Gamecocks enjoy positive practice

The South Carolina football team returned to practice on Tuesday, working out for about two hours inside Williams-Brice Stadium. Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media after practice, speaking about the mood of the team, as well as a report on the academic standing of the team, and who all will be making the trip to Birmingham.

Spurrier said that he believes the team has gotten in some quality work this week, and hopes they can continue that good practice after coming back from Christmas. He also said the focus of the team should be good, and that with a wealth of young players, his Gamecocks for the most part are not distracted by dreams of the NFL.

"I think we've had pretty good practices and hopefully we can maintain some momentum after the Christmas break, and coming back, and all that," said Spurrier. "We've got a lot of young guys. We don't have a lot of guys I don't think (that are) thinking about pro football right now."

After some speculation last week on the academic standing of the football team, the Head Ball Coach had good news for Gamecock fans this afternoon. All of his scholarship players will be available for the game against UConn on January 2nd. Spurrier said that surprisingly enough, some of the lowest grades on the team were from walk-on players, and that no key contributors had to worry about being academically ineligible.

"Yeah we're okay, everybody passed enough hours," added Spurrier. "I think it's the first time in my coaching career we had more walk-on guys under 2.0 than scholarship guys. You ever heard of that? We're not going to have that again. We like to brag about that GPA when we go recruiting."

With all of the scholarship players eligible to make the trip, Spurrier said that he will be taking a large crowd to the bowl game. Since there are not as many restrictions on how many players each team can bring to a bowl, the Gamecocks are expected to try to take most of their roster, including numerous players who are out with injury.

"We can take about everybody," said Spurrier. "About a hundred (or so). We'll have a second group come on the second shift, which will be a bus since we're within bus distance."


- Coach Spurrier seemed genuinely excited about his team's academic situation. One player he singled out was Akeem Auguste, who had a 3.5 GPA, after not qualifying originally out of high school.

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