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April 27, 2004

Columbia, SC –

South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz participated in the Southeastern Conference spring teleconference on Tuesday. Here are some excerpts from his comments:

* “I don’t think you ever hear about anyone having a bad recruiting year or a bad spring practice. It’s hard to evaluate how your spring practice went. You walk off the practice field and you’re worried about the offense one day and the next day you’re worried about the defense. We’ve got some concerns in the kicking game and in the return game. We probably had more concerns with the offense during the spring than we did with the defense. The defense was ahead of the offense throughout the spring. We need a good summer out of our players, that’s for sure.”

* (on changes in recruiting): “When I first started at Ohio State, you would recruit a player over a steak dinner. You took them out to dinner so much you almost felt like you needed to be a banquet speaker. There was unlimited visitation, no signing date, etc. Then the south had a signing day and you would take care of that and then go up north and recruit some more. Recruiting has changed tremendously. It is so well-organized now. You have so many camps and really start looking at players when they are in the ninth grade.”

* (on Mississippi State’s hiring of Sylvester Croom as head coach): “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Sylvester Croom. I think it’s a great thing for the conference. He seems to be going about everything the right way. You look at the kind of obstacles he’s had to overcome and he’s handled everything with class. I think he’ll do an excellent job there.”

* (on the play of quarterback Syvelle Newton in the spring game): “Syvelle’s performance in the spring game was outstanding. He threw for 277 yards and rushed for another 70 or so. Certainly, a performance like that and you plug him into the quarterback race. But, if you remember, a couple of days before that, I was talking about how he had done a good job of recovering his own fumbles in practice. Dondrial Pinkins did not have a good spring game but he had a good spring practice. He’s an outstanding young man and does not have one deficiency against him pertaining to academics or anything of that nature. You like for your seniors to have success. But, if Syvelle Newton does a better job of moving the team, then he will have a chance to be the quarterback. Both he and Blake Mitchell are fine young quarterbacks. You like to have two quarterbacks who you can count on. You have one you start and then you have one you may need to put in at some point in time.”