Panthers preview new squad in football spring showcase (includes video story)

The itch for April football finally got its scratch as the FIU Panthers football team took on the annual Spring Showcase Saturday to give fans a preview of the new squad ahead of the 2024-25 college football season.

After nine early-morning practice sessions at the university’s MMC campus taking place through March, the team played a scrimmage match at FIU Stadium free for all visitors. Spring games, familiar to all schools in the college football world, give the proper chance for teams to get comfortable and prepare for the upcoming season. 

Among the young squad in spring training is sophomore quarterback Keyone Jenkins. The Miami native won the rookie of the year honors for the 2024 Roary Awards after throwing for 2,414 yards as a true freshman, including a 292-yard passing performance in his season debut against Maine. 

Also returning is wide receiver Shomari Lawrence, who harped on the importance of grit for the team.

“We’ve been preaching we over me,” said Lawrence. “That’s what we’ve been taught and that’s what we’re going to bring into the 2024 season.”

Despite departures from Kris Mitchell and Donovan Manuel, FIU replenished its roster with 30 new student-athletes that will join the 80 returning players.

The roster will take on a refreshed 2024-25 schedule that begins with a road game against the Indiana Hoosiers on Aug. 31.

Kenneth Bueno is a junior majoring in the Digital Broadcasting field. He is a sim racing commentator for Podium eSports and aims to apply his love for sports into the sports broadcasting industry after graduating.

Esteban Rodriguez is a sophomore majoring in TV/Broadcast media. He is a producer for Caplin News and FIU's Sports show, Sideline. He hopes to pursue this path of producing for Sports Networks and/or Hollywood in the Film Industry.


Anthony Cruz is a freshmen majoring in Digital Media and Communications. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.