March 22, 2002
South Carolina completed its sixth spring football practice Friday afternoon. This weekend is the annual USC Coaches Clinic and more than 600 high school coaches are in attendance. That is a school record. The coaches attended lectures and chalk talks Friday morning in the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium, and will attend Saturday’s scrimmage.
“It was a typical practice,” said head coach Lou Holtz. “The players you expect to be playing well are – Langston Moore, Jermaine Lemon, Cedric Williams, Travelle Wharton, Ryan Brewer – they have been outstanding. Some other players have really stepped up, as well, including Jason Capers, Rod Thomas, Lance Laury, Preston Thorne and Dunta Robinson on defense, and Na’shan Goddard, Jonathan Alston, Thez Robinson, Daccus Turman, and Gonzie Gray on offense.”
Coach Holtz said he has really been impressed with the promise displayed by redshirt freshman offensive lineman Na’shan Goddard and redshirt sophomore Jonathan Alston, who was moved to offensive line after playing the past two years at defensive tackle.
Coach Holtz also indicated that young runningbacks like Robinson, Gray and Turman were starting to do some positive things.
Saturday’s scrimmage will go a long ways in seeing where the Gamecocks stand at this point of spring practice. It will be the team’s first scrimmage of the spring. “We want to get a good evaluation from the scrimmage,” said Holtz. “We’re anxious to see how some of the younger players perform. I’m sure there will be some mistakes and some fumbles and some penalties. That’s to be expected. But, we’re looking forward to evaluating where we are at this point.”
Coach Holtz said there is good competition at runningback and that Ryan Brewer would more than likely continue to play both tailback and slot receiver.
Coach Holtz said that the quarterback race remained tight, although Corey Jenkins held a slight edge over Dondrial Pinkins, mainly because of his leadership qualities. “I’ll have a better idea about Dondrial’s leadership ability after Saturday’s scrimmage,” said Holtz.
Coach Holtz said the players have received six practices worth of teaching and fundamentals and that it was time to put all of the teaching into action.
Coach Holtz said he believes the Gamecocks have better speed at wide receiver this season. “James Adkisson, Matthew Thomas, Chavez Donnings, and Andrea Gause all have pretty good speed,” said Holtz.
One of the main concerns of spring has been the inability of defensive ends Dennis Quinn and Eric Stroman to practice due to knee sprains. Neither have been able to participate and are both considered questionable at this point.
Coach Holtz said another area of concern is at the center position, which is vacant after the graduation of Larrell Johnson.
The scrimmage is expected to consist of at least 108 plays. Pre-practice starts around 12:30 p.m. The scrimmage will start at approximately 1:15 p.m. The scrimmage is open to the public.
TELEVISION AND PHOTOGRAPHY NOTE – Photographers may film individual drills and the first 10 minutes of the actual scrimmage.
POST-SCRIMMAGE INTERVIEWS – Coach Holtz will be available to the media at the conclusion of the scrimmage in the press room behind the lobby of the football building (estimated time is 3:00 p.m.). Requested players will be available outside the locker room.