On Friday there will be one week left before FIU boards a plane for College Park, Maryland to open its 12th football season with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, August 31. Tommorrow, I'll have for you a look on what we've learned from the 2013 Panthers based on this month of camp.
Thursday trivia for you: That Aug. 31 date will mark just fourth time in the program's 12-year history that FIU opens a football season in the month of August. I'm sure you remember the last few years when FIU had a bye on the opening week of college football. The other August openers for FIU came in the 2002 inaugural season (Aug. 29, vs. St. Peter's, 1st ever FIU football game), Aug. 31, 2006 (at Middle Tennessee) and Aug. 30, 2008 (at Kansas).
Now to Thursday's practice where it was a pick em kind of day for the defense, which by my count recorded four interceptions during 7-on-7s and team drills.
Sam Miller leaped up in the air on a deep pass from Jake Medlock to grab the first interception during 7-on-7s.
Even though it was a 7-on-7 drill, linebacker Josh Glanton had a pick six of a Travis Wright pass. Glanton stepped in front of the receiver and had nothing but green FieldTurf in front of him. Linebacker Derrick Jones also had a pick six of Wright.
Freshman cornerback Brad Hyman-Muhammad intercepted E.J. Hilliard on a deep pass.
The quarterbacks did get their plays in. Hilliard made a nifty shoulder fake that allowed Glenn Coleman separation from the defensive back to haul in a 50-yard touchdown. Both Hilliard and Medlock have developed that shoulder fake on deep passes since spring ball. You didn't really see that from them before.
I like the way freshman running back Alfonso Randolph has practiced in his first college camp. Randolph is very instinctive. Yesterday, he made some nice cut backs on a couple of long runs. Thursday, Randolph bailed Medlock out of some trouble.
With the pass rush closing in on Medlock, Randolph saw his quarterback scrambling and adjusted his route to get open for a 12-yard pass.
Medlock drilled a 50-yard touchdown pass to De'Andre Jasper down the middle of the field.
The Cleveland Browns were the latest NFL team at practice for you guessed it: to look at 99 and 8, Isame Faciane and Greg Hickman. That's 1/4 of the NFL teams (8 of 32) to visit FIU this month. And yes, the Browns scout met with FIU defensive line coach Andre Patterson after practice.
Sophomore linebacker Michael Wakefield batted down a pass. Sophomore defensive lineman Cody Horstman had a sack.
Practice wrapped up with Medlock finding running back Lamarq Caldwell for a short touchdown pass. I think Caldwell will thrive in the pro-style offense. Not only does he have good size at 220 pounds, but he has shown a knack for catching the ball well out of the backfield.