Holtz Ladies Clinic Draws Crowd of More Than 1200

More than 1,200 enthusiastic ladies were on hand Saturday for the annual Lou Holtz Football Clinic for Ladies at the Carolina Center in Columbia. The clinic is designed to provide ladies with football instruction and an inside look behind the Gamecock program ...

Coach Holtz arrived at 8:15 a.m. and signed autographs and had pictures taken for the next hour. He then spoke to the group for 45 minutes, before taking 15 minutes of questions. His portion of the program concluded with a photograph session with 10 door prize winners. Coach Holtz then met with the media for 20 minutes.

* During his presentation to the ladies, Coach Holtz discussed how he and his staff put together a football team, including organization, goals, principles and scheduling. He said that soon after the 2002 season, he went into as many players' homes as possible to discuss the goals and aspirations of this program, which include winning a Southeastern Conference championship. Coach Holtz went on the Gamecock Club meeting circuit in May, while the assistant coaches were on the road handling junior class recruiting. During the month of June, the staff put together their playbooks. In July, the staff vacationed with their families. Coach Holtz was also busy with his charitable foundation during the summer.

* Coach Holtz outlined plans for the new defense that the team will employ this fall. The new four-man front will be used to hopefully put more pressure on the opposing team's quarterback, create more turnovers and have more success on third down.

* With the new reporting schedule, Carolina will not be able to stage its "Midnight Madness" practice, which had proven to be popular the past two years. The team reports Aug. 4, with the first practice set for Aug. 5. Summer school is still in session and won't be concluded until Aug. 7. The first day of full pads will be Aug. 9. The season opener is Aug. 30 vs. Louisiana Lafayette (7 p.m. kickoff).

* Coach Holtz marveled at the enthusiasm displayed by the women at Saturday's clinic. "We couldn't build a great program unless we had the support of one half of the population of this state, and by that I mean, the female population of this state. The ladies in this state are tremendous football fans and very knowledgeable about the game."

* Coach Holtz mentioned that three players were still recovering from some type of health condition. Wide receiver Mikal Goodman is recovering from chest muscle surgery; defensive tackle Randy Jackson has been bothered by high blood pressure; and defensive lineman Chris Tucker has an infection in his foot.

* Coach Holtz said that in visiting with quarterback Dondrial Pinkins this summer, he noticed a greater sense of maturity from the rising junior. "I spoke at a hall of fame banquet in Dondrial's hometown (Camilla, Ga.) and I could definitely notice a greater confidence and poise about Dondrial," said Holtz. "He's a hero in his hometown."

* Coach Holtz mentioned that defensive tackle Eric Stroman could be moved to defensive end, as could linebacker Darel Slay. Fred Bennett would be moving from safety to cornerback.

* Coach Holtz said he has received promising reports from the strength staff regarding the work ethic displayed by the players this summer. "They tell me they've never worked any harder," said Holtz. "I guess we'll find out before too long."

* Coach Holtz said that he has heard that offensive tackle Travelle Wharton has had an outstanding off season. "They tell me Travelle has done a tremendous job and has really assumed a leadership role with this football team, as has Dunta Robinson," said Holtz. "We will need leadership from our upperclassmen, there's no doubt about that."

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