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March 22, 2003

Columbia, SC –

* The South Carolina Gamecocks went through Day Two of spring football practice Saturday, working out in shorts and head gear. A main focus was the continuation of the installation of the new defensive package for Carolina. The Gamecocks are implementing a four-man defensive front. “I’d say three-quarters of our package has already been introduced to the players,” said first-year defensive coordinator Chris Cosh. “Today the execution was better and there was retention from the first day.”

* Cosh said he likes the play of the Gamecock cornerbacks, in particular seniors Dunta Robinson and Deandre’ Eiland. “They are both good sized corners who have experience,” said Cosh. “They both have also played safety in the past, so they have some physical toughness about them.”

* Cosh said that after two days, the top three linebackers would be Rod Thomas, Lance Laury and Ricardo Hurley. Jeremiah Garrison is limited with a strained chest muscle. Cosh said that junior college transfer Marcus Lawrence had also shown some good things at the linebacker position. “Marcus has done a good job of picking things up,” said Cosh. “He is a smooth-looking athlete.”

* Cosh said the defensive players were enthusiastic about some of the new techniques they were using. “I think we will be more of a north-south attacking defense,” said Cosh. “The guys are having some fun out there.”

* Cosh noted that the defensive staff had benefited from visiting with Tampa Bay defensive boss Monte Kiffin and Southern Cal head coach Pete Carroll in the off-season. “We are looking to implement some of their coverages and fronts,” said Cosh. “Both of them have similar philosophies, so we hope to take advantage of both of their systems.”

* Cosh said that the front four on defense right now consists of Moe Thompson and George Gause at ends, Preston Thorne at nose tackle and Eric Stroman at tackle. Randy Jackson, Darel Slay and Darrell Shropshire are also rotating up front.

* Sunday’s practice is open to the public. The Gamecocks are expected to be on the practice fields at approximately 1:15 p.m. Assistant head coach Skip Holtz will be available to the media at approximately 3:30 p.m.