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Probables: Jacob Younger to play, Demarkus Perkins to redshirt.

A few tidbits from FIU football practice...

Jacob Younger has recovered from the shoulder injury that kept him out against Akron or, rather, recovered enough to be declared something like "probable" for Tuesday's game against Arkansas State. Don't expect wide receiver Glenn Coleman or safety Chuck Grace, however. 

A blog reader asked about safety Demarkus Perkins and linebacker Larvez Mars.

I don't understand the curiosity about Mars any more than any other linebacker who can't get on the field. Four-star recruit, fine. That was three years ago. He's played one season, redshirted another, and is a redshirt sophomore down the depth chart. Once you've been in school a few years, your recruiting ranking matters about as much as your high school class rank to your Advanced Calculus class professor. It just shows how ridiculous the hype over recruiting is. I cover recruiting because fans go nuts over it and it's the basis of a program's success. I'll tell you who they got, how they plan to use him and maybe how some folks who make a living claiming expert knowledge of talent rank him. But that doesn't mean any of us -- recruiting sites, reporters, coaches -- know anything with certainty about how a teenager will mature physically relative to his peers, whether he'll maintain or acquire a work ethic, how well he'll adjust to college life, etc. The only thing more prematurely stupid than grading NFL drafts (and I've done that for The Herald without enthusiasm more than once) is ranking recruits and recruiting classes. 

Perkins, I can understand the curiosity about what happened? He's a sophomore who, after a year of junior college, was looked at as a potential starter by a Pac-10 school. A few months later, he's buried on FIU's roster. That's a precipitous drop that begs, "Porque?"

"Demarkus got here really late. We'd already started practice," Mario Cristobal said. "He's definitely got the physical tools, he's definitely smart enough. I think it was a lot for him to have to catch up to to be effective on the field. He did ding up his shoulder a little bit, which hampered his development a little.

"Gettting here late, getting dinged up, having to get in shape...that's a lot of stuff to overcome," Cristobal continued. "We do feel comfortable with the strides some of the guys in the secondary are making, so we felt it was best that he didn't play as of last week. More likely than not, he will redshirt. He's still developing. Still getting plenty of reps in practice. We still think he's going to be a really good player, but he's got a lot to learn."

 But, he insisted, they still weren't set on going the redshirt route with running back Shane Coleman. They're still worried about injuries to the running backs ahead of him on the depth chart.


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