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Aug. 14, 2006

The South Carolina Gamecocks returned to the Bluff Road practice fields for a pair of workouts on Monday. The team wore shoulder pads and shorts for the two hour and 15 minute morning practice, then went into full pads for the two hour evening session. The late session was the final one open to fans and media, as Head Coach Steve Spurrier has elected to close all remaining practices.

On the injury front, center Chris White was limited with a sore shoulder; tight end Andy Boyd was sidelined with an injured right shoulder; while wide receiver Mike West and safety Nick Prochak were out with pulled hamstrings.

The team will practice just once on Tuesday, working out in the evening from 7:30 – 9:30.

Following Monday night’s workout, Coach Spurrier addressed the media:

“It was another normal practice. Guys were hustling around and so forth. It was a good practice. I hope you got it on tape, because this was the last open practice of the year. We’ve just had too much stuff in the internet that we have to close up. All the other schools close up and now I know why. So we’re closing up after tonight. I’m sorry for the fans. They enjoy it. If it was just the fans, we’d leave it open, but we’ve got people reporting everything that happens and we just don’t need to do that.”

On Carlos Thomas playing safety: “Carlos moved around over there a little bit. It’s that time of year where you try guys at lots of positions.”

On the return of running back Mike Davis: “Mike did some good thing out here. Mike’s a good strong back. He and Cory (Boyd) give us two solid running backs. We’re going to be a running team. We’re not good enough blocking guys to go back there and throw it a whole bunch. They are both backs who can knock a linebacker back. We’ve just got to block a little better here and there.”

On the development of freshman quarterback Chris Smelley: “He and Cade (Thompson) rotate with the second group. He’s done pretty well for a true freshman. He knows (the offense) pretty well – not completely of course, but decent enough that he could play if needed.”

On his team’s focus: “This is a hump week. We’re still 17 days away from playing. This is a week of just practice – just trying to learn. The guys have been pretty good attention-wise in the meetings, so that’s good. We should be a lot more knowledgeable than we were going into last season.”