The FIU football program has lit a fire on the recruiting trail. Last week, the Panthers received five commitments towards its 2021 recruiting class.
FIU made its first mark on Tuesday when offensive guard Levontre Daniels announced his decision on Twitter. The 6-foot-2, 324-pound offensive guard chose FIU over offers from Valdosta State University, Notre Dame College, and Faulkner University.
When asked what went into his decision, Daniels replied, “FIU is not to far from home and the coaching staff treats you like family.” He’s maintained a great relationship with the coaching staff, especially offensive line coach Joel Rodriguez, and is ready to lead the Panthers to a championship.
And FIU did not waste any time picking up its next set of commitments, racking up three on Wednesday. First it was Daniel Pilgrim, a three-star tight end from North Fort Myers, FL.
Pilgrim told 305Sports that his decision came down to FIU, Rutgers, Tulane and Georgia State, but he preferred to stay in the Sunshine State.
“I wanted to stay in Florida so I’m close to family and friends and [I] also wanted to go to a school with great coaches and a family atmosphere playing the position I love,” he said.
Pilgrim caught 16 passes for 293 receiving yards and four total touchdowns last season for North Fort Myers HS. He said he’s mainly in contact with Drew Davis and head coach Butch Davis and adds that he’s ready to make an instant impact on the offensive side of the ball.
Just two hours later, three-star cornerback Jakovi Bryant announced his commitment to FIU. The 6-foot, 1980-pounder recorded five interceptions as a defensive back last season and also notched five touchdowns on offense and over 1,000 multi-purpose yards as a receiver, running back and kick returner.
Bryant, who attends Gateway (Kissimmee, FL), told the Orlando Sentinel that the coronavirus and the shutdown of spring football had an impact on his recruitment. He holds an additional offer from FAU but says numerous Power Five schools were going to see him before the pandemic broke.
To top off an already eventful Wednesday, North Miami Beach safety D’Mor Jean-Baptiste chose FIU as his college destination. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety holds scholarship offers from Southern Miss and Syracuse, per the Southeast Sun.
Over the weekend, Demetrius Hill, a three-star safety that attends Miami Springs committed to the program. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder becomes the highest rated commit in FIU’s 2021 recruiting class.
“Coach [Butch] Davis is known for putting [together] arguably the best team in the history of college football, and if he wanted me I wanted in.
Hill comes off a junior campaign in which he tallied two interceptions. He said FAU and Coastal Carolina were the other schools that recruited him the hardest. Hill holds a Power Five offer from Florida but says they never got to truly evaluate him due to COVD-19.
Hill says he’s built an excellent relationship with running backs coach Tim Harris, Co-Defensive Coordinator Jerod Kruse and cornerbacks coach Bryn Renner.
Hill is in it for the long run and wants to develop into the best cornerback he could be.
“My goal in year one would be to come in and learn the defense, learn the techniques the coaches teach and to be the best I could be.”