Columbia, S.C. - Members of the media from across the state of South Carolina and the Southeast converged on Columbia Friday for USC's annual football media and photo day at Williams-Brice Stadium.
In addition to interviews for various print, radio and television outlets, each Gamecock player had his photo taken for television and print use. Player and coaches also had individual, position and group photos taken in addition to the 2003 team photo.
USC continued its preparation for the upcoming season with an afternoon practice. The team opens the 2003 campaign in just 22 days against Louisiana-Lafayette in a 7 p.m. kickoff on Aug. 30. The teams first practice in full gear is scheduled for Monday.
Head coach Lou Holtz touched upon a variety of topics when he addressed reporters this morning. He offered the following comments during the media day press conference:
(on the first week of practice)
"It has been a hectic first week. We have had two and a half practice, only getting in one hour on Wednesday because of the rain. It was one of the few times that we have missed some practice time here because of the weather. The young players are taking time adjusting. I think right now that offensively we are far ahead of the defense. The two quarterbacks have had a very nice camp thus far. Both Dondrial Pinkins and Mike Rathe have done some good things."
(on the tight ends)
"On the injury front, Andy Boyd hurt his knee running yesterday and will be out a couple weeks and then we will have to evaluate from there. It puts us in a bind because the three tight ends, Hart Turner, Boyd, and Brian Brownlee, all had good springs and we felt good about them. Now we are down to two tight ends and will have to address that problem."
(on the offensive line)
"Woodly Telfort is a very fine athlete on the offensive line. All the players coming back on the line have all been impressive. Travelle Wharton is playing with intensity and leadership. Jon Alston is at one guard and Jeff Barnes is at the other guard. John Strickland is at center and Na'Shan Goddard is at the right tackle. That line along with the tight ends has really been impressive. Offensively, it is probably as sharp as we have looked at this stage. Jabari Levey is playing very well and we are not sure where he will wind up. The starting lineup is not set, but is close, with the left guard being unsettled."
(on the receivers and running backs)
"At wide receiver, we have Troy Williamson, Taqiy Muhammad and Chavez Donnings as are starters. I have been impressed with what Aryhel Freeman has been. We are anxious to get Mikal Goodman back out there and see what he can do. Kenny Irons and Daccus Turman have come back ready to play at running back and you have to be impressed with Demetris Summers. He is the type of back that when you walk away from practice you say, 'Did you see what he did today?' Cory Boyd is a very talented young man as well."
(on the defense)
"On defense, we are just not very good right now. We are throwing a lot at them and will throw more at them today, but I am concerned about the defense. It just does not fit right now. Dunta Robinson will have an outstanding year. Jamacia Jackson and Rodriques Wilson are pretty much set at the starting safeties. Darrell Shropshire on the defensive line and Moe Thompson and George Gause at the ends are set. Other than that, I cannot tell you what is going to happen at linebacker, middle guard or a lot of places. I do not know who the other cornerback will be. Tremaine Tyler has done some good things. Right now, I am really in a quandary and am hopeful that the problems I have seen on defense can be corrected. That might be a reason that the offense looks so much better is because we are in a state of flux right now."
(on the young linebackers)
"Charles Silas has shown very good quickness at linebacker and De'Adrian Coley has good movement towards the ball. The freshman that has really caught my attention is Ryan Brown. He does a lot of things very naturally."
(on the kicking game)
"I am not pleased with the consistency of the performance of the kicking game. I do feel good about our long snappers. We will work more on the kicking game and are charting all of our kickers. One day a certain guy will do well and it will be someone else on another day. The same goes for our punters, but it will be either Josh Brown or Dan Beardall."
(on the upcoming schedule)
"We will have a long arduous practice on Saturday and then a walk through on Sunday. On Monday we will practice in full gear and practice again Monday afternoon. It will be a difficult next couple of days but we have a lot to get done."