NEW UPDATES ADDED THROUGHOUT THE BLOG. (5:25PM)
Hey everyone, bright and early at FIU. Had to drink extra coffee this morning to get ready. Under overcast skies the men on the FIU football team took the field for their first official practice of fall camp. I watched the first 30 minutes or so before the practice was closed to the media. A few quick updates on what I saw from where I was standing.
QB Wesley Carroll looked sharp on passing drills. LB Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars didn't practice. TE Dudley LaPorte (big kid 6-4, 244) looked sharp running routes. Saw T.Y. Hilton running around and he looks healthy.
Notes from camp
Injury update on Pooh Bear (left). According to Cristobal the boot is off his leg and he is walking. He is way ahead of schedule. "We expect him to be ready Rutgers' game week and we expect him to play in that game,'' Cristobal said.
TE Jonathan Faucher had a walking boot on his leg because he sprained his ankle. Faucher should be out 10-12 days.
Practice will be open to the public on Friday night, Aug. 20. Starts at 7:30 p.m. The practice is free and seating is first come, first serve. There will be an autograph session after the practice. "We'll do everything from our individual drills to our 7 on 7 drills and of course team periods involving all situations,'' Cristobal said.
Only helmets, jerseys and shorts today as per NCAA rules for the first two days of practice. Wednesday and Thursday the guys can wear shoulder pads. Friday is live action, full pads. Photo (right) Wayne Younger hands off to Darian Mallary (Tim Chapman, Miami Herald)New coordinators
I had a chance to interview both defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield after practice. Both seem really excited about coming to FIU.
"We have a lot of returners with a lot of experience,'' he said.
Collins also stressed how much depth the team has on defense. According to Collins, the team has 8 or 9 good defensive backs that can compete in the SBC, 6 to 7 LB and 8 to 9 defensive lineman.
"Which is encouraging, not a lot of schools have the number of people that are ready to compete at this level,'' he added.
Collins is bringing in a new defensive scheme for the Panthers this season.
"I was at Alabama, UCF, Western Carolina there are influences from all those schools," he said, about this season's defense. Expect to see the Panthers line up in 3-4, 4-3, Nickel and 30 Nickel formations. "The big thing I've been impressed with is how much these kids are learning and how multiple they are allowing us [coaches] to be, because of how much they know."
Collins also feels that the defensive line probably lost the most from last year. But he feels really good about the kids that are coming back.
He is also really happy with how well the cornerbacks have adjusted to playing in new schemes.
A little on why Collins decided to come to Miami and FIU.
"I'm like LeBron, you can't say no to South Beach,'' he said. "The kids are probably my favorite thing."
Follow FIU coaches on twitter
@CoachCollins - DC Geoff Collins
@ApolloFIU - running backs coach/st coordinator Apollo Wright
@CoachPopovich - assistant coach-secondary Jeff Popovich
@CoachMirabal - assistant coach-OL Alex Mirabal
@FIUCalhoun - assistant coach-DL Cedric Calhoun
@FIUCoachMoore - strength and conditioning coach Roderick Moore
Response to comments
@Roary Can you post the schedule of practices this week? Any practices on the weekend?
@Panthers Fan ? With the football season upon us, I must ask a very important question, if FIU goes out and starts the season 0-4, should MC get fired.