FIU football

FIU coach Ron Turner era begins with opportunities

 

With a new coaching staff and nothing set in stone, competition for starting spots is wide open as practice starts.

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

One thing you can say about FIU’s fall practice, which officially starts Monday: at least it won’t be boring.

There is a new coaching staff with coach Ron Turner in his first college training camp in nine years. And there will be new starters all over the roster, from running back to the kicking game specialists, and maybe even a shuffling of the quarterback depth chart.

All that concerns what happens on the field. The start of fall practice creates a line separating an offseason of off-field controversies and the actual 2013 season, which begins Aug. 31 at Maryland.

The dismissal of Kedrick Rhodes after he fired a gun on campus leaves the running back spot open for redshirt sophomore Shane Coleman, redshirt junior Jakhari Gore or perhaps freshman Silas Spearman III from Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge High.

Though redshirt junior Jake Medlock begins practice as the starting quarterback (and might wind up the punter), sophomore E.J. Hilliard impressed coaches in the spring. But Hilliard’s spot as the backup should Medlock hold onto No. 1 isn’t locked in either. Travis Wright out of nationally ranked Louisville Trinity, rated at two to three stars, could push Hilliard and so could Oceanside (Calif.) High graduate Israel Paopao.

Whoever the running backs or quarterbacks are will be behind an offensive line that might be the biggest project of camp. The lack of maturity and experience is such that University School’s Jordan Budwig, Palm Beach Gardens High’s James Cruise, Vero Beach High’s Chris Flaig and Crowley (Texas) High’s Tim Thomas could work their way into playing time as freshmen with good performances in practice.

Practices on Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium will be open to the public. Practice starts at 9:15 a.m. Monday. Practices start at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Read more FIU stories from the Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category