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Aug. 8, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* The University of South Carolina’s football team got a head start on the rest of the country as the Gamecocks hit the practice field at 12:01 a.m. Friday to kick off their 2002 preseason football camp.

* More than 2,500 fans were in attendance, with many staying until the very end of practice at 2:10 a.m.

* It marked the second straight year that Carolina had opened its preseason camp with a midnight workout. Next year, head coach Lou Holtz said they would move the event to Williams-Brice Stadium, have the team run out to “2001” and open up the concession stands.

* The players loved the late night atmosphere. “Most of us are up this time of night anyhow, so you might as well be doing something productive,” said senior nose tackle Langston Moore. “It was definitely an up-tempo practice. We’re the first ones in the country practicing and you feel like you get a head start on everyone else. It was a good practice and it was fun at the same time.”

* Quarterback Corey Jenkins echoed Moore’s feelings about the midnight workout. “To have all these fans come out at this late hour is really something special,” said Jenkins. “I was shocked by the number of people who showed up. I was like a little kid in a candy store out here at practice. This was a good practice to build on. We came out today ahead of where we ended spring practice. This was a good way to get the new season started.”

* Head coach Lou Holtz was pleased with the overall tempo of the practice. “The retention was good for the most part,” said Holtz. “Fundamentally, we were lacking in some areas. When we put the pads on next week, it may look like we’ve never practiced. I think the team is in excellent condition. We’ll see how they hold up once we get into about the fourth day of two-a-days in the heat.”

* Coach Holtz continues to be impressed with the class of newcomers. “It was difficult to pick out who was a freshman,” said Holtz. “They have blended in well with the returning varsity.”

* The Gamecock camp received some good news Thursday evening when they received notification that high school All-America linebacker Ricardo Hurley had received total clearance from the NCAA to participate in games this season. Hurley had already been accepted as a partial qualifier, but now he is fully qualified and eligible to play as a true freshman. “We’re happy for Ricardo and we’re happy for the team,” said Coach Holtz. “This should make this year more interesting for him.”

* The Gamecocks will sleep in until late morning, then have position meetings in the afternoon. They hit the practice field again at 4:10 p.m. on Friday. The first 15 minutes are open to the media. Post-practice interviews will take place at approximately 6:45 p.m.