Sept. 13, 2004
Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1/1-1) step out of conference play for the first time this season and will host the South Florida Bulls (1-0/0-0) this Saturday, Sept. 18 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. There is no live television scheduled.
A Quick Look
The South Carolina-South Florida game is the second in a three-game September homestand for the Gamecocks. Following two straight Southeastern Conference games to open the season, Carolina will square off against its first non-conference opponent of the fall. The other two out of conference foes for USC this season are Troy (Sept. 25 in Columbia) and Clemson (Nov. 20 in Clemson).
South Carolina and South Florida meet for the first time ever on the gridiron … South Florida is concluding its second and final season in Conference USA. The Bulls will move into the BIG EAST Conference beginning in 2005 … USF started its football program in 1996 and in just eight years, has moved from a Division 1-AA program to membership in a Bowl Championship Series conference … South Carolina is 16-14-0 against current Conference USA members … South Florida will be the first Conference USA opponent for USC since 2003, when the Gamecocks played and defeated UAB 42-10 in Columbia.
A Closer Look
South Carolina returns 16 starters (nine offense/six defense/one specialist) … For the first time since 1995, USC opened its season with two straight SEC games. The Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt 31-6 in the season opener before dropping a 20-16 decision to #3 Georgia on 9/11 … South Florida’s season opener against Pittsburgh was originally scheduled for 9/6 on ESPN in Tampa. However, that game was postponed due to Hurricane Frances and has been rescheduled for either Dec. 3 or 4 … Now in his 33rd season as a collegiate head coach, USC’s Lou Holtz ranks third among active head coaches and eighth all-time with 244 career victories. His 244 career wins trail only Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Florida State’s Bobby Bowden among active coaches. Coach Holtz is the only coach in the history of college football to lead six different programs (William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina) to post-season bowl games (all by the second season) and is likewise the only coach in history to have four different programs (NC State, Arkansas, Notre Dame and South Carolina) finish the season ranked in the top 20 … Carolina features five players on its roster from the state of Florida, including LB Cody Wells (Belleview), LB Orus Lambert (Jacksonville), OL Woodly Telfort (Miami), DB Stoney Woodson (Tampa), and DS/WR Ike Crofoot (Windermere) … USF head coach Jim Leavitt is in his eighth season as the Bulls’ head coach, having been hired to lead the football program from its stages of infancy in 1996. Leavitt has recorded a sterling 52-26 won-loss mark at USF. His 2002 South Florida team finished 9-2 and was ranked #18 in the final New York Times Computer poll. Leavitt was the highly successful linebackers coach and defensive coordinator at Kansas State from 1990-95, a period during which the Wildcat program rose from the ashes to emerge as a consistent top 20 ranked team. Leavitt grew up in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area … When South Carolina prepared for the 2001 Outback Bowl in Tampa, it practiced at South Florida’s facility and Coach Leavitt stopped by practice on occasion … USF co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Wally Burnham served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at South Carolina from 1994-98. Wally’s son, Shane, was a starting linebacker for the Gamecocks and four year letterman (1994-97).
Carolina Close Up
In each of the past two seasons, the Gamecocks have come up one victory short in their attempt to become bowl eligible. Carolina had the best two-year run in school history from 2000-01, posting 8-4 and 9-3 records and winning consecutive Outback Bowl championships against Ohio State … The Gamecocks are likely to start five seniors on offense and six seniors on defense … Dondrial Pinkins is USC’s starting quarterback. The fifth-year senior threw for 2,127 yards a year ago – the ninth best single-season total in school hisTMTMtory. For his career, Pinkins has thrown for 2,947 yards (10th all-time) with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while completing .508 percent of his passes … Center John Strickland is on the pre-season watch list for the Rimington Award … USC’s starting offense line averages 310 pounds across the front … … Season ticket sales for Carolina home games are once again on a steady pace. The Gamecocks are expected to sell nearly 60,000 season tickets in 2004 … A record $11.9 million was raised by the Gamecock Club, USC’s athletic fund-raising arm, last year … The Gamecock football team had its best academic semester ever, posting a 2.592 grade point average last spring … Receivers Troy Williamson and Matthew Thomas own the two longest touchdown receptions in USC history. Williamson had a school-record 99-yard catch and run vs. Virginia last season. Thomas was on the receiving end of a 98-yard touchdown bomb also last season. Both touchdown passes were thrown by Dondrial Pinkins … Syvelle Newton, USC’s back-up quarterback, played wide receiver in 2003 and had 22 receptions for 277 yards. Newton was an all-state quarterback in high school at Marlboro County (S.C.) … USC returns its top four rushers from a year ago. Daccus Turman led the way with 646 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. Demetris Summers tallied 638 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and three touchdowns and Pinkins picked up 254 yards and five TDs. Cory Boyd rushed for 232 yards and three scores … Four of the five offensive line starters from last season return. Only Travelle Wharton, the all-star left tackle who was a third-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers, is gone. Jabari Levey (LT), John Strickland (C), Jonathan Alston (RG) and Na’Shan Goddard (RT) all started at least seven games a year ago … Tight end Brian Brownlee has three touchdown receptions during his career — two in last year’s season finale vs. Clemson and one in this year’s opener vs. Vanderbilt … Moe Thompson and George Gause are regarded to be among the top pair of defensive ends in the SEC. Thompson was a pre-season All-SEC selection. The two combined for 10 quarterback sacks and nine tackles for loss last season … Jason Capers has proven to be a versatile defender for the Gamecocks. Capers can play both the tackle and end positions in USC’s four-man front… Darrell Shropshire had four tackles for loss last year as a junior college transfer and started all 12 games at tackle … Linebacker Ricardo Hurley appears to be healthy this season. The junior was hobbled with an ankle injury throughout much of the 2003 campaign. Two seniors — Marcus Lawrence and Rodriques Wilson — are slated to start at the other linebacker slots. Wilson started four games at safety last season, but was moved to outside linebacker during spring drills … The Gamecocks will feature some new faces in the secondary this fall. Gone is cornerback Dunta Robinson, the #1 draft pick of the Houston Texans, but there seem to be four solid performers who are up to the task. Tremaine Tyler and Fred Bennett are listed as the starters, backed up by Johnathan Joseph and Taqiy Muhammad. Joseph will be out a minimum of 6-8 weeks with a broken right foot, an injury he suffered Sept. 11 against Georgia … A true freshman, Ko Simpson, is expected to start at free safety. Simpson returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown against Georgia on Sept. 11 … Simpson signed with Carolina in 2003, but did not enroll until last spring semester. He did go through spring practice. Another true freshman, Chris Hampton, is listed as his back-up. Two seniors are battling for the starting berth at strong safety — Jamacia Jackson and Jermaine Harris. Both had interceptions in the opening win over Vanderbilt. Jackson’s 98-yard interception return for a touchdown ranks as the 4th longest interception return in USC history. It is also the longest interception return since 1982, when Harry Skipper returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown … Josh Brown is likely to handle the punting chores. Joey Bowers will kick off and also punt in certain situations. The placekicking duties were handled by Thomas Hooper and Charlie Carpenter in the game against Georgia .. Three members of the Gamecock squad earned their bachelor’s degree last May — LB Rodriques Wilson, DT Preston Thorne, and OG Jonathan Alston.
South Carolina opened its 2004 campaign with a 31-6 victory over Vanderbilt Sept. 4 in Nashville. The Gamecocks came out in impressive fashion, scoring points on their first three offensive drives. Dondrial Pinkins hurt the Commodore defense with both his legs and his arm, as the senior quarterback rushed for 77 yards and one touchdown and threw for 168 yards and one TD. Offensively, Carolina made good use of its abundance of quality runnng backs, racking up 269 yards rushing, averaging 4.7 yards per rush. Demetris Summers picked up a game-high 87 yards on 11 carries, while fellow backs Gonzie Gray (26 yards), Andrea Gause (25 yards), Daccus Turman (21 yards), and Cory Boyd (16 yards) also were factors in the running game … Receiver Troy Williamson was Pinkins’ favorite target, as the junior had five catches for 99 yards receiving … Noah Whiteside turned in a career-high 43-yard punt return in the win over Vanderbilt … Defensively, Carolina limited Vanderbilt to just the one touchdown. Cornerback Fred Bennett, making his first career start, led the way with eight tackles (six solo) and one tackle for loss. Safety Jamacia Jackson had the 98-yard interception return for a touchdown to go along with seven tackles and one forced fumble. Tackle Darrell Shropshire had two tackles for loss, as did tackle Stanley Doughty … Free safety Ko Simpson, likewise making his first career start, broke up two passes. End Moe Thompson recovered his sixth career fumble in the win over Vanderbilt … The stage was set for a “big-game” atmosphere in Columbia, as the Gamecocks prepared to battle #3 Georgia on 9-11 at Williams-Brice Stadium. ESPN’s GameDay crew was in town and the game was being televised nationally by ESPN. The third largest crowd in school history (84,300) was on hand to witness a hard-hitting affair, as the Bulldogs erased a 16-0 lead to come back and win 20-16 … Carolina, wearing its all black attire (black helmets, black jerseys, black pants) for the first time in school history, jumped out on top 2-0 in the first quarter, thanks to a safety by linebacker Marcus Lawrence. The lead grew to 9-0 when Troy Williamson took a slant pass from quarterback Dondrial Pinkins, shook off a defensive back, and raced 65 yards for a touchdown at the 54 second mark of the opening period. Freshman Ko Simpson got the crowd really hyped up when he picked off an errant David Greene pass and brought it back 57 yards for a touchdown. It marked the second straight game that USC had returned an interception for a touchdown … Georgia tacked on a pair of Andy Bailey field goals before halftime and the Gamecocks took a 16-6 lead into the locker room. UGA did all the scoring in the second half, however, as Greene tossed touchdown passes of 12 yards to Tyson Browning and 22 yards to Reggie Brown. The Bulldog defense stiffened down the stretch, halting three potential go-ahead touchdown drives by the Gamecocks — one on a jarring hit by Greg Blue which forced a Pinkins fumble; another on a tackle by DeMario Minter which stopped Pinkins on a fourth down try; and the final one on an interception by Paul Oliver, which finally put the Gamecocks away … Carolina found itself playing a little short-handed as the game went along. Receivers Noah Whiteside and Travis Lee were suspended for violating team rules. Whiteside is a starter at receiver and also is the starting punt returner. Starting tailback Demetris Summers suffered an ankle sprain on the first play of the game and was able to return for only one other play in the second half, TMTMbefore leaving the game for good with the injury. Cornerback and backup punt returner Johnathan Joseph fractured his right foot in the first half, while starting receiver and return specialist Troy Williamson was out for most of the fourth quarter with leg cramps. Finally, receiver Sidney Rice suffered a hyperextended left knee during pregame warmups and was unable to play.
Carolina Coaching Staff
Lou Holtz has assembled a high quality and versatile coaching staff. Four of USC’s assistants have head coaching experience, including Skip Holtz (Connecticut); Rick Minter (Cincinnati); Ron Cooper (Eastern Michigan, Louisville, Alabama A&M); and Dave Roberts (Western Kentucky, Northeast Louisiana, Baylor). Collectively, the staff has coached in 69 post-season bowl games, won a national championship, coached a Heisman Trophy winner, and coached two Lombardi Award winners. A look at Coach Holtz’s coaching career is included on page 5 of this release. Here is a quick look at Coach Holtz’s assistant coaches:
Skip Holtz, assistant head coach/quarterbacks — Begins his sixth season at USC … One of his prize pupils was Phil Petty, who quarterbacked the Gamecocks to a school-best 17 victories and consecutive Outback Bowl crowns in 2000 and 2001 … Former head coach at Connecticut, he guided that program to a level of success which helped pave the way for it to obtain Division 1-A status … Was offensive coordinator at Notre Dame in 1992-93 … Also coached at Florida State and Colorado State.
Rick Minter, defensive coordinator/linebackers — Begins his first season at USC … Former head coach at Cincinnati from 1994-03 … Won more game than any other coach in the history of Cincinnati football … Led the Bearcats to four post-season bowl games … Was defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 1992-93, a two-year period which saw the Fighting Irish rank among the nation’ stingiest defenses, helping the team win back-to-back Cotton Bowls … During his two seasons at Notre Dame, he coached 18 defensive players who went on to play professionally in the NFL … Became associated with Lou Holtz in 1978, when he worked as a graduate assistant at Arkansas … Also coached at Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State (where he worked alongside Lou Holtz again), New Mexico State and Ball State.
Ron Cooper, defensive backs — Begins his first season at USC … Former head coach at Eastern Michigan, Louisville and Alabama A&M … Worked with Lou Holtz at Notre Dame from 1991-92, a two-year period in which the Irish won the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl … Also coached at Mississippi State, Wisconsin, UNLV, East Carolina, Murray State and Austin Peay … First worked under Coach Holtz as a graduate assistant at Minnesota.
Paul Lounsberry, tight ends/special teams — Begins his fifth season with the Gamecocks … Has also coached the defensive front and offensive line during his stint at Carolina … Served as offensive coordinator at Central Florida for 13 seasons … Recruited and coached quarterback Daunte Culpepper at UCF, who now stars for the Minnesota Vikings … Also has coaching experience at Florida.
Jappy Oliver, defensive line — Begins his second year at USC … Coached the defensive ends in 2003 … Worked eight years as defensive line coach at the Air Force Academy, where he worked under the legendary Fisher DeBerry and helped lead the Falcons to five bowl games … Also has coaching experience at Vanderbilt, Western Illinois, Grand Valley State, the Naval Academy, Northeastern and Eastern Michigan.
David Reaves, defensive backs assistant — Begins his first full-time season at Carolina, after having served as a graduate assistant for two years … Will work with the safeties … Comes from a football family, as his father, John, was an All-America quarterback at Florida and later played in the NFL … His father also coached at Florida and at South Carolina (1996-97) … David’s brother, Steven, plays quarterback at Michigan State University.
Dave Roberts, running backs — Begins his sixth season at USC … Has also coached the spurs and tight ends while at Carolina … Coordinated USC’s recruiting efforts for five years and helped the Gamecocks land back-to-back top 10 nationally ranked recruiting classes — a first in the program’s history … Former head coach at Baylor, Northeast Louisiana and Western Kentucky … Coached alongside Lou Holtz at Notre Dame from 1994-96 … Also coached at Vanderbilt, Davidson and Eastern Kentucky.
Steve Shankweiler, offensive line — Begins his first season at USC … Was offensive line coach at Cincinnati under Rick Minter during the 2003 season … Also has coaching experience at East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Western Kentucky and The Citadel … Worked as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Georgia Tech (1992-94).
Rick Stockstill, wide receivers — Begins his first season at USC … Has recruited 19 players that have been drafted or signed free agent contracts over the past seven years … Came to Carolina after serving as offensive coordinator at East Carolina in 2003 … Spent 14 seasons (1989-02) on the staff at Clemson, where he helped develop some of the school’s most proficient offenses and recruit some of the program’s most successful offensive performers, including Raymond Priester (career rushing leader), Woodrow Dantzler (all-time leading passer), and all-time leading receivers Rod Gardner and Derrick Hamilton … Also has coached at Central Florida and Bethune-Cookman … Played quarterback for Bobby Bowden at Florida State.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of USC’s key personnel on offense for 2004:
#72 Jonathan Alston, OG — Returning starter, he is slated to line up at right guard … Started nine games in 2003 … Physically fit player who has worked extremely hard to prepare for his senior season … Missed five days of practice with an ankle sprain the week prior to the season opener vs. Vanderbilt … Suffered a shoulder stinger against Georgia but should be ready to go this week against South Florida.
# 3 Cory Boyd, RB — True sophomore who showed flashes of brilliance in 2003 … Rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns a year ago … Also had 11 receptions for 145 yards and one score … Combines quickness with power in his running style … Played well in season opener vs. Vanderbilt, before having to leave the game in the third quarter with an ankle sprain … Had 16 yards rushing, with one touchdown and four catches for 59 yards, including a long reception of 47 yards … Played hard against Georgia, with 15 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving.
#39 Brian Brownlee, TE — Senior leader who is the starter at tight end … Had 11 receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns in 2003 … Both TD’s came in the season finale against Clemson … Had a touchdown reception (one yard) from Dondrial Pinkins in the season opening win over Vanderbilt … Played linebacker his first two years at USC.
#70 Na’Shan Goddard, OT — Starter at right tackle … Started 11 games in 2003 … Has developed into a high-quality SEC offensive lineman … Possesses good athleticism and foot work … Has also seen time at guard and center … Nominated for SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following the win over Vanderbilt … Suffered a hyperextended right knee against Georgia, but was able to fight through it and come back into the game.
#26 Gonzie Gray, RB — Senior who is looking to close out his career on a positive note … May have been the biggest surprise of spring practice … Scored two touchdowns in the Spring Game … Has good speed … Made his first career start in the win over Vanderbilt … Rushed five times for 26 yards and had one catch for nine yards … Suffered a sprained knee against Vanderbilt.
#78 Jabari Levey, OT — Starting left tackle … Has size and quickness to become an excellent player … Started seven games at guard in 2003 … He and Goddard could rank among the top pair of offensive tackles in the SEC.
#13 Syvelle Newton, QB — Sophomore who is expected to be a factor at quarterback … Played receiver in 2003, with 12 catches for 277 yards and a long reception of 44 yards (vs. Kentucky and LSU) … Extremely talented athlete who was an all-state quarterback at Marlboro County High School … Played some quarterback in the win over Vanderbilt, completing both of his passes for 16 yards … Was in on one series at quarterback vs. Georgia.
#5 Dondrial Pinkins, QB — Returning starter at quarterback … In 2003, he threw for 2,127 yards and 10 touchdowns … Received the Joe Morrison Award for offense (MVP) during spring practice … Has thrown the two longest touchdown passes in South Carolina history — a 99-yarder to Troy Williamson vs. Virginia in 2003 and a 98-yard TD to Matthew Thomas vs. Ole Miss in 2003 … The 99-yarder is the fifth longest play in school history … Became the first quarterback in Division 1-A history to throw two touchdown passes of 98 yards or more in his career … Played well in the season opener vs. Vanderbilt, completing 11 of 18 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown … Also rushed for 77 yards and one touchdown … Nominated for SEC Offensive Player of the Week following his performance vs. Vanderbilt … Against his home state Georgia Bulldogs, he threw for 200 yards and one touchdown — a 65-yarder to Troy Williamson … Also had 32 yards rushing vs. the Bulldogs … His career totals are 221-435-14 for 2,947 yards and 19 touchdowns.
#74 John Strickland, C — Senior leader who is the returning starter at center … Named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy (nation’s top collegiate center) … Has developed into a very good SEC center.
#31 Demetris Summers, RB — True sophomore who is looking to continue his development into a big-time running back … Turned some heads in 2003 with his rushing performances vs. UAB (161 yards) and Tennessee (158 yards) … Became the first USC freshman since Thomas Dendy in 1982 to rush for 100 or more yards in consecutive games … Named to the SEC All-Freshman squad … Finished his rookie campaign with 638 yards rushing and three touchdowns (all vs. UAB). … Also had 11 catches for 146 yards and two TDs … Will also be utilized as a kick return specialist … Parade Magazine All-America at Lexington High School … In the season opener vs. Vanderbilt, he rushed for a game-high 87 yards on 11 carries … Also had one catch for 12 yards … Against Georgia, he sprained his right ankle on the game’s very first play and was unable to return until the second half, when he carried the ball one more time only to re-injure the ankle … Had two carries for 13 yards vs. the Bulldogs.
#15 Matthew Thomas, WR — Veteran receiver who enters the season opener with 32 career receptions for 749 yards and three touchdowns … Also has 31 kickoff returns for 646 yards and one TD (95 yards vs. Virginia in 2002) … Caught a 98-yard touchdown pass from Dondrial Pinkins in 2003 vs. Ole Miss … Started nine games in 2003 and three games in 2002 … Played some cornerback in 2002 … Had one carry for 16 yards in the opener vs. Vanderbilt … Had one carry for six yards vs. Georgia. TMTM #32 Daccus Turman, RB — Junior who is a hard-nosed runner and blocker … Team’s leading rusher in 2003 with 646 yards and seven touchdowns … Excellent runner between the tackles … Broke Herschel Walker’s single-season rushing record in the state of Georgia with 3,167 yards his senior year at Washington-Wilkes High School … Was steady in the season opener vs. Vanderbilt, picking up 21 yards on six carries.
#60 Chris White, OG — Will start at left guard … Can also play center … Came back from a medical redshirt season in 2003 to play a significant role along the offensive line … Sat out the 2002 campaign after injuring his neck during preseason camp.
#1 Noah Whiteside, WR — True sophomore who looks to have come into his own as a bonafide wide receiver … In 2003, he caught nine balls for 97 yards and two touchdowns (both vs. Ole Miss) … Against the Rebels, he had TD receptions of 33 yards and 20 yards, with the 20-yard grab being one for the highlight reel … Can also return punts … Played well on special teams against Vanderbilt, returning four punts for 63 yards, including a career-long of 43 yards … Did not play vs. Georgia, as he was suspended for violating team rules.
#82 Troy Williamson, WR — True junior who has excellent breakaway speed … Holds the longest touchdown reception in school history — a 99-yarder vs. Virginia in 2003 … Also has TD receptions of 70 yards vs. Clemson (2002), 65 yards vs. Georgia (2004), and 60 yards vs. LSU (2002) … Racked up a career-best 140 yards receiving vs. Clemson in 2002 … Is off to a good start in 2004, as his 115 yards receiving per game leads the SEC … Heading into the South Florida game, he has eight catches for 230 yards and one touchdown — the 65-yarder vs. Georgia … Totaled 131 receiving yards vs. Georgia and had 99 yards receiving in the opener vs. Vanderbilt … Likewise leads the SEC in all-purpose yards, averaging 146.5 per contest.
Defensive & Specialists Thumbnails
Here is a quick rundown on some of USC’s key personnel on defense and special teams:
#8 Fred Bennett, CB — True sophomore who will start at one of the cornerback positions … Saw action on special teams and as a backup in 2002 … Had an excellent spring and preseason camp … Named the most improved defensive back of spring practice … Made his first career start vs. Vanderbilt and responded with eight total tackles, including one tackle for loss.
#90 Joey Bowers, K/P — Senior who will handle the kick off chores … Also serves as the backup punter … Punted 21 times for a 39.6 average in 2003 … Had a long punt of 54 yards vs. Georgia in `03… Had 11 of his punts downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line … His 40.8 yard punting average ranks 8th in the SEC in `04.
#87 Josh Brown, K/P — Junior who serves as the punter and can also placekick … Had a 40.5 punting average in 2003 … Booted a career-best 64-yarder vs. Florida … His best day may have come against Ole Miss, when he averaged 48 yards on four punts.
#90 Jason Capers, DT — Veteran who has developed into a valuable member of the defensive front … Can also play defensive end … Moved over to tackle and will start there alongside Darrell Shropshire … Started five games in 2003 … Makes up for his lack of mass with his quickness off the ball.
#99 George Gause, DE — Should rank among the top defensive ends in the SEC … Named the most consistent defensive performer of the spring … Has 10 career quarterback sacks and 13.5 career tackles for loss … Has forced five fumbles during his career … Named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2001 … Credited with three total tackles vs. Vanderbilt … Made four stops vs. Georgia.
#33 Chris Hampton, FS — True freshman who has been impressive during preseason camp … Is undersized for the time being, but he seems to make up for his lack of size with a nose for the football … Is currently backing up Ko Simpson at free safety … In his collegiate debut vs. Vanderbilt, he made one tackle.
#6 Jermaine Harris, SS — Senior leader who has emerged as a quality defender … Started five games at safety a year ago … Will compete with Jamacia Jackson for starting berth at strong safety in 2004 … May have the best sense of humor on the ball club … Came up with his first career interception in the season opening victory over Vanderbilt … Also assisted with four tackles in that game.
#42 Ricardo Hurley, LB — Appears to be healthy heading into the 2004 season, which wasn’t the case a year ago … Was hampered with nagging ankle and knee injuries … Has had an excellent preseason camp … Came to Carolina has a highly touted linebacker and was listed by some recruiting gurus as the #1 linebacker prospect in the country … In the season opening win over Vanderbilt, he was credited with six tackles and 1/2 tackle for loss … Recovered a fumble late in the game against Georgia.
#16 Jamacia Jackson, SS — Senior who is looking to have his best season to date … Started seven games at safety in 2003 … Has 95 career tackles … Provides solid run support …Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in the win over Vanderbilt, as he was in on seven tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown … That return ranks as the fourth longest in school history … It was Jackson’s first career interception … In 2004, he leads the team in total tackles with 18 hits, which ranks tied for 8th highest in the SEC … Was in on 11 tackles vs. Georgia.
#9 Johnathan Joseph, CB — First-year player who transferred in from Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College … Went through spring practice … Coaching staff is very high on his future … Had off-season shoulder surgery … Competing with Tremaine Tyler for starting berth … Against Vanderbilt, he made two tackles, broke up a pass and forced a fumble … Broke his right foot against Georgia and is out for a minimum of 6-8 weeks.
#51 Orus Lambert, LB — Redshirt junior who has come on to earn a shot at some significant playing time at linebacker … Will back up Marcus Lawrence in the middle … Plays exceptionally well against the run … Recovered a fumble in the first half against Georgia.