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If there is one position where the Panthers have always been able to produce talented player, it is wide receiver. This even goes back past the days when T.Y. Hilton taking on Alabama with the Panthers.

Hilton, arguably the best receiver in program history, ended his collegiate career with 229 receptions for 3,531 yards and 24 touchdowns. Hilton of course went on to become the third-leading receiver in Indianapolis Colts history.

Before Hilton was starring for FIU from 2008 to 2011, the first wide receiver drafted out of FIU was Chandler Williams in 2007 (Minnesota). Williams caught 128 passes for 1,534 yards and three touchdowns in his time with FIU.  

The 2019 group was undeniably talented as well. Although the Panthers weren't able to get the job done in the 2019 Camellia Bowl, the receiving core of Shemar Thornton, Austin Maloney and Tony Gaiter IV totaled 1,929 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Most recently, Tyrese Chambers and Kris Mitchell each broke the school's record for most receiving yards in a season. Chambers broke Hilton's record, then Mitchell broke Chambers's record. Both Chambers and Mitchell entered the transfer portal and ended up landing at Power Four schools - Maryland and Notre Dame, respectively. 

The current wide receiver room for FIU has potential to be mentioned in a similar light. Dean Patterson, FIU's most experienced receiver, hauled in 28 receptions for 423 yards and one touchdown last season. Patterson's 6'2", 200-pound frame certainly gives him the ability to go up for the 50/50 balls.

A name that has been mentioned since last spring is redshirt freshman Luby Maurice Jr. Maurice made a name for himself in spring and fall camps last year, enough to crack the depth chart, but not receive much playing time. The 6'0", 188-pound receiver still has room to grow, but offensive coordinator David Yost and wide receivers coach Jay MacIntyre have both publicly commented on his ability to win jump balls against opposing defensive backs

Since the program's first FBS season in 2004, FIU has been a program that prides itself on developing receivers. At times, they've been a stepping stone for some to reach the Power Four level. However, it's safe to assume the coaching staff would prefer they stay longer. 

It would certainly help boost an offense that saw a small increase in points per game last season, going from 18.7 in 2022 to 20.1. This group may help them get there, and possibly break the four-win mark they've yet to exceed since 2019.

The Panthers are set to begin spring practices for the 2024 season on March 12