Cristobal stirs fans at Signing Day party

FIU recruits three from ‘Florida’s top 100′ players in the state, including 4-star recruit, Larvez “Pooh Bear” Mars.

By Grant Smith

FIU head football coach Mario Cristobal announced his 2009 Signing Class of 23 players on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at FIU Stadium. The list included 20 players from the state of Florida, including Larvez “Pooh Bear” Mars,  the first-ever 4-star recruit to sign with FIU.

“We are all fired up about this year’s recruiting class,” Cristobal said. “We won several recruiting battles against the big boys, including the SEC, ACC, C-USA and our own conference. The number one goal of recruiting every season is to fulfill your needs and enhance your strengths as they are already. We feel with this year’s class we have done that already and then some.”

This year’s class includes 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players and one special team’s player. Of the 20 players from Florida, 12 are from Miami-Dade County alone. Every single player in this year’s class was also a team captain for their respective school, and all 23 recruits were All-District players.

Cristobal and the rest of FIU celebrated the new class Wednesday night in the Stadium Club at FIU’s new stadium. Once the room was filled, the lights went out and everyone cheered at a highlight reel of big hits and touchdown passes courtesy of the Golden Panther football team. Afterwards, Cristobal roused fans with his speech about the new powerhouse in South Florida and introduced the incoming freshmen with thrilling game tapes of the recruits in high school. Fans left feeling excited and eager for the 2009 season to begin, which officially starts on September 12 in Alabama against the Crimson Tide.


Name                           Pos.     Ht/Wt              School/City
Rupert Bryan                OL       6-3, 260            Glades Central/South Bay, Fla.
Wesley Carroll              QB       6-1, 195            Miss. St./St. Thomas Aquinas/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Jonathan Cyprien,          STY     6-1, 210            North Miami Beach/North Miami Beach, Fla.
Kenneth Dillard             LB       6-1, 210            Miami Northwestern/Miami, Fla.
Cain Elliot                     STY     6-2, 215            Winter Springs/Winter Springs, Fla.
Joshua Forney               DT       6-4, 255            Marian Catholic/South Holland, Ill.
Jack Griffin                   K/P      6-1, 185            St. John Neumann/Naples, Fla.
Dave Istanich                OL       6-6, 305            Johnstown/Johnstown, Penna.
Derrick Jones                DB       5-10, 185           Miami Springs/Miami Springs, Fla.
Darian Mallary              RB       5-9, 185            Gulliver Prep/Miami, Fla.
Larvez “Pooh Bear” Mars    LB          5-11,  210                                Apopka,/Apopka, Fla.
Jarrell McGee               DB       5-11, 190           North Dakota College of Science Jr. College/Cocoa, Fla.
Giancarlo Revilla           OL       6-3, 275            Killian/Miami, Fla.
Markeith Russell           LB       6-1, 210            North Miami Beach/North Miami Beach, Fla.
Thatcher Starling           DE       6-4, 265            Hutchinson C.C./Hutchinson, Kan.
Terrance Taylor                        STY     6-0, 185            Archbishop Carroll/Miami, Fla.
Edgard Theliar              WR      6-3, 195            Butler J.C./Miami, Fla.
Wayne Times                WR      6-0, 180            Miami Northwestern, Miami, Fla.
Austin Tottle                 OL       6-4, 300            Osceola, Seminole, Fla.
Rockey Vann                WR      6-0, 170            Ocoee/Ocoee, Fla.
Jairus Williams              WR      6-5, 187            Miami Central/Miami, Fla.
Tourek Williams            DE       6-4, 230            Norland/Miami, Fla.
Derek Wimberly            OL       6-5, 275            Hallandale/Miami, Fla.