This is Pete Pelegrin here. I'm now part of the FIU sports team and once again I consider it a privilege and an honor to bring you information about all your FIU teams.
Along with the rest of the FIU sports staff, we'll be bringing you daily blogs at The Prowl with all the features you have enjoyed before such as:
Offseason weight room gains by the Panthers, Q&A's with FIU players and coaches, LIVE GAME BLOGS, poll questions, the Golden Dazzlers (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo), a look at what's going on around the FIU athletic facilities, videos of FIU players and teams, Panther Pawse and off-beat blogs such as my day as a Golden Dazzlers audition judge last summer.
Speaking of the summer, before deciding whether to blog again I spent quite some time in Siesta Key -- a very highly-recommended vacation destination just west of Sarasota where the only deadline is counting down the minutes watching the sun set into the Gulf of Mexico.
Then I went to work on a blue jeans commercial. Afterward I started throwing the football around with a local high school football team in Hattiesburg, Miss. and I got the itch to blog again. And when I went to the computer lab at that Hattiesburg high school to practice writing some blogs, I decided it was not the time to retire from blogging.
So here we are with The Prowl.
OK, I was only really in Siesta Key and not M-i-double-S-i-double-S-i-double-P-i. Still, I appreciated all your e-mails, comment posts on articles, blogs and message boards, plus your phone calls, text messages and yells across LA Fitness.
On the next post, we'll have an in-depth look at the progress of the Panther football team in the state-of-the-art weight training center at the R. Kirk Landon FIU Fieldhouse.
But first let's get to the Panthers' second scrimmage of camp last Saturday where the FIU running game put on a good show and some Panther defensive backs are getting their names in this blog for their play.
Both quarterbacks Wesley Carroll and Wayne Younger managed the offense efficiently with WC going 13 of 18 for 157 yards and 2 TDs; WY was 11 of 18 for 119 yards and 2 TDs.
Let's put the passing aside for a moment, what caught my attention last Saturday was the mobility FIU has at the QB position. We all know how WY can run -- just ask North Texas -- and he did it again three days ago when on a 30-yard run, WY faked a defender out of his shoes. Both sidelines (offense and defense) whooped it up after the play.
Now I saw WC play a lot at St. Thomas Aquinas High and I knew he was not a statue back there in the pocket, but it seems like WC has gotten more mobile since he hit college. On one of the early plays of the scrimmage, WC made something out of a broken play. Being chased by a few defenders, WC evaded the pressure, rolled right and on the run connected with Greg Ellingson on a 32-yard strike for a first down.
I said it last year and I'll say it again this fall, Colt Anderson (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo) can play tight end. CA is an athlete and showed it on a tough catch over the middle among three defenders. CA did it again later making a leaping grab -- not as impressive as his one-handed catch last season, but still a nifty catch.
The D had five sacks. Jonathan Cyprien and Little Canada combined on the first sack. More on these two guys in the weight room post. And with LC's offseason weight room gains we might as well go back to calling him Big Ontario Smith.
Jarvis Wilson always seems to be at the right place at the right time. JW had a sack and on another play batted down a pass. Josh Forney, who looks leaner and playing physical, also batted down a pass.
The running game then got going with freshman Robert Boswell moving the pile for carries of six and seven yards. A few plays later junior Torrance Seymour broke through for a 43-yard TD run.
Darrian Mallary (left, thanks Sam Lewis photo) displayed why he led Dade County in rushing his senior season at Gulliver. With the help of a nice block from Goodbye (now at 185 pounds), DM cut back for a pick-up of 11 yards. DM would later score on another cut back run from 15 yards out.
Now you might say, well Pete with all this running how did the D look? And I will tell you that the D had its moments, in fact the D pretty much had their way early on with the O.
However, when the two units are going against each other it can be tricky to gauge if one is ahead of the other. On Sept. 11, you may get a better answer. One thing is for sure, I like the way new DC Geoff Collins is mixing things up. You never know where or when the pressure will be coming in this defensive system and the D-line seems to be more active and athletic than before.
Before telling you about some tight pass D, senior receiver Ariel Martinez keeps making plays. AM took a short pass from WY and ran past two defenders and turned it up the sideline for a long gain. But, alas, a holding penalty brought it back.
Remember above where I mentioned the QB mobility? Well, add freshman Jake Medlock to that list. Although the bomb thrown by Medlock on this play was broken up by freshman DB Sam Miller, Medlock was quick out of the pocket and rolled left to get away from pressure to throw his pass.
Freshman running back Kedrick Rhodes has the potential to be something special toting the pigskin. He's looked solid thus far and had seven carries for 28 yards and a TD. Interesting sidenote, speaking with Kedrick's father last week -- the father is named Ronnie Brown. No relation to the Miami Dolphin, but maybe Kedrick shows a little of RB as an FIU RB. By the way, Rhodes also caught a short pass from WY and scampered 25 yards for his second TD of the day.
Junior Mertile seems to be back all the way from the knee injury sustained at Rutgers last season. He is still one of the fastest Panthers after the injury. More on the team's 40-yard dash times later.
Anyway, near the end of the scrimmage JM ran a precise route into the corner of the end zone to catch a 25-yard TD pass from WC. Ty Frierson (left, thanks Sam Lewis) continues to be his old reliable self making a diving catch in the right corner of the end zone for a 6-yard TD pass from WC.
Unfortunately, we cannot talk about recruiting here, nor any student-athlete academic information. Plus, vulgar language and derogatory comments about student-athletes will not be posted.
Since we have to follow these rules, all your comments will first hit The Prowl's e-mail, then be approved or not and then they will be posted to the blog. I will be consistently on the blog to make sure your comments get posted ASAP. Sorry. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
The trade off to comment approval or Double Clawing Out is that there will no longer be any trolls from neighboring schools to beat their chests about their school having better cafeteria food, smaller lines at the bookstore or wider parking spaces, etc.
Regardless, I still will answer all your questions -- and post your actual question before my answer (thank you, alt7787) -- if they are in accordance with the blog compliance rules.
You can also visit other terrific sites for FIU sports news and information: FIUgoldenpanthers.com -- where the good people there do a wonderful job maintaining that site and "Building the Golden Panther Community." FIUSM.com is also another good place for FIU sports news. There, the FIU student media has beefed up their coverage of FIU sports and has been doing a fine job.
Former FIU QB Paul McCall will be joining FIU student radio as a color analyst for Panther home football games this season beginning with the opener on Sept. 11 vs. Rutgers. PMC was last seen on Mars. You can hear those broadcasts on 88.1 and 95.3 FM.
In a previous blog on another site, we reached readers in 46 states, 42 countries, 1 district and 2 territories. This time our goal -- to borrow a phrase -- is to be "Worlds Ahead" and hit all 50 states and more than 42 countries on The Prowl.
It was election day yesterday, but now it's your turn to go to the polls. In a poll question earlier this summer, we asked where would FIU finish this football season and the majority of you good people voted anywhere from 1st to 4th place. Well, let's get your pulse on the Panthers record this season....