Florida International U

Several FIU freshmen gaining valuable experience

Saturday against Marshall, redshirt freshman John Broome started in the spot usually occupied by senior Michael Wakefield, who was serving a first half suspension after being ejected Nov. 7 vs. Charlotte. Instead of a 4-3 defense, FIU opened in a 4-2-5 and freshman Emmanuel Lubin started as the extra defensive back.

That made Broome and Lubin the seventh and eighth freshmen or redshirt freshmen to start for FIU this season.

On the offensive line, redshirt freshman Daquane Wilkie has started all 11 games at right tackle. The left guard position has seen redshirt freshman Chris Miller start six games, including the last four. Another redshirt freshman, Kai Absheer, took two of the other starts at left guard and four at right guard. Freshman Anthony Jones, who has his most touches at running back, started twice in three-wide receiver sets.

The plethora of safety injuries opened the door for freshman Tyree Johnson’s six starts. Redshirt freshman cornerback Mark Bruno started once in place of Jeremiah McKinnon and three times as an extra defensive back.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal