Coming to you live from the GC at Camp Mitch via colada, it's the report from Day 1 of FIU fall football practice!
That exclamation point ends the hype part of this report.
(Quick aside: just ran into running back Kedrick Rhodes in the GC. His increase in muscular thickness is even more visible out of uniform.)
There's only so much you can tell from the first day of practice of any sport. A football practice involving helmets, jerseys, shorts but no pads or real contact -- "running around in the underwear" as some football coaches say colloquially -- buries itself under Inconclusive.
As far as accuracy, I thought the quarterbacks looked fine for the first day. I thought the receivers could've helped them out more, but, again, it's Day 1. You see some of the same passes slip through fingers in three weeks, then you reach for the Pepto-Bismol.
First team receivers: Wayne Times, Glenn Coleman, Jacob Younger. Second team: Willis Wright, Jairus Williams, Dominique Rhymes. James Louis, who transferred from Ohio State last year, wasn't at practice. Word is he's got some schoolwork to do. Tight ends: redshirt freshman Ya'keem Griner and Zach Schaubhut, who made some nice catches.
The best throw and catch of the day came on the same play. Freshman E.J. Hilliard arched a 15-yard out to the far sideline almost over cornerback Richard Leonard. Leonard skimmed the ball a second before Wright adjusted to make the grab and tap down. Lorenzo Hammonds made some nice throws, too. But there's no quarterback competition or controversy. This is Jake Medlock's job to lose and he certainly did nothing to do that today.
"We were more efficient with the ball in the passing game than typical on Day 1," Mario Cristobal said. "That's good to see. And I saw it from at least the first three quarerbacks. They took teh bulk of the reps -- Jake taking the first set, Lorenzo the second one, E.J. the third."
Freshman Favian Upshaw also took reps at quarterback. Cristobal said they structured practice so that the younger players got as many reps as the veterans to get them up to speed. Clearly, there's a feeling that, despite the plethora of returning talent, this freshman class will refuse to be shelved.
"We are forced to create extra periods for three and some of the fours because those guys are talented enough to contribute," Cristobal said. "We just have to see if they can get all the mental stuff."
Look especially at the freshmen linebackers to get into the mix.
Not into the mix will be tight end Bryan Attaway from Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County High; defensive back Denzel Conyers from Gulfport Boca Ciega; and Pembroke Pines Flanagan wide receiver Jeremy Smith. Academic issues eliminated these 2012 recruits.