For Haines City outside linebacker Josh Glanton, the choice between FIU, where he verbally committed during the fall, and Syracuse is hard enough that he's starting to stress over it. FIU defensive line coach Cedric Calhoun was scheduled to swing by for a visit Tuesday afternoon.
One recruiting service reports speedy Jackson High wide receiver DeAndre Jasper has committed to FIU, but would like to wind up at Marshall, which had a 11 players from Dade and Broward on their roster for the Beef O' Brady's Bowl. A source says Jasper definitely will choose FIU on Signing Day.
FIU's still in the hunt for Travares Copeland, who played quarterback at Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast this year after transferring from Fort Pierce Westwood, but might be used at any of the skill positions. He just entertained West Virginia on a home visit. Scouting report I got from up there: great athlete, tremendous arm ("50 or 60 yards off the back foot"), but too Me Centric, will need some grounding from the coaching staff and team leaders.
FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas is hoping for a sellout of all 500 seats to this year's Diamond Dinner, a fundraising event and season first pitch event for the baseball and softball programs. Last year, 435 attended the event at the Graham Center Ballroom.
The human draw for this year's event is special guest speaker Lou Piniella, former Yankee, Kansas City Royal and, at the start of his career, Clevelnad Indian player and manager of the Cubs, Reds, Devil Rays, Mariners and Yankees (during the years when the Yankees changed managers like Starbucks changes baristas). Thomas said the timing worked for getting the recently-retired Piniella and they're working on getting former Cardinals, A's and White Sox manager Tony LaRussa for next year's event.
Along with dinner, alcohol and stories from Piniella (in "The Umpire Strikes Back," the late former umpire Ron Luciano's first book with David Fisher, Luciano recalled the night Piniella ran for the cycle -- got thrown out at every base), there are 21 live auction items and 200 silent auction items. The items range from trips to the Indianapolis 500, U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup (flights, hotels, tickets) to a trio of basketballs each signed by either Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan.
For ticket information, call 305-348-1919.
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