The FIU football roster was bolstered on Signing Day when the Panthers confirmed that 24 high school student-athletes sent in their National Letters of Intent to don the Blue and Gold beginning in 2014. FIU also introduced a pair of mid-year signees.
A total of 25 signees hail from the Sunshine State, with the class currently split evenly with 13 on offense, 12 on defense and one on both sides of the ball. Among the 25 Floridians, 14 are from South Florida, including eight from Broward County and five from Miami-Dade County. Seventeen from this year's class attended the Ron Turner Football Camps in Miami (10), Tampa (5) and Jacksonville (2).
Up next for the Panthers is spring football practice, scheduled to begin on March 18. FIU's 2014 schedule is highlighted with games against Russell Athletic Bowl champion Louisville, Little Caesars Pizza Bowl champion Pittsburgh, Heart of Dallas Bowl champion North Texas, Armed Forces Bowl champion Middle Tennessee, AutoZone Liberty Bowl participant and 2013 C-USA Champion Rice and Military Bowl participant Marshall. In addition, the Panthers will be facing Bethune-Cookman, Wagner, UAB, UTSA, Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic.
2014 FIU Signee
Kai Absheer - 6-5/310 • OT • Oakland Park, Fla. • Saint Thomas Aquinas
Played for Head Coach Rocco Casullo at Saint Thomas Aquinas…2012 squad posted a 13-2 record and won the state championship…Followed that up with a 10-3 record and a district title in 2013…Also received an offer from Bethune-Cookman…Great, great, great uncle is famous American jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong… Rated the No. 41 prospect in the 2014 Sun Sentinel Broward County Recruiting Rankings…Intends to major in engineering at FIU.
Coach Turner on Absheer: "Kai Absheer is an excellent offensive lineman with great athleticism. He has great feet and is a young developing player, who has everything ahead of him. He is going to have a very good future as an offensive lineman."
John Broome - 6-2/235 • DE • Plant City, Fla. • Plant City
Played for Head Coach Wayne Word at Plant City High School…A First-Team Associated Press All-State 7A selection…Named a Tampa Tribune First-Team All-Western Conference selection…Posted 17 sacks, 58 solo tackles, eight tackles for loss and 28 quarterback hurries his senior year…17 sacks during his senior year are a Plant City school record… Was also a track athlete, competing in the 400- and 200-meter dash… Winner of the Jan Hendricks Academic Award…Cousin, Ray Drew, is a defensive end at the University of Georgia…Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Tampa…Intends to major in physical therapy at FIU.
Coach Turner on Broome: "John Broome is an explosive defensive end. His best attribute is his pass rushing ability. He's very quick off the ball."
Mark Bruno - 5-10/170 • DB • Pembroke Pines, Fla. • Flanagan
Honorable Mention Associated Press All-State 8A selection… Played for Devin Bush (2013) and Don Simon at Flanagan High School…His team posted a 9-3 record his senior year, helping lead Flanagan to its first playoff berth in school history…Rated the No. 44 prospect in the 2014 Sun Sentinel Broward County Recruiting Rankings…Ran track in high school…Also received offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and South Alabama… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami.
Coach Turner on Bruno: "Mark Bruno is a very athletic, very physical corner. He has the ability to play zone. He can play man. I like his quickness. He is an athlete who plays with an attitude."
Josh Deuyour - 6-9/325 • OL • Hollywood, Fla. • Hollywood Hills
Helped lead Hollywood Hills to two district championships in 2010 and 2012…Played for the Public team, which won 31-0, in the Public vs. Private All-Star Game in 2014…Also played basketball at Hollywood Hills and participated in track & field…Started playing football before sophomore season in high school… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami.
Coach Turner on Deuyour: "Josh Deuyour is huge. At 6-foot-9 , he is an offensive lineman that moves well for his size. If he continues to work on his technique, flexibility and leverage, he can develop into an outstanding offensive lineman."
Alex Gardner - 5-9/183 • RB/RET • Jacksonville, Fla. • William M. Raines
Played for Head Coach Deran Wiley at William M. Raines High School…Helped lead his team to a 9-3 record and a district championship his senior year…Ran for 1,006 yards on 160 carries to go along with 10 rushing touchdowns during his senior campaign…His junior year, gained 1,135 yards on the ground and scored 14 touchdowns…Also had three return touchdowns and 236 receiving yards on 12 catches… Also considered Wyoming and Florida Atlantic…Also was a track athlete in high school…National Honor Society member.
Coach Turner on Gardner: "Alex Gardner can do a lot of things. He is very quick and very athletic. He is extremely dangerous with the ball. He can line up in the back field and we can run him inside as well as use him as part of the passing game. He is also a good returner."
Niko Gonzalez - 5-11/180 • S/RET • Hialeah, Fla. • Hialeah
Third-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection in 2013…Played in the Dade vs. Broward County All-Star Game…Played for Marc Berman at Hialeah…Picked off opposing quarterbacks four times his senior year, returning two of those for touchdowns…Tallied 76 tackles on defense, six of those for loss and forced three fumbles…Offensively, caught 16 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns…Also received offers from Colgate and Illinois State… Intends to major in neuroscience at FIU.
Coach Turner on Gonzalez: "Niko Gonzalez is a safety that is always setting the defense and moving guys around. He's a very smart football player who has a knack for the ball."
Jarviel Hart - 5-10/165 • WR/RET • Avon Park, Fla. • Frostproof
Named to Florida All-State Class 3A first team as a defensive back…Made All-Polk County first team… Averaged 23.1 yards per catch as a receiver…Led team with 421 receiving yards and seven touchdowns… Also intercepted eight passes as a defensive back…Honorable Mention All-State as a junior…All-County as a junior and as a sophomore…Intercepted four passes as a junior and had 1,000 all-purpose yards… Played basketball all four years of high school and helped team win three district titles…Also played basketball at Frostproof…Plans on majoring in sports management.
Coach Turner on Hart: "Jarviel Hart is a tremendous athlete. He plays wide receiver, defensive back and is a great returner. He is extremely quick and explosive and can do a lot of exciting things."
Jordan Ingraham - 6-2/315 • DL • Miami, Fla. • Booker T. Washington
Class 4A First-Team All-State and Miami Herald Class 4A…Played for Ice Harris at Booker T. Washington…Went on to help guide Booker T. Washington to the Class 4A state title as the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the nation…Helped block for a Tornadoes offense that totaled 5,405 yards during the 2013 season…Averaged six pancake blocks per game…Also wrestled for Booker T. Washington, earning MVP honors his senior year …Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami…Plans on majoring in business at FIU.
Coach Turner on Ingraham: "Jordan Ingraham is a big and physical defensive lineman. He is explosive off the ball and plays with great pad level. He can develop into a very good defensive lineman."
Anthony Johnson - 6-3/245 • DE • Kingsland, Ga. • Camden County
First-Team Class 6A All-Region in both his senior and junior seasons…Led Camden County in sacks… Three-year varsity letterman…Led team to region championship his senior season…Had 12 sacks, 49 solo tackles, 35 assisted tackles, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries his senior season… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Jacksonville…Participated in track field throwing the shot put and discus.
Coach Turner on Johnson: "Anthony Johnson is another explosive defensive end. He has great growth potential and is extremely quick and athletic. He has a good knack for getting off blocks."
Tyree Johnson - 5-9/175 • DB • Miami Gardens, Fla. • Miami Carol City
Led Dade County with four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles, also had a fumble return for a touchdown…Had 61 tackles, five interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, nine tackles for loss and two sacks in senior season…MVP of South Florida High School All-Star Game…Had 41 tackles, six sacks, one kick return for a TD, and five forced fumbles as a junior at Carol City…Ran a 4.43, 40-yard dash…Earned best defensive back honor on his team, led Carol City in turnovers… Received offers from Cincinnati and Ohio.
Coach Turner on Johnson: "Tyree Johnson is a very athletic, quick corner. He's not real big, but he plays big. He has excellent speed and ball skills."
Breht Joly - 6-4/295 • OG • Oviedo, Fla. • Hagerty
Named to Central Florida Super 60…Participated in the US Army All-American Combine…Selected to play in the Central Florida All-Star Game…First-Team All-Seminole Athletic Conference… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami.
Coach Turner on Joly: "Breht Joly is what we are looking at for an interior offensive lineman. He's an extremely strong and powerful young man that loves to play the physical game."
Chett LeVay - 6-3/195 • TE • Tampa, Fla. • Sickles
Named First-Team All-Western Conference and All-County at Tampa Sickles…Plans on majoring in physical therapy…Helped lead team to 11-2 record in his senior season…Had 54 catches for a school-record 650 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season…Helped team to 9-2 record in his junior season…Had nine catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Tampa…Also played basketball at Sickles.
Coach Turner on LeVay: "Chett LeVay is a very athletic tight end. He can line up as a true tight end and also spread out as a wide receiver. He's got some pop; explosion off the ball and he can run."
Bud Martin - 6-2/225 • QB • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. • Dillard
Was the high school quarterback for FIU wide receiver signee Dennis Turner…Earned an invite to the US 2012 Army All-American Underclassmen combine…Finished in the top three at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in San Antonio, Texas in 2013…Also finished in the top five at the Chicago Regional Elite 11 out of 100 quarterbacks, to go along with winning the Golden Gun Accuracy Award… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami.
Coach Turner on Martin: "Bud Martin is a local quarterback from Dillard who has a strong arm and quick release. He has good accuracy and good touch and anticipation."
Alex McGough - 6-3/199 • QB • Tampa, Fla. • Gaither
Tallied 1,258 passing yards and eight touchdowns during his senior campaign in 2013…Completed 112 passes during his junior year for 1,727 yards and 22 touchdowns… Participated in Ron Turner's football camp in Tampa…Current FIU receiver Shug Oyegunle was McGough's teammate at Gaither High School.
Coach Turner on McGough: "Alex McGough is a very talented young man. I love his arm. He has all of the leadership qualities of a quarterback with great accuracy and great size. He also creates a lot of plays with his athleticism."
Napoleon Maxwell - 6-0/190 • RB/RET • St. Petersburg, Fla. • Admiral Farragut Academy
Named to the Associated Press Florida Class 2A All-State first team…Played for Ryan Hearn and Chris Miller at the Admiral Farragut Academy…As a senior, he gained 953 yards on the ground on just 80 carries…Also caught 18 passes for 273 yards, scoring 16 total touchdowns…Three of those scores came on kick returns…Tallied four interceptions as a safety… Ranked as the 197th best player in the state of Florida according to ESPN.com…Was a big track star, finishing third in states in the 100 meter dash and the 4x100 relay…Also received offers from Virginia, Ball State, UMass, Youngstown State, Georgia State and North Dakota State… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Tampa…Intends to major in sports medicine at FIU.
Coach Turner on Maxwell: "Napoleon Maxwell is a big running back. He has great speed to go along with his size. We had him in camp as a defensive back as well as a running back but, he really excelled at running back during his senior year."
Luke Medlock - 6-1/200 • QB/P • Jacksonville, Fla. • Fletcher
A four-year letterman at Fletcher High School…Registered 2,146 career-passing yards (No. 5 all-time at Fletcher)…Threw for 1,845 yards during senior season (third-most in school history)…Accounted for five touchdowns in win over Wolfson last November, rushed for two scores and threw three touchdown passes… A two-time all-district and All-Gateway Conference selection…Earned Class 8A-7A Second-Team All-State honors as a punter in 2012…Has two older brothers, Jake (former FIU quarterback) and Sam (current FIU long snapper)… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Jacksonville…Also played basketball in high school.
Coach Turner on Medlock: "Luke Medlock is a very good, athletic quarterback. He can throw the ball in the pocket with great accuracy and has the ability to run. He can move around and make plays with his feet."
Chris Miller - 6-4/310 • OL • Orlando, Fla. • The First Academy
Named to Central Florida's Super 60 list…Preseason 2013 All-Orlando Team…Made 2013 Orlando Sentinel All-Area first team…Ranked No. 3 Central Florida Offensive Lineman by the Orlando Sentinel... Member of the 2013 Central Florida Regional Elite first team…Selected to play in the Central Florida All-Star Game…Helped team to 13-1 record and the district championship in his junior season…Also won the district championship in his sophomore season…Played baseball where he led the team in hitting in his sophomore season and pitched a no-hitter…Participated in track & field and weightlifting… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Tampa…Plans on being a business or marketing major.
Coach Turner on Miller: "Chris Miller is an offensive lineman that we feel can play tackle or guard. He's a big kid and very athletic. He's smart, instinctive and has great growth potential."
Thomas Owens - 6-1/184 • WR/S • Boynton Beach, Fla. • Atlantic Community
Played for Head Coach T.J. Jackson at Atlantic Community High School… Named a 2013 Palm Beach Post All-Area Honorable Mention… Played in the High School Clash of Scholar Athletes game, pitting Palm Beach County All-Stars against Georgia All-Stars…Lined up as Atlantic's starting quarterback and safety…Also lined up as a wide receiver and a return specialist…Tallied four touchdowns his senior year and his team won District Championships his junior season…Also played basketball, as he has averaged 12.6 points per game throughout his career at Atlantic Community.
Coach Turner on Owens: "Thomas Owens is an athlete. He can play anywhere. The only concern we have with 'TO' is where to play him. The defensive guys want him on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive guys want him on the offensive side of the ball."
Fred Russ - 5-10/220 • LB • Tampa, Fla. • Tampa Bay Tech
Honored as Class 7A Second-Team All-State…Made the First-Team FACA All-Western Conference in 2012 and 2013…Had six sacks, 109 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in his senior season…Amassed 87 tackles in his junior season…Also participated in track and lacrosse at Tampa Bay Tech…Member of the National Honor Society at Tampa Bay Tech, where former FIU defensive lineman Greg Hickman and current FIU running back Lamarq Caldwell attended…Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Tampa.
Coach Turner on Russ: "Fred Russ has the chance to be special player. He's extremely aggressive and has a great knack for getting to the ball. He has great instincts."
Jermaine Sheriff - 6-2/225 • DE • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. • Hialeah
Third-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection in 2013…Honorable Mention All-Dade County recognition in 2012…Played for Marc Berman at Hialeah High School from 2010-13…Tallied 86 tackles and 12 sacks during his senior campaign…Enjoys weightlifting, with a 325 bench and 240 power clean…Was an honor roll student at Hialeah and was President of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami…Also played basketball.
Coach Turner on Sheriff: "Jermaine Sheriff is another outside guy, defensive end that has growth potential, is strong, very strong hands, very strong upper body and has good growth potential. He is explosive off the edge."
Justin Sibole - 6-4/275 • DL • Davie, Fla. • Plantation American Heritage
Four-year starter for state champion Plantation American Heritage…Helped lead Heritage to a 15-1 record and the Class 5A state championship in his senior season…Totaled 65 tackles, five sacks, one interception, and one fumble recovery in senior season…Helped lead team to back-to-back district championships in junior and sophomore seasons… Played ice hockey for the Florida Junior Panthers before he took up football…Coached youth hockey… Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami…Plans to major in business.
Coach Turner on Sibole: "Justin is a very good defensive lineman. He is a high motor guy, plays hard, can play inside, and we can put him outside as well. He is great with his hands, very good athlete and extremely strong kid and is very productive. He played hockey growing up and is a very good athlete for his size."
Shermarke Spence - 5-9/170 • DB • Miami, Fla. • Northwestern
Led team in tackles his senior year with 75 stops…Had two interceptions and a fumble recovery…Led team to the regional semifinals…Collected 63 tackles and led team with two interceptions in 2012…Made the honor roll at Northwestern in the fall semester… Brother, Sean, played at the University of Miami and is a current member of the Pittsburgh Steelers…Sister, Shannon, ran track at Ole Miss.
Coach Turner on Spence: "Shermarke can play cornerback or safety, primarily corner for us. Kind of like the other guys though, he is a very instinctive and smart player. He has a nose for the ball."
Bobby Stinson - 6-0/175 • DB • Miami, Fla. • Miami Springs
A two-time Third-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection…Was inducted into the Miami Springs Hall of Fame…High school team, coached by Darryel Bethune, was district runner ups in 2014…Hauled in five interceptions and 12 pass breakups during his senior year…In 2012, his junior year, intercepted five passes with 11 break ups…Also was a track and field athlete in high school…Honor Roll student…Intends to major in sports medicine at FIU.
Coach Turner on Stinson: "Bobby Stinson is a guy that when he puts some weight on and gets bigger, he can be a very good player. He weighs around 165 pounds but is very hard hitter. He tries to be physical. He has good hands and is always around the ball."
Dennis Turner - 5-11/175 • WR/RET • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. • Dillard
Recorded over 1,100 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns to lead the Dillard Panthers to the Region 4-6A quarterfinals in 2013... Rated the 85th best receiver nationally by ESPN.com and the 135th best player in the state of Florida…Rated the No. 28 prospect in the Sun Sentinel Broward County Recruiting Rankings…Picked FIU over Miami, Toledo, Wake Forest and Northern Illinois…Participated in the Ron Turner Football Camp in Miami.
Coach Turner on Turner: "Dennis Turner has great speed and is a big playmaker. He is a big time receiver with great speed and has big play potential. He is very explosive and gives us the big play threat."
Daquane Wilke - 6-3/265 • OT • Orlando, Fla. • Oak Ridge
Class 8A All-State selection…No. 53 ranked player in the Sun Sentinel's 2014 Central Florida Super60 rankings…Participated in the Central Florida All-Star game…Played a big part in helping the Pioneers gain an average of 428 yards of offense and 34 points per game during his senior year…Also received offers from Marshall, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Florida Atlantic..
Coach Turner on Wilke: "Daquan Wilke is a great athlete. He has great feet and has something you can't really teach, which is athleticism. He has the frame, the weight will come in time and I see him being a left tackle with his athleticism."
Anthony Wint - 6-0/210 • LB • Homestead, Fla. • Homestead
Second-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection in 2013….Recorded 99 tackles, one intercepted and one forced fumble during his senior year…Third-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection in 2012…Registered 126 tackles and two sacks during his junior year …Second-Team All-Dade County 8A-6A selection in 2011…Recorded 135 tackles and one sack during sophomore year… Also received offers form Syracuse, Coastal Carolina, Western Kentucky and Monmouth…One of the elite wrestlers in the state of Florida, where he posted a 37-4 record following the 2012 football season…First-Team All-Dade selection in wrestling … Had a career record in wrestling of 113-25…Plans on majoring in business at FIU.
Coach Turner on Wint: "Anthony Wint is a physical linebacker. He's an inside linebacker, smart, makes all the calls and is a downhill physical player. He works hard like a lot of these guys and has a nose for the ball."