FIU training camp continued Monday before the Panthers get their first day off from camp Tuesday. Over the next several days we'll check in with the position coaches to get a sense of how their groups are doing.
New FIU secondary coach Bobby Babich inherits a unit that lacks game experience but is athletic and features some good size in the corners. Babich and cornerbacks coach Greg Moss will have to figure out who will replace lockdown cornerbacks Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon and settle the safety positions.
Babich, who was the assistant secondary coach with the Cleveland Browns last season, likes the physical makeup of the secondary but doesn't want to exclusively rely on it.
"Having size and length can make up for some flaws within the play," Babich said. "We are still going to ask these guys to make sure we're paying attention to the details and we're not getting into the position where we have to rely on our length. Length for us should be a bonus at the end of the play."
It's still too early in camp to see any separation as far as any player stepping forward and claiming a starting job. However, one safety who has moved is freshman Isaiah Hill. Already with a pair of interceptions in camp -- one of which would have been a pick six -- Hill has shifted to work with the linebackers. Listed at 5-11, 195 pounds, Hill is making a similar move to what Vontarius West did a year ago. West was a member of the secondary when he arrived at FIU two years ago. Despite being listed at under 200 pounds, Hill looks strong and has the frame to add more weight.
As far as Division I game experience, Emmanuel Lubin (above) and Deonte Wilson are the returning cornerbacks with the most for FIU. Each also presents the size Babich spoke about with Lubin standing 6-1 and Wilson at 6-0. Wilson is working at cornerback this camp after playing both safety and cornerback during his first three years at FIU.
Still, FIU has a crop of young corners that will push for a starting job and playing time. Freshman Isaiah Brown has opened some eyes early on.
"Isaiah Brown is a smart kid," Moss said. "In the meeting room he's always asking questions but not just asking questions he answers them as well. He's not afraid to speak up. He can fly. He's got good straight line speed. He's got some length and he makes plays on balls that some other guys can't because of his long arms."
New cornerbacks Andrew Brown, Aaron Brown and Khairi Reaser have also practiced well during the first week of camp. Outside of Isaiah Brown, Andrew Brown (Garden City CC), Aaron Brown (Cincinnati) and Reaser (San Jose CC) all have college experience which can only help a young position group.