Florida Intl Golden Panthers

Florida Intl Golden Panthers

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Date:

Florida International fired HC Ron Turner.

Turner held a 10-30 record since taking over as Golden Panthers' head coach before the start of the 2012 campaign. This season, FIU had slogged out to an 0-4 start in September, most recently falling by a 53-14 final against UCF. DC Ron Cooper will take over as interim head coach moving forward. First up on the docket for Cooper, next weekend's showdown with FAU.
Source: ESPN.com
Sep 26 - 12:14 PM

Alex Gardner failed to launch in Thursday's 34-13 loss to Indiana, rushing for 23 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Gardner's longest run went for five yards. It was that kind of an evening for the 5-foot-9, 192-pounder. He did manage a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to draw the Golden Panthers to within 12-10. They actually held a 13-12 lead entering the fourth quarter before the Hoosiers finally put the game away with 22 unanswered points. While his rushing effort was less than inspiring, Gardner augmented it with seven catches for 70 yards. No surprise there. He caught a whopping 60 passes last season.
Sep 1 - 11:51 PM

FIU promoted secondary coach Ron Cooper to defensive coordinator.

With Cooper sliding over to defensive coordinator, FIU additionally hired Edinboro University DC Bobby Babich to serve as the Golden Panthers' secondary coach. Cooper, 54, is taking the place of former DC Matt House, who left for an ILB coaching gig with Kentucky earlier this month.
May 25 - 1:37 PM

The Vikings worked out Florida International DT Lars Koht at FIU's Pro Day event last week.

Minny's DL coach conducted the workout, so the 6-foot-5, 279-pound Koht had every opportunity to make an impression. He ran the 40 in between 5.22-5.25 seconds, had a 29-inch vertical, a 8-foot-11 broad jump and performed 20 reps on the bench press. Koht, who had four sacks last year, played on both the inside and outside for FIU. He's likely a UDFA.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 5 - 8:00 PM

FIU CB Richard Leonard ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds during Thursday's Pro Day.

Fantastic work for Leonard on Thursday in terms of his 40-yard sprint. He also notched a 37-inch vertical jump and 6.95 seconds in the three-cone drill. Over the summer, NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter praised his "foot quickness, closing ability and competitive fire." The draft writer also digs his return skills -- for his career, the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder ran back three kicks for touchdowns. If he can overcome the size questions here, he could provide a spark fielding punts and possibly kickoffs at the NFL level.
Apr 2 - 5:25 PM

FIU senior CB Richard Leonard accepted an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Leonard's return prowess could bring him some love in the spring. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound junior has three career touchdowns between punt and kickoff returns. He averaged 21.6 yards on kickoffs and 10.7 yards on punt returns during the 2015 campaign. He did even better in 2014 with 25.7 and 23.8-yard averages, respectively. In August, NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter wrote, "Though shorter than most NFL teams prefer at the position, there's no doubting his foot quickness, closing ability and competitive fire," then noted that his slipperiness in the return game "should earn him extra looks."
Jan 14 - 10:22 PM

FIU junior TE Jonnu Smith (knee) didn't play in Saturday's 48-31 win over Charlotte.

Smith has been day-to-day with a sprained knee for a few weeks now. Hopefully his ligaments mend quickly, because Smith is one of the best receiving tight ends in the country. He has 36 catches for 397 yards and four touchdowns.
Thu, Nov 12, 2015 05:16:00 PM

FIU junior TE Jonnu Smith is still wearing a knee brace after missing last week's game against FAU.

The injury is to Smith's left knee. The coaching staff considers the athletic tight end "day to day," however he wore no pads in practice on Wednesday. Smith is one of the better receiving tight ends in the country, catching 36 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Fri, Nov 6, 2015 09:48:00 AM

Per TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline, NFL scouts "have shown a lot of interest" in FIU junior TE Jonnu Smith.

"The athletic pass catcher has posted 19 receptions in five games and has shown marked improvement in his game," Pauline wrote. He hasn't come out of nowhere. Smith earned First-Team All-Conference USA honors last year and was an SI.com All-American Honorable Mention pick. He led the Golden Panthers with 710 yards on 61 catches and eight touchdowns.
Tue, Oct 6, 2015 06:23:00 PM

Florida International senior edge rusher Michael Wakefield "shows a knack for quickly and smoothly getting off the snap," notes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

Wakefield earned second-team All-Conference USA honors in 2014 by "using not only his get-off, but also good length and an ability to leverage a blocker and disengage to make the play," according to Reuter. The 6-foot-3, 254-pound Wakefield posted eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. "Wakefield can play either side of the line despite his average size, which is a big plus," Reuter wrote. "Coaches will put him through linebacker drills after the season to see how well he moves in space, and that will help determine how high he gets drafted."
Source: NFL.com
Wed, Sep 2, 2015 08:25:00 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter posits that FIU junior CB Richard Leonard's return ability will amplify his intrigue to NFL teams.

The 5-foot-9, 189-pound Leonard missed 2013 due to academic ineligibility but has otherwise been a star at FIU. "Though shorter than most NFL teams prefer at the position, there's no doubting his foot quickness, closing ability and competitive fire," Reuter wrote. "His elusiveness as a returner should earn him extra looks." Leonard was a first-team All-Conference USA selection last year after posting five interceptions, seven pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, a 25.7-yard kick-return average and a 23.8-yard punt-return average with one touchdown.
Source: NFL.com
Sat, Aug 22, 2015 09:59:00 PM

FIU senior WR Glenn Coleman has been ruled ineligible for the 2013 season due to academics.

Coleman started 12 games over the last two seasons and averaged 17.5 yards per reception. FIU is a three point underdog to FCS level Bethune-Cookman this weekend.
Tue, Sep 10, 2013 11:20:00 AM

FIU junior CB Richard Leonard has been ruled ineligible for the 2013 season.

Leonard started just eight of the 26 games he played over the last few seasons. He led the school in kick return (29.2) and punt return average (14.2). The Panthers lost their top defender in Johnathan Cyprien, and this ineligibility certainly won't help the depth.
Wed, Sep 4, 2013 10:06:00 AM

FIU has dismissed senior RB Kedrick Rhodes for a violation of team rules.

Rhodes rushed for 699 yards and three touchdowns last season, adding 19 receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns in the air. In three seasons he registered 2,686 yards on offense and 14 touchdowns.
Mon, Jul 15, 2013 02:29:00 PM

Chargers selected Florida International DE Tourek Williams with the No. 179 overall pick.

Williams (6-2, 260) paced Florida International in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (6.5) as a senior. He's the best pass rusher to emerge from FIU since Antwan Barnes. Williams has explosiveness off the snap, but is often engulfed by blockers due to short arms (32 1/2"). He projects as a situational nickel end and special teamer for the Bolts.
Sat, Apr 27, 2013 04:17:00 PM


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