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Belen's Xavier Hines commits; FIU gets 3 points of love in USA Today preseason poll; more ESPN3 time

Belen cornerback Xavier Hines gave FIU three defensive back commits -- two for the class of 2013 -- in the last two days Thursday afternoon. Hines was a Second Team All-Dade 8A-6A selection last year. He's ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star recruit by Scout.com. ESPN has no ranking on him.

Wednesday, North Miami seniorTroy McCollum and Krop sophomore Jovon Durante, a wide receiver and cornerback, pledged themselves to FIU. What's clear about the Panthers recruiting, both in this freshman class and the one for 2013, is they're getting guys with more height and wingspan on the defensive side of the ball. McCollum's in the 6-0 to 6-1 range and Hines is 5-11 to 6-0. Among freshmen defensive backs Davison Colimon (listed as a linebacker going into camp), Jeremiah McKinnon, Deonte Wilson and Johnnie Durante, there's not a one who is under 6-0 -- officially. Defensive coaches enjoy hearing a player described as "long" the way people with cultured ears enjoy hearing Stevie Wonder. Take a look at last year's interceptions leader Justin Halley, a rangy 6-2.

Anyway, here's some video on Hines.


And, just because I mentioned him, Stevie doing a song he origianlly wrote for Jeff Beck...


The 59 poll voters among the nation's college-affiliated football coaches certainly respect FIU. The Panthers lost the best player in the program's relatively brief history and have a redshirt sophomore with two starts at quarterback, yet for the first time ever got points in the USA Today/Coaches preseason poll.

FIU's 3 points got them in the Others Receiving Votes listing, tied for 43rd with Missouri and Tennessee. Among the coaches doing the voting are Louisiana's Mark Hudspeth, Central Florida's George O'Leary, South Florida's Skip Holtz and the University of Miami's Al Golden, folks who butt heads against FIU either on the field or, increasingly, the recruiting trails.

Two 2012 FIU opponents were in the poll, which was topped, predictably by LSU and Alabama. Both were in the Others Receiving Votes group outside the Top 25. Louisville's 46 points were the 27th most and UCF's 5 points were tied for 41st with Rutgers, which had pursued FIU coach Mario Cristobal in January.


Or, at least, streaming time. The home opener against Akron, 6 p.m. Sept. 8, and the 7 p.m. Sept. 29 game at Louisiana (which doesn't want to be called Louisiana-Lafayette) both will be on ESPN3.


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