Defensive end Nate White earned a football scholarship to play for FIU, signing with the Panthers on Dec. 19. But even though he will be in Miami, his mother and his brothers are never out of his mind or heart.
Of the FIU Panthers’ 23 matches, nine of them are against teams ranked among the top seven in the nation. Overall, 18 of the 23 matches are against top-20 teams, including the final 10 of the regular season.
This past fall, during FIU scrimmages — despite his mother’s breast cancer diagnosis weighing heavily on him — the FIU Panthers’ Austin Shenton hit .400 with five homers, four doubles and 21 RBI in 45 at-bats.
FIU Panthers football coach Butch Davis has 21 players in the class, and he likely isn’t done yet. Davis has four scholarships remaining. One or two of those may go to walk-ons who have thrived at FIU.
Over the past two years, FAU has one conference title to zero for FIU, and Lane Kiffin’s bunch is 2-0 against Butch Davis’ group. However, the argument can be made that the trajectory of the programs favors FIU.
FIU’s softball program is being run this season by interim coach Heather Gelbard, who won two state titles as a player at Miami Palmetto. Jackie Schoff and Jessica Rivera are two players the coach is counting on this season.
Athletes transferring from one university to another has seemingly become an epidemic this winter. FIU coach Butch Davis has added transfers at running back, offensive guard, linebacker and defensive back.
FIU football coach Butch Davis had 31 potential football in attendance at Saturday’s game — six seniors for the 2019 class that will be eligible to sign Feb. 6 and the rest of them juniors for the 2020 group.
“We’re known as ‘Running Back U’ at the high school level,” Central coach Roland Smith said. “And we have more to come.” One of those in the “more to come” category is Lexington Joseph, who signed with FIU in December.
FIU signed these players from Power Five conferences: Offensive guard Logan Gunderson (ASA College), running back Maleek Williams and linebacker Alexy Jean-Baptiste, both from Arkansas, and defensive back Josh Turner (Iowa).
Osasumwen Osaghae, FIU’s 6-9 1/2, 235-pound junior center, is leading the way, perched atop Conference USA’s list of shot-blockers with 2.9 swats per game and also first in offensive rebounds with 3.4.
FIU coach Butch Davis said he has nine players set to visit in January, and he plans to sign between five and seven players on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. FIU will also save two or three scholarships.
Quarterback Christian Alexander — the offensive MVP of FIU’s Bahamas Bowl victory — has not announced his new school, but he told the Miami Herald on Monday that he will be visiting Murray State, Rhode Island and Wagner.