MIAMI (CBS4) – Florida International University is coming off a winning season and the first bowl win in school history and head coach Mario Cristobal’s hard work is paying off on the recruiting trail.

FIU, the defending Sun Belt champion, signed 25 players Wednesday. But, for the first time, the school signed only six players from talent-rich Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Cristobal said the school was selective about its signings and focused heavily on defense, particularly defensive lineman.

The Golden Panthers added defensive linemen including: defensive end Denzell Perine, defensive lineman Derrick Thorpe, defensive end/tight end Aaron Nielsen, defensive tackle Max Martial, defensive lineman Lars Koht and Cody Horstman, and defensive end Giovani Francois, according to CBSMiami news partner the Miami Herald.

But it’s an all-purpose athlete that has the Panthers the most excited. Boyd Anderson star Corey Tindal signed with FIU during a pep rally at his high school, according to the Herald. Coaches compare Tindal to T.Y. Hilton, who is the reigning Sun Belt player of the year.

A total of 19 players in FIU’s recruiting class were from the state of Florida.


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