09/30/03 USC Football Practice Report

Columbia, S.C. - Tuesday's Practice: South Carolina worked out in shorts and shoulder pads Tuesday. Head coach Lou Holtz described the practice as "unemotional, but focused." He said the team got good work in without showing much emotion, but the concentration was there. "Considering this is an open date week, it was a pretty good practice," said Holtz ...

"Wednesday and Thursday we will practice in full gear and those will be very important practices. We want to come out of this open date a much better football team and I think we can." Coach Holtz said freshman Cory Boyd has been moved back to running back, after working at safety last week. Boyd had been bothered by some tendinitis in his knees but that condition had improved and he was going to return to offense. Holtz likes what he sees in the rookie from Orange, N.J. "I think Cory Boyd is an excellent football player," said Holtz. "I'd like to see him get the ball 10 times a game and see what he could do." Coach Holtz said he also noticed the play Tuesday of redshirt freshman defensive back Cody Wells, who had a couple of big hits during practice. "Cody could have helped us this year on special teams, but he wanted to redshirt. He's going to be a good football player," said Holtz. Coach Holtz said the performance of the receivers had really improved the past couple of weeks. "They are really doing a nice job of running their routes. Noah Whiteside and Syvelle Newton (both true freshmen) are really coming on" When asked how many times he would like to see freshman tailback Demetris Summers carry the ball in a game, Holtz quipped, "I'd say somewhere between 20 and 21 times for about 282 yards. That's what I'd like to see." Coach Holtz said that recruiting a fullback would be a priority in recruiting this year.

More on Summers: Coach Holtz said that you can't coach Summers' running style. "That's why you recruit hard," said Holtz. "Demetris has really been impressive. He still needs to get comfortable with the speed of the game, the various blocking schemes and the different intricacies of the offense." Following Tuesday's practice, Summers met with the media. He said that he hadn't seen the entire replay of last Saturday's game against Tennessee, in which he rushed for a game-high 158 yards on 27 carries, but that he had seen the film of his play. "I was just running hard, trying to hit the holes that the linemen made," said Summers. "It was a lot of fun playing in front of a crowd like that." Summers said that he had been working on his blocking and that tight end Brian Brownlee had taken him aside to show him some of the tricks of the trade. This and That: Holtz said that Jason Capers would be getting more and more work at defensive tackle, in an attempt to shore up that position. He said that Darel Slay and Josh Johnson would try to pick up some of the slack at defensive end. Holtz said that the offensive line performed pretty well against Tennessee, especially tackles Travelle Wharton and Na'Shan Goddard. "Demetris helps the offensive line out," said Holtz. "When they see how he can run, they tend to open up the holes a little better." Holtz went on to say that the offensive line needs to be the heart and soul of a football team. "Normally, they are the ones that make the team go," said Holtz.

Injury update: DE George Gause is still on crutches and is rehabbing his sprained right knee * LB Ricardo Hurley's ankle is getting better and he looked good in practice Tuesday * Holtz says that LB Lance Laury would be slowed by his knee for the remainder of the year * DT Preston Thorne had reconstructive knee surgery Tuesday in Birmingham, performed by Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Jeff Guy. He was expected to return to Columbia Tuesday evening. Thorne injured his knee against UAB * TE James Scott and DL Fran Person both had wisdom teeth pulled on Tuesday.

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