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Aug. 17, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Skip Holtz met with the media following Saturday morning’s preseason football workout at USC. Skip said the morning practice was productive, for a variety of reasons. “We went real hard with everyone for 90 minutes, then we let the upperclassmen and proven starters go in early to we could get some extra work with the younger players,” said Skip. “It gave the coaching staff an opportunity to focus on those guys and it should help us in developing some depth.”

* Skip said the quarterbacks, in particular, Corey Jenkins and Dondrial Pinkins, were improving, but they hadn’t reached the necessary performance level. “Corey has really improved mentally,” said Skip. “He’s throwing the ball consistently and his arm is a weapon for us.” He also said the receivers were coming on, notably Chavez Donnings, Matthew Thomas, and Michael Ages.

* Skip said that for the time being, Andrea Gause, who played receiver his first two years at Carolina, had been moved to tailback, in order to improve the depth situation there. In fact, Skip said if there was a game tonight, Gause would more than likely start at that position, especially since Ryan Brewer had been slowed during preseason camp while recovering from his ankle surgery. “We need to get Andrea on the field and best utilize his talents,” said Skip. “He is still doubling as a receiver, but he gives us an extra burst at tailback.”

* Skip also said that redshirt freshman Thez Robinson was working at the fullback position. “After Sunday’s (tomorrow) scrimmage, we should have a better idea of where Thez and Andrea are going to fit in,” said Skip. “You want to have at least two tailbacks ready, maybe even three, so we’re taking a look at some different combinations there. We’ve always liked to say that we want to have a “pair and a spare” at every offensive position, so that’s what we’re shooting for.”

* Skip said that of the freshmen, Kenny Irons had showed flashes of being able to contribute immediately. “I could see Kenny Irons playing this fall,” said Skip. Skip said that freshman Regis Edgerson had been moved to fullback, making that position four deep now, with Andrew Pinnock, Daccus Turman, and Robinson.

* Skip said that fullback Andrew Pinnock was improving at catching the ball out of the backfield, but there was still ample room for improvement. “Catching the ball has never been one of Andrew’s strengths,” said Skip, “but, he’s coming around. Right now, he may be catching eight and dropping two. What we’d like to see him do is catch all 10.”

* Skip went over the likely starting offensive unit heading into Sunday’s scrimmage: LT – Travelle Wharton, LG – Cedric Williams, C – C.J. Frye, RG – Shane Hall, RT – Watts Sanderson, WR – Matthew Thomas, Michael Ages, James Adkisson or Chavez Donnings, TB – Andrea Gause, FB – Andrew Pinnock, QB – Corey Jenkins.

* Skip concluded his media session by saying that the offense still has a long ways to go, stating that the unit was not running the ball effectively enough and was not pass protecting like it needs to.

* Injury update — offensive lineman Chris White (neck): visited a specialist in Boston, doctors are still evaluating his situation and have not made a decision on his status; he did condition some during Saturday’s workout; offensive lineman Stephen Sene (back): is still suffering from back spasms and has not returned; offensive lineman Jonathan Alston (shoulder): has been cleared to receive limited reps on offense.

* The Gamecocks will scrimmage Sunday afternoon. It is closed to the general public.


Coach Lou Holtz will be available to the media following the scrimmage at approximately 3:50 p.m. in the press room behind the lobby of the football building. Requested players will be available outside the players’ entrance after the scrimmage.