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March 26, 2004

Columbia, SC – ? South Carolina went through a spirited 2 ? hour spring football practice Friday afternoon. The emphasis was on offensive and defensive execution. The only injury to report was a sprained left hand incurred by receiver Derrick Harper.

? Following the workout, defensive coordinator Rick Minter met with the media. Here are some of his comments:

“We haven’t had enough reps yet to really get a fair evaluation of our defense. I do like our attitude and enthusiasm. The major difference is the new terminology. For many of these players, this is the third straight spring they have had to learn new terminology. The learning curve has been pretty good. You can still tell that we lack continuity right now. We need some quality depth along the front line. We have pretty good depth in the secondary. Up front right now, we would have George Gause and Moe Thompson at the ends, Freddy Saint-Preux and Darrell Shropshire at the tackles. We need to get some depth behind them. Two of our linemen are hurt and can’t play (Preston Thorne and Eric Stroman) … Our cornerbacks are Jonathan Joseph, Taqiy Muhammad, Fred Bennett, Tremaine Tyler and Andrea Gause. The safeties are Jermaine Harris, Jamacia Jackson, Andre Hemphill, Cody Wells and Ko Simpson. Jamacia Jackson is a very physical player. We’d like to come out of the spring with four safeties who can play. We could very well get some help at safety from the cornerback position if those guys come along there. Rod Wilson has been moved to the outside to like a spur position. With all of the spread offenses you see these days, you’d better be able to cover the outside. We don’t have enough down linemen. When you switch from the 3-3-5 like they did two years ago, it’s hard to catch up numbers-wise. We’ve got six guys who are competing at linebacker. Rod Wilson, Orus Lambert, Ricardo Hurley, Marcus Lawrence and Ryan Brown are all at linebacker. If we played today, I’d roll all of them in.”

? Senior Rod Wilson, who came to Carolina first as a quarterback, then played receiver, was at safety last year and is now playing the outside linebacker position, said he looks forward to his new position. “I just want to play. Last year is history. I look forward to what’s ahead. I was kind of surprised, though, when they said I would have to play some up in the box. I may weigh 222 but taking on some of those big linemen will be different. I ran into Jonathan Alston (298 offensive tackle) and he kind of knocked me back. But, I’m not going to back down from anyone. I look forward to the challenge.”

? The Gamecocks will practice again Saturday morning. The practice is closed. For the media, Coach Lou Holtz will be available afterwards in the media room in the lobby of the football building at approximately 12:30 p.m.