The football team practiced for two and a half hours Monday morning. They actually have enough players to do it, unlike the spring.
For what it's worth...sophomore Lemarq Caldwell took the running back spot with the first team through team drills and when they ran plays against air. Redshirt sophomore Shane Coleman also got some work with the ones. With Donald Senat at summer graduation, the first string offensive line went, left to right, redshirt sophomore Aaron Nielsen; redshirt junior Delmar Taylor; redshirt junior Michael Montero; redshirt junior Jordan White; and redshirt junior David Delsoin.
The second unit offensive line went, left to right, redshirt freshman Dieugot Joseph, converted from defensive line in the spring; junior Byron Pinkston, a junior college transfer from Dean College; freshman Danny Nunez from Dade Christian; redshirt freshmen Trenton Saunders and Edens Sineace.
Junior cornerback Richard Leonard picked off redshirt junior Jake Medlock twice, once in team drills, once in 7-on-7s, both times for what would've been house calls. Medlock blamed his own mental errors, but said Leonard's speed and football intelligence makes him tough to throw against. Leonard said he actually learned how to watch film during this offseason.
Medlock recovered to fire a deep strike to Rocky Vann behind Sam Gervais. Among the freshmen receivers, Shug Oyegunle, a small (5-9) package of explosives from Tampa Gaither probably had the best day. Losing a big, fast talent like Willis Wright hurts FIU -- go back and look at that touchdown against FAU last year to see why -- but there's some serious speed on this roster, guys who placed well in sprints at the state track meet or averaged over 20.0 yards per catch. Speed isn't the end all or be all of receiving, returning or being a defensive back. Doesn't hurt.
Freshman Sam Medlock is trying to make the roster as a long snapper. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Taylor is back in that role. Redshirt freshman Chris Ayers and freshman Karson Dietrich did the punting Monday. Dietrich and Sergio Sroka handled most of the kicking.
A few freshmen got You Ain't Playing Sunnydale High Anymore moments Monday.
The first pass in drills from Israel Paopao, a deep out to the right, got intercepted and taken the distance by redshirt freshman Deonte Wilson.
Cornerback Vontarius West wound up two steps in arrears as redshirt sophomore T.J. Lowder blew by him up the right sideline. To be fair, redshirt junior Justin Halley dropped by a little late with the help.
One freshman linebacker didn't get on the field for his rep, earning him an upbraiding from one assistant coach that included, "See if you get another rep today! I don't want to have to fight your --- to play!" He listened well enough to get on the field several snaps later when directed.
Among the new names dotting the roster is the wonderfully named Wonderful Monds II, a defensive back transfer from the University of Buffalo. His father, Wonderful Monds, knocked around baseball's minor leagues for a while. Both are from Fort Pierce.
An overload at wide receiver puts Brad Hyman-Muhammad, a Class 2A All-State wide receiver last season (20.1 yards per catch) for Riverview Admiral Farragut, at cornerback. That's where they tried to switch wide receiver DeAndre Jasper in the spring.
Among the Signing Day signees, Vero Beach offensive lineman Chris Flaig, Bradenton Manatee defensive back Willie Smith and Norland defensive tackle Akheem Barton were absent. Smith and Barton won't be joining the team. Flaig apparently will be eventually.
Some more transfers might be coming soon, including a running back last at an SEC school. Of course, that description fit Jakhari Gore, too.
Tennessee Titans scout Mike Yowarsky attended practice.