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March 21, 2004

Columbia, SC – * South Carolina went through its second football practice of the spring on Sunday with a 2 1/2 workout in shorts.

* There were no new injuries to report. The squad focused on installation of its offense and defense and began the practice by working on its kicking game.

* Senior Taqiy Muhammad, who started out last season as a wide receiver before moving to the secondary towards the end of the year, is hoping to nail down a starting berth at cornerback this spring. “I’m glad to be back at cornerback,” said Muhammad. “I think that’s my most natural position. I like the new defensive coaches we’ve brought in. Coach (Rick) Minter has a strong defensive mindset. He’s very straighforward in how he coaches and I like that style.”

* Sophomore Syvelle Newton, likewise a receiver in 2003, is being given an opportunity to contend for playing time at quarterback, the position he earned all-state honors as a senior at Marlboro (SC) County HIgh School. “It’s a great experience to be back at quarterback,” said Newton. “I’m trying to learn as much as I can and also trying to be a leader on the team. My mechanics are not up to par right now and I need to get back into the rhythm of throwing the ball again. I made improvement today and that’s important.”

* Senior Dondrial Pinkins, last year’s starter at quarterback, says he concentrating on the little things and working to establish himself as the leader on offense. Pinkins also says he is experimenting some with holding the ball with the laces, as opposed to his regular style of gripping the ball against the laces. “I’ve been trying it both ways,” said Pinkins. “I’ve had some good throws doing it both ways. I’ve gripped the ball against the laces all my life. Whichever way works best is what I will do.”

* South Carolina’s next spring practice is Tuesday afternoon.