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March 23, 2004

Columbia, SC – Tuesday marked day three of South Carolina spring football practice and for the first time this spring, the team practiced in full pads. There was the spirited inside drill and a lot of hitting going on during the 2 1/2 hour workout. The Gamecocks are emphasizing toughness and a strong mental attitude during the spring and that was evident on Tuesday.

Assistant head coach Skip Holtz spoke to the media after practice. Here are some of Skip’s comments: “It was a very physical practice. I was pleased with the energy that was out there today. I’m excited about our quarterbacks. Dondrial Pinkins is doing some good things. At running back, we’ve got Cory Boyd, Daccus Turman and Demetris Summers who are all doing some good things … We’d like to get into the two-back set some and I think we have the personnel to do that. Brandon Schweitzer and Jaime Peters are playing the H-back or fullback position … A year ago, we were trying to locate nine starters on offense. This year, we have nine starters returning. Are we ahead of our opponents? No, we’re not. By not going to a bowl game, we missed that extra practice.”

Skip said he was comfortable in his new role as quarterbacks coach, and although he does not have the title of offensive coordinator anymore, he is as enthusiastic as ever to get back into the swing of things. “I’m comfortable in the role that I have,” said Skip. “The decision was made and I’m focusing on developing the best quarterbacks that we can possibly have. Coach (Lou) Holtz said he wanted to get more involved with the offense and he’s the head coach. He’s been involved with the offense throughout his coaching career. He’s been receptive to the ideas that we have had as a staff. Like I said, he’s the head coach and the Ws and Ls go on his record. You’ll see some different things on offense, but we’re still going to have some balance to things. My situation has not been a distraction to what we’re trying to do, and that’s get this program back to a bowl game … I made the decision to come to South Carolina and it really wasn’t a football decision. It was a family decision. I haven’t looked back. I want to be a head coach again and I fully believe I will have that opportunity again. Right now, I’ve got more than I can say grace over working with the quarterbacks and the new coaches we have on offense.”

Quarterback Dondrial Pinkins said that a few new wrinkles have been added to the offense. “Both Coach Holtz and Skip are involved with the offense,” said Pinkins following Tuesday’s workout. “We all have one goal and that is to win. “

Tailback Demetris Summers says he is comfortable in the I formation. “We’ve been in the I some the past three practices and I like that,” said Summers, a 2003 SEC All-Freshman selection. “I think the coaches are looking for the running backs to carry the load and we’re looking forward to the challenge. Coach Holtz is a competitor. He wants to win. He is going to push us to be at our best.”

The team will practice again on Friday.