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Pigskin Pops (updated with Turner conference call comments)

Do you understand the meager compensation given some of our blue collar bretheren who wreck their backs doing things like setting up FIU Stadium (surrounding Ocean Bank Field) for the start of classes and the football season? Do you know how little disposable income the average college-affiliated football player has?

After pondering that bit of John L. Lewis, take in these tidbits from FIU football practice. Yes, I'm still banned, although FIU coach Ron Turner did answer a few questions from me on the Conference USA coaches conference call.

 

Don't be surprised if FIU says to heck with it and comes out with a linebacking corps of freshman Anthony Wint, sophomore Treyvon Williams and redshirt freshman Jordan Guest. Why not? Go with talent, give it some experience and see what you wind up with at the end of the season.

In answering why things should be different this year defensively against Bethune, Turner said the defense should execute the scheme better, but also said, "We'll have some freshmen and redshirt freshmen out there at times..."

Also, it could be a family affair on the corners with junior Jeremiah McKinnon moving ahead of senior Randy Harvey to play with cousin redshirt junior Richard Leonard. Bethune's ground-air split comes straight out of World War I, so the better tackler should start Saturday.

Another redshirt junior Richard, wide receiver Burrows, could very well start with redshirt junior Dominique Rhymes. When FIU's got two tight ends on the field, it'll be most often sophomore Jonnu Smith and redshirt Ya'keem Griner. That gives them the option of putting Smith in the slot, so they can run plays out of two-wide, double tight end or three-wide formations without switching personnel. That'll help if FIU tries to run an increased tempo, which I'd bet they will. When they want to go three-wide with Smith at tight end, expect DeAndre Jasper and T.J. Lowder to get the most looks as the third wideout with Burrows and Rhymes. That is, until freshman Dennis Turner shows something in a game. If he does, move him to the top of that list.

Not sure where fifth-year senior Glenn Coleman fits into everything.

Turner also said on the conference call that while junior E.J. Hilliard will start Saturday against Bethune, freshman Alex McGough could see playing time "in the second, third or fourth series" or in the second quarter. 

Junior Lamarq Caldwell remains the top running back, but, sometimes, they'll do the smart thing of putting big, durable Caldwell at fullback and dynamic freshman Alex Gardner at tailback. That gives you a good blocking back along with two backs who can catch passes. When FIU wants to go heavy, look for redshirt freshman Jordan Gibbs, converted from linebacker to fullback, as the lead blocker for Caldwell.

RECRUITING

Huh. Not surprising.

After seeing how some of FIU's 2015 commits looked Saturday against top high school competition, if FIU gets them to Signing Day next February, somebody needs to give running backs coach Kerry Dixon II a raise from $96,000.

BENEDICTION

Who's running the pool on how fast DP comments?

Comments

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I'll jump in before anyone even places a pool.

Kerry Dixon was a strong hire. I agree with you. I believe he's the chief recruiter on almost half the commits, including a few guys who really showed out this past weekend. Turner needs to do whatever he can to keep that guy around. Hopefully, his coaching is every bit as good as his recruiting.

As far as freshmen getting the nod over upperclassmen...great. The best player should play. Period. I get that you want to gradually introduce true freshmen into the fire, and I think that's what's happened with McGough. Give him a few series to get some experience under his belt, because if it's based on true talent, I believe he'll be starting before the season's over. Maybe even by the midseason.

And this one's for you, DJN. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEH_ms8d1ws

DJN - are you still not getting access to Athletics ?

Thanks for still trying to provide news/updates.

DJN, the only reason Coach Turner answered your question is that Thug Garcia wasn't there to spank him for speaking with you.

Question, if you're banned from Athletics, who's covering the BCC game? It's not like there is a large request for media credentials. Truly unbelievable how this athletic adm continues to sabotage itself!

Dp, how does fiu allow you to access that video let alone YouTube from your work computer? Guess pg is giving you extra freedom for backing him up. Djn, we have a spare paid ticket and you can come blend in with 112

I don't know if DJN will actually blend with our crew... well maybe next to Sect 112's Roary....but he'd definitely up our street cred.

But please no Brazil Jersey

Chia, you've proven your MEGA Panther knowledge, since they, in their FINITE wisdom have banned DJN, can cover and write about BCC game? Includes interviews.

Here's the update: I'm still officially banned. As far as Saturday, to quote "Pulp Fiction," "I'm kind of curious about that myself."

I'll would gladly moonlight for the Herald if they needed or wanted a free lance writer to cover FIU.

But seriously....I would.

Chia, the copy editors would go on strike if they had to sort through your writing. "I'll would," too.

David Neal is an idiot. Says he's the beat writer for FIU, but barely comments on any of the sports, let alone the top sports for FIU. His demeaning tone in his articles are atrocious. Facts are facts, and the football team didn't have a good year last year. Was Ron Turner the blame? Was Mario Cristobal the blame? Given academic issues and the lack of skilled players returning.
Neal's reporting is subject to the internet and only gets headlines when it's sensationalism dating back to earlier this year (which really had nothing to do with sports). Guess he can frame that article and put on his resume when he looks for a real job.
Report the facts, give praise when deserved, criticism when deserved and moved on. Too bad you are just a terrible journalist who doesn't get all the information before writing a one sided story.

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