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April 2, 2003

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: 151 days until the season-opener at Williams-Brice Stadium, Sat., Aug. 30 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

GOING CAMPING: USC conducted a two-hour practice under sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s at the practice fields west of Williams-Brice Stadium. The practice marked the mid-way points of spring drills.

QUOTING HEAD COACH LOU HOLTZ: Head coach Lou Holtz spoke to the media following today’s scrimmage.

(on the spring practice schedule) – “I really like the way the practice schedule is working out. We are practicing once during the week and the Friday-Saturday-Sunday, which means we are able to have consistent meeting time and are missing out on any class conflict for the most part.”

(on Dondrial Pinkins and Lance Laury) – “The report on Dondrial Pinkins’ elbow is positive. He should be able to continue to practice the remainder of the spring. Lance Laury had surgery on his knee Tuesday and he will be out the rest of spring practice.”

(on the team) – “Mike Rathe is doing some nice things at quarterback. For someone who has been here just one semester, he is really catching on quickly. The offensive line has been impressive and they look strong and quick. Defensively, we look a little confused at times. Moe Thompson has had a great spring and is developing into an outstanding football player. Jamacia Jackson and Rod Wilson are really coming on at safety. We are trying to determine who the back-ups are going to be at safety.”

(on the linebackers) – “Ricardo Hurley is really establishing himself at linebacker. Rod Thomas and Darel Slay are in a good battle and Marcus Lawrence is really having a good spring. I really did not even notice Jeremiah Garrison was out there (he returned to practice for the first time Wednesday after missing the previous workouts with a torn muscle in his chest). He and Laury are going to miss the majority of the spring. Spring practice is when you build your football team and we are preparing for the season now. You cannot go into preseason camp thinking you are going to be able to give them (Garrison and Laury) a lot of reps. We are finding our team right now.”

(on OL Chris White) – “Hopefully we should get a positive answer on Chris White in the next couple of days. It is up to him and his parents. He says he wants to play and says he hopes to be back at practice sometime next week. We will have to wait and see.”

NOTEWORTHY: Coach Holtz mentioned that wide receiver Taqiy Muhammad is actually just a junior eligibility-wise since he redshirted one year at Butler Community College … Coach Holtz said that there was no update on wide receiver Matthew Thomas. Thomas was suspended from the team on March 7 for violating team policy after he was charged with simple assault for his alleged involvement in an on-campus incident. Thomas has not participated in spring practice.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: The Gamecocks will take Thursday off before resuming workouts on three consecutive days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday’s session begins at 4:15 p.m. and there will be a closed scrimmage on Saturday.