.  

July 01, 2010

New Walk-Ons

Some new football players to tell you about as FIU is a little more than a month away from the opening of training camp on August 9.

The Panthers have begun off-season workouts and these are some of the new walk-ons to join the returningBennett players: running back Robert Boswell (Fleming Island High). Boswell, 5-9, 174 pounds, is not a prototypcial big back, but has plenty of speed.

Brandon Bennett , right, (Pembroke Pines Charter) is a bigger back at 5-10, 215 pounds and he's also new to the team adding to the Panthers depth at the position.

FIU has also added to its depth in the secondary with former LaSalle DB Sam Gervais -- a former and now current teammate of new FIU DB Sam Miller. Gervais brings some size to the secondary at 5-10. Here is some video on the newest FIU DB: Gervais highlights

Gervais Gervais, left, was being recruited by South Florida and Florida Atlantic.

Former Middle Tennessee commit DB Sean Jenkins is also walking-on. He's also 5-10 and has played receiver before as well, but is expected to play D. He's a former Coral Reef High player.

All four of these players are eligible to play this season. However, new tight end Zach Schaubhut, a transfer from Air Force, will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. Schaubhut was a former QB/WR as a high school player in Chipley, but moved to TE at the Air Force.

Will have more off-season football stuff for you later on.


Scott Rembisz made his first start as a GCL Marlin in a 5-1 win over the GCL Cardinals on Wednesday pitching 4 innings, allowing 3 hits, 0 earned runs and struck out. Thus far, Scott (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) has pitched 8 1/3 inningsRemb and has a 1.13 ERA. Not a bad start for the former FIU ace.

Tim Jobe signed with the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League (Independent ball). Tim's platooning at 1st base and is 1 for 8 thus far.

Less than 2 weeks before the ESPYs where Garrett Wittels is up for Best Male College Athlete. You can click HERE to vote for GW.

Team Stats

» View more stats



Powered by TypePad