South Carolina Spring Football Practice Report

<b>Columbia, SC</b> - · South Carolina returned to the practice field Friday afternoon, making final preparations for the team's first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. The scrimmage, which begins at 11:30 a.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium, is open to the public ...

· On the injury front: WR Matthew Thomas, who missed three practices with an ankle sprain, returned to the practice field. There were no new injuries to report on Friday.

· Defensive coordinator Rick Minter met with the media following practice on Friday. Here are some of his comments: "We're looking forward to the scrimmage and see who can step up and make some plays. We'll probably scrimmage 45-50 plays per unit, which would mean we would go around 90-100 plays. We're awfully thin on the defensive front, so that might limit us some. But, I think we'll get all the mixes and matches that we will want to see out there ... Hopefully we can make some major strides tomorrow. We'll try to set up different situations as we go along."

· One position move of note: Andrea Gause, who had been working at the safety position, is now working at wide receiver. Gause has previously played wide receiver during his career. Gause missed practice on Sunday and Tuesday for personal reasons.

· This weekend, USC has invited back all of its former players who are currently playing in the NFL. Coach Holtz and the staff felt it would be a good idea to start a tradition of bringing back the current pros and let them visit with the coaches and team. With this being the first time something like this has been undertaken at USC, the turnout was pretty good on Friday. Among the pros who had made it in Friday evening included: John Abraham (New York Jets); Arturo Freeman (Miami Dolphins); Sheldon Brown (Philadelphia Eagles); Andre Goodman (Detroit Lions); Willie Offord (Minnesota Vikings); Marcus Robinson (Minnesota Vikings); Stanley Pritchett (Chicago Bears); Shane Hall (Seattle Seahawks); Langston Moore (Cincinnati Bengals); Shaun Smith (Dallas Cowboys); and Cleveland Pinkney (Tampa Bay Bucs). The pros were going to have dinner with the coaching staff Friday evening and speak to the team on a variety of topics on Saturday morning. "We thought it was important to invite these former players back and let them spend some time with our current team," said Coach Holtz. "There is a lot of knowledge and information they can share with our players that will be helpful. We want them to know that they will always be Gamecocks and will always be a part of the Carolina program. We're proud of what they've accomplished and we look forward to having them with us this weekend."

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