Notes and quotes from South Carolina football

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier says the Gamecocks will go back to wearing white helmets and the team's primary jersey at home will be garnet. Spurrier said the players will no longer wear long socks, the pants will have stripes and the players' names will be on the back of the jerseys ...

o USC's spring football practice will commence March 22 and will conclude with the Garnet and Black game on April 16. "I usually like to limit the defense to just a couple of coverages in that game," said Coach Spurrier. "The fans like to see the offense move the ball up and down the field. It also gives you the opportunity to evaluate the players in front of a crowd."

o Coach Spurrier said that while the Gamecocks may "be behind some right now in recruiting," he expects January to be a fruitful month. "A lot of these players committed elsewhere over the summer," said Spurrier. "We still have 60 or so players we're looking at. We have some catching up to do. I'd expect the majority of our class this year to be from out of state. But, hopefully, that will change in years to come. The reception from the players and coaches out on the recruiting trail has been outstanding. There are a lot of players who said they are at least looking at South Carolina that might not have been looking at us earlier."

o Coach Spurrier says he likes what he has seen so far of Columbia. "The people here are as nice as any I've ever been around," said Spurrier. "They are very excited. That kind of enthusiasm picks us up."

o When asked about discussing job openings with Clemson assistants: "A couple of weeks ago, one of their assistants made a call and indicated he would be interested in talking with us. We did make an offer to him. He went back to his coach and relayed to us that he was going to stay put. I did have a conversation with Brad Scott on Wednesday. But, there was never a firm offer. We both decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea. He did say that if it weren't South Carolina, he would be interested in working with me. I suppose I helped a couple of their assistants get some more money, but that's okay. They may have been underpaid, anyway."

o Coach Spurrier said that Rick Stockstill would continue to coordinate USC's recruiting efforts and would coach tight ends and maybe even special teams. Spurrier said that Ron Cooper's exact role on defense has not yet been specified.

o Coach Spurrier mentioned that Mike Rathe has applied for an extra year of eligibility (sixth year) and that he has been told that the quarterback from San Diego is a "quarterback who could flourish in our system."

o A trio of Gamecocks have had off-season shoulder surgeries, including quarterback Mike Rathe, cornerback Fred Bennett and wide receiver Michael Flint. All are expected to be available for spring practice.

o Coach Spurrier said he wished wide receiver Troy Williamson all the best. Williamson notified the school Wednesday that he had decided to enter the 2005 NFL draft. "I thought it was inevitable that Troy would be leaving," said Spurrier. "We wish him nothing but the best in his pro career."

o Coach Spurrier indicated that the team would have a fan appreciation day in August. "We'll probably do it somewhere indoors, maybe the Colonial Center, where the fans can come in and get all the autographs they want and get their pictures made with the players."

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