Updated: Jun 28, 2020
The top 10 players returning to the FIU Golden Panthers for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Dorian Hall, S
2. Rishard Dames, CB
3. D'Andre Demery, T
4. Richard Dames, S
5. Josh Turner, CB
6. Jamal Gates, LB
7. Alexy Jean-Baptiste, DE
8. Shane McGough, C
9. Mershawn Miller, G
10. Chris Whittaker, DE
Honorable Mention: Kaylan Wiggins, QB; Sione Finau, G; Noah Curtis, DE
This secondary is downright scary as the Dames brothers as well as Hall and former Iowa player Turner should once again terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Hall represents likely the best, most proven of the quartet as he's been the solid free-roaming threat for two years now. He's a big man at 6'4 and moves like a much smaller guy. He's excellent in coverage and really sticks it in run defense. Best part of Hall's game is his sure tackling.
Rishard Dames recorded four picks and four more pass breakups last season and did so while routinely guarding a bevy of different receiver types. Richard Dames broke up another three passes and played the run exceptionally, making 27 different tackles for a loss or minimal gain. They're both three-year players at this point of their careers with some of their best football coming as of late.
Turner is a transfer from Iowa who saw the field in a limited capacity last year. He's got all the ability in the world, however, and if utilized correctly in 2020, you could get to know him just in time for him to make the professional leap, he's that good. He's got great coverage skills and is deceptively fast on tape.
Then there's Jean-Baptiste who recorded seven sacks last season. He doesn't miss many tackles and could break out to an even bigger stat line this fall.
On offense, this team has to replace current NFL QB James Morgan but has another future NFL talent in Demery at tackle. While Wiggins (or transfer Max Bortenschlager) should get the nod at quarterback, Demery will occupy the left tackle spot once again. He's a big man and physical with his pass-blocking, proving to be an invaluable asset to the offense for now two seasons.
Miller also returns after giving up just three total pressures last season.