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March 30, 2006

The University of South Carolina football squad spent two hours Thursday afternoon on the Bluff Road practice fields. It was spring practice number 10 of the allotted 15 spring sessions.

At the conclusion of practice, Carlos Thomas, O.J. Murdock, Brandon Isaac and Mike West lined up for a 40-yard race, with West earning the distinction of the fastest Gamecock.

Sidney Rice underwent successful surgery on his broken left thumb Thursday afternoon. Rice had two small pins inserted into the thumb, according to head trainer Rod Walters. He will miss the remainder of the spring, but is expected to be at full speed by the summer workouts. He injured the thumb on Monday night playing basketball.

Following the practice, Head Coach Steve Spurrier addressed the media:

“They asked who was the fastest in uniform and I said Mike West. I was right. He got a good jump. We need to do this more often. We’ll have some races out here. That’s why we got him at receiver now. We’ll teach him how to run routes. He’s got a chance over there.

“Everyone’s invited to the scrimmage tomorrow at 4:30. If some of the townspeople want to come out the scrimmage, they’re welcome. We would like to see a fairly big crowd in the stands and see if our guys get nervous or not. We’ll have a similar game-type atmosphere as far as offense versus defense.

“I’ve always halfway encouraged our guys to play a little basketball. I’ve tried to get (quarterback) Blake (Mitchell) to play a little bit to develop the quickness. Sidney just needs to be more careful. He was careless up there banging on the rim. We don’t play (basketball) during the season. You can get hurt doing anything. I don’t mind them playing this time of year.

“(Shea McKeen) has one other situation tomorrow. We’ll wait to see how that one comes out before we make a final announcement.

“(Ryan Broadhead) could possibly be put on scholarship now and we could bring him in early. That’s definitely a possibility. He’s gained a bunch of weight and looks pretty good.