Gamecocks Work Out Saturday Morning

The Gamecocks practiced Saturday morning before getting the rest of the weekend off. It will be the last respite the Gamecocks enjoy before the opener, since the team will begin its normal game week routine on Monday. Read inside for a full report on Saturday's workout.


Steve Spurrier met with the media following Saturday morning's workout, but according to the Head Ball Coach, practicing earlier in the day did little to spare the Gamecocks from the oppressive Columbia heat.

"We had a good little steamy morning," said a sweat-soaked Spurrier. "We had a good practice, and we're looking forward to next week. Hopefully we'll have a routine week of practice and get ready to play Louisiana-Lafayette."

By "routine," Spurrier meant that he hopes to be able to focus on football. In the last two days, he had to answer questions about the suspension of quarterback Blake Mitchell and then the arrest of Emanuel Cook. Spurrier is still awaiting word on Mitchell's appeal, but he was able to give an update on Cook's situation.

"I've talked to him," Spurrier said. "I believe his story, and hopefully everyone that's involved in this decision will be listening and believing his story also. Hopefully it's all true, and I think it is. Emanuel is a fine young man, and obviously we do everything to support him. I think [he] has a hearing with the university sometime on Tuesday. We're hoping it will be positive, of course, but we'll certainly sit back and let our legal system take its course."

Partly as a response to what happened with Cook, all freshman student-athletes at Carolina will attend an orientation meeting Sunday afternoon. The program, called "There Are Consequences for Your Actions," is aimed at preventing off-the-field issues, according to a release from USC. Law enforcement officials will speak to the athletes. Spurrier said he supports the initiative, and thinks it is important to educate athletes about how to avoid trouble.

"Hopefully it will be informative [about] where to hang out, what you can do or can't do, and all this, that, and the other," he said. "I've been here three years, and I'm still learning some things you can't do, so we all need as much information as possible to ensure a safe time here at the University of South Carolina. We do have a safe university, and our security people do a super job of making it as safe as possible for students here at Carolina."

Following the practice, Spurrier said he would be watching ESPN, which televised a high school game between Summerville and Booker T. Washington. The game features a Gamecock commitment, quarterback Reid McCollum. Spurrier was asked if he thought that nationally televised high school games were overexposure for the young players.

"I don't know," he said. "We all play more on television than we used to. Just like recruiting, some kids handle [the exposure] pretty well, and some, it's too much for them. They think they're maybe a little bit bigger than they are. I think it's neat. Obviously there will be a lot of people watching. I plan on watching."

Notes:

- Mike Davis returned to practice after sitting out with a bruised shoulder. Jasper Brinkley remains out, but he is still expected to return next week.

- Taylor Rank and Rodney Paulk were both limited in practice with shoulder injuries.

- Brinkley was named to the Lombardi Award watch list on Saturday. The Lombardi Award is given to the top lineman or linebacker in college football.

- With starting strong safety Cook out, Stoney Woodson is working as the starter after moving over from his cornerback position. With Woodson making the move, Carlos Thomas is now the starting cornerback opposite Captain Munnerlyn.


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