As they try to earn playing time and possibly starting jobs later on in camp, several of FIU's newcomers came to the forefront on the second day of camp.
More of the new defensive backs made plays on Thursday morning. After freshman Isaiah Brown had a good day in Wednesday's opening practice, junior college transfer Andrew Brown broke up a pass Thursday. Freshman safety Isaiah Hill intercepted Christian Alexander. Hill is listed at 5-11, 195 pounds but he looks bigger than that.
Junior running back Alex Gardner -- who begins the season 853 rushing yards from tying Rashod Smith's FIU career rushing yardage record of 2,195 -- had several good runs during team drills. Staying in the backfield, fullback Jacob Kraut again looked like a natural catching the ball out of the backfield.
Freshman receiver Tony Gaiter is listed at 5-9 but he went up high to grab a pass from Christian Alexander. By the way, each time I write Tony Gaiter's name I can't help but think of former FIU cornerback Anthony Gaitor, who is now in the CFL. Gaitor was one of the best defensive backs to ever wear an FIU football uniform.
Gaiter, with an "e" instead of an "o", is among a handful of young receivers making plays early in camp. Stanley Thomas made a tough sideline grab during 7-on-7s. Thomas later held on to another pass with Isaiah Brown closing in on the freshman receiver. Darrius Scott hauled in a pass over the middle of the field during 7-on-7s. Freshman Ulice Gillard had a long gain after a catch on a short pass.
Sophomore Fermin Silva is one of the young defensive ends that will be counted on to replace the graduated Michael Wakefield and Denzell Perine. Silva showed Thursday why he was one of the top defenders in the county while at Miami Central High. As you probably know quarterbacks are off limits from being hit during practice, but Silva twice got into the offensive backfield and would have had two sacks if it was a live game.
Had a chance to watch the kickers toward the end of practice. Incumbent Austin Taylor hit 4 of 5 field goals from a range of 32-38 yards. Scott Wade was 1 of 3 and freshman Jose Borregales was 0 of 1.