Merry Christmas! Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, you deserve a present. As everyone gathers around the Christmas tree to hand out gifts, we’d like to give some out as well. Lets go through each South Florida team and give them something that would really help.
Florida Atlantic University
Gift: A new RB (Football)
Fortunately in college football, teams are already getting gifts around this time, as signing day was just a few days ago. That means when I say I want to give FAU the gift of a new running back, they may already have him. FAU is losing their greatest back of all-time in Devin Singletary. They are also losing his back-up and Owls’ kick return man in Kerrith Whyte Jr. That is 2 major losses for an offense that depended heavily on their running game. Singletary and Whyte Jr. have both declared for the NFL draft and Singletary has a good shot at going somewhere between rounds 2-5. It’s not as well known where Whyte Jr. could end up, but he has immense talent, especially as a special teams player.
FAU does have more RBs on the roster, but a more noticeable recruit could be B.J. Emmons who signed his letter of intent for the Owls last week. Emmons played for Kiffin briefly at Alabama and could suit up for spring practice. It’s still too early to figure out who would take over the backfield, but Emmons is an early leader.
Gift: A healthy Jailyn Ingram (Basketball)
This is the only gift I could think of that would really help this FAU basketball team. Ingram, a junior, went down with an ACL injury when playing Arkansas St. He was ruled out for the season and the Owls missed him dearly when playing Miami this past weekend. Ingram was the teams leading scorer and rebounder. Although, he could be ready to go for his senior year, it would have been so nice if he had stayed healthy.
#15 Jailyn Ingram — Flying high for an early DUNK‼️? pic.twitter.com/xZKzCEG247
— FAU Men's Basketball (@FAU_Hoops) November 25, 2018
Gift: J.T. Realmuto trade
I have to thanks my colleague, Dylan Goldman, for this suggestion. The Marlins have been sitting on a possible Realmuto trade for a while now. Recently, there have been many trades flying around the MLB as other teams look to improve their rosters and make adequate changes. However, the Marlins, are taking their time and waiting for the perfect deal. What Miami needs are a few good prospects out of any possible deal. Realmuto could fetch that. According to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, Realmuto had a .277/.340/.484 batting line with 30 doubles and 21 home runs in 125 games last season.
He is only 27-years-old and has room to grow. Therefore, it is possible to find a buyer who will offer up some good prospects to the Marlins. Sources say a deal could get done by New Years, but it would be even sweeter to have it done for Christmas.
Gift: A clean house
Probably can’t fit this under the tree. The Dolphins, having been eliminated from playoff contention at 7-8, have been mediocre for a long time. While most of it is because Miami has never found a good QB post Dan Marino, the ownership is also to blame. Stephen Ross has done a poor job of handling the front office staff. From Jeff Ireland to Mike Tannenbaum, Ross has never put the right people in charge. He also has never cleaned out the front office and coaching staff at the same time.
Therefore, I think this Christmas is the right time to do so. The front office has had enough chances, they failed to draft a QB in consecutive drafts and let head coach Adam Gase have to much say in personnel. It is unlikely that Gase gets fired, but he should be. He is as accountable for the losses as Tannenbaum and Grier are. I won’t even speculate who should be hired, I just want to see a clean house for Christmas or at least new years.
Florida International University
This gift could be considered a cop out, like giving someone a Visa gift card when you really don’t know what to get them. FIU’s greatest gift came in their recent Bahamas bowl victory. That win, especially without QB James Morgan, proved that FIU was no fluke this season and that they can continue their success. I could have gifted them a good recruiting class, but I already like the names I have seen so far. Besides most of the Golden Panthers’ best players are returning, so I think the recruits won’t be as important as consistency.
When I say consistency, I don’t mean consistency in play. FIU has to continue to get even better under head coach Butch Davis. The consistency I gift to them applies to their mentality. They must continue to believe that they are one of the, if not the, best team in South Florida. After having the best year in their program history, they should expect no less anymore. That was FAU’s downfall. It can’t be repeated with the Panthers.
— Bahamas Bowl (@TheBahamasBowl) December 21, 2018
Gift: A healthy Roberto Luongo
I knew this was the right gift for the Florida Panthers when both of our hockey guys (thank you Dave & Dylan) agreed on it. Roberto Luongo is the 39-year-old goal tender for the Panthers and they are a winning team when he is in the net. At 15-14-6, the Panthers are 7-8-5 without Luongo. As apparent as some of these other players on this list are to their team, Luongo may be even more important. The goaltender was shelved back in October for a knee injury, but has played in nearly all of December after re-injuring his knee around Thanksgiving.
The Panthers are firmly in the race for wildcard positioning and will look to make a late-season push. To do that they need Luongo on the ice and he needs to stay healthy for that to happen.
— Buffalo Sabres plays and goals (@SabresPlays) December 19, 2018
University of Miami
Gift: A new offensive coordinator (Football)
UM head coach Mark Richt was brought in because of his offensive mind. It showed in his first year, as the offense was okay. Then it really took off in 2017, as all Canes fans know. Richt called his own plays and the offense ran smoothly. This past season, however, has been a huge disappointment for the offense and specifically for Richt. Failing to make the proper play calls, Richt still refuses to give up play calling or hire a real offensive coordinator. The current offensive coordinator, Thomas Brown, is no more than a stand in. The best gift for Miami fans would be a new, real OC.
Gift: Return of Dewan Hernandez (Basketball)
When asking our fantastic Hurricanes writer, Russell Hanson, what the Canes B-ball team would want for Christmas, he responded with Dewan Hernandez. I did not know who this guy is. Surely enough, Hernandez is a 6’10” junior who has not taken the court yet this season due to a looming NCAA court case. The NCAA probed Hernandez for improper benefits and have kept him off the court through suspension. Hernandez even hired an attorney to help clear up the situation and get back to basketball.
It would be a wonderful gift to clear Hernandez of all charges and get him into the Canes line-up. He was presumed to be a large part of the front-court for Miami, a potential All-Conference type player. At just 7-4 and having lost back-up center Deng Gak, Hernandez’s return would surely bolster the teams chance at winning.
Gift: An All-Star Dion Waiters
Okay, this one might sound like a joke, but it’s serious. I think giving this current Miami Heat team the best possible version of Dion Waiters would help them out tremendously. I don’t only say this because Waiters has yet to make his debut, I say this because Waiters was a key part of that Heat team that made a run without D-Wade. If Waiters were to come back and prove himself in full form, as he has hinted he is capable of, it would bolster not only Miami’s offense but his trade value. Maybe that last part is a stretch.
Dion Waiters has something to prove ? pic.twitter.com/gVIm2O6HfM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 19, 2018
I could have gone with the gift of good overall health for the team or cap relief or a point guard, but I think those situations are fixable. It’s an unknown what the Heat will get from this post-injury Dion Waiters. The real gift has already been given here, that is Wade’s farewell tour. Plus, the Heat have been playing really well lately and might be having the best Christmas of all the Miami sports teams.