FIU Football Loses Veteran Leadership, Adds in New Recruits

Photo by FIU Athletics

MIAMI, FL – With FIU Football finished with their Spring Practices, we will begin to see players enter the transfer portal. The biggest name for the Panthers to have entered the portal following this spring is Demetrius Hill. Thankfully, the Panthers have begun looking in the transfer portal and have brought now former Memphis cornerback, Ladarian Paulk.

Starting with Hill, who had a total of 95 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception, and two passes deflected last season. Hill was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and football writers All-America team- only the second Panther to ever be added on that list.

It all seemed to be going well for Hill in FIU and through Spring, but someone of his caliber who has a bright football future ahead should probably find a home on a more notable team in a tougher conference. We wish Hill the best wherever he goes.

As for who the team brought in to help fill in the void that Hill is leaving, Ladarian Paulk transferred from Memphis, and had 28 total tackles and one pass deflected. The sophomore should be able to find a nice role on the FIU defense, as now with Hill gone, more guys are going to get playing time.

Leaning away from the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers added two offensive linemen. This comes after the departure of offensive linemen Lyndell Hudson and Shamar Hoby-Lee. Hudson has committed to play for USF and Lee is on his way to Houston.

To bolster the front line, the Panthers have brought in Cole Smith, who played at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clara. He stands at 6’5″, 330 pounds, and can play guard and center. Someone like Smith will definitely get some playing time early on.

In addition, the Panthers brought in offensive lineman Preston Hawkins. He comes from a Division III school, so he makes the jump from a D3 school to a D1 school in FIU. Standing at 6’6″, 313 pounds, Hawkins is someone who will also see a considerable amount of action.

With much time left to see more players leave and join, these are the main storylines as of right now when it comes to FIU Football, until Summer workouts beginning soon for the Panthers.

Other News and Notes:

  • Punter Nick Easters enters the transfer portal
  • Tight End Kameron Williams enters the transfer portal
  • Offensive Lineman Jahmari Sylvester enters the transfer portal
  • FIU Football has added former Miami coach DeMarcus Van Dyke to the staff as the cornerbacks coach
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