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Aug. 27, 2007

The University of South Carolina worked out for nearly two hours on Monday night as they began their final week of preparation for the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1.

The practice saw the return of middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who has been sidelined for several days with a sprained ankle. “Jasper was running around pretty well tonight,” said Head Coach Steve Spurrier. “So he is expected to be full go by Saturday night.”

Coach Spurrier mentioned that safety Emanuel Cook has a university hearing scheduled for Tuesday. “Hopefully it will be productive,” said the Head Ball Coach. Coach Spurrier also indicated that he expects Cook to be sidelined for “one to two weeks” after undergoing an appendectomy over the weekend “if he’s eligible,” he added.

Coach Spurrier was asked about Blake Mitchell’s suspension for violating an athletics department policy, which was upheld by Athletics Director Eric Hyman on Sunday. “That’s university policy and I’m for class attendance. Whatever the policy is, you have to enforce it or you don’t have a policy.”

Coach Spurrier noted he was pleased with where the team is at this point of the season. “We’re very healthy for this time of the year,” said Coach Spurrier. “Nobody had a serious injury during pre-season. Joe Hills was the worst, but he was out here running around tonight also. He’s missed so much, I don’t know if he’ll be ready to play or not. We’re still looking for somebody else besides Kenny (McKinley) to jump in there and make a bunch of catches. I don’t know who it’s going to be yet, but hopefully one will show up Saturday night.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday. There will be no media availability following practice. A press conference featuring Coach Spurrier and several players will be held at noon in the team meeting room on the second floor of the Crews Building, above the football weight room.