QB Dondrial Pinkins

2003 Statistics

Coach: Lou Holtz
27-32, 5 years
2003 Record: 5-7
at Georgia LOST 7-31
UAB WON 42-10
at Tennessee LOST 20-23
at Mississippi LOST 40-43
at Arkansas LOST 6-28

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

The excitement that surrounded South Carolina's resurgence in 2000-2001, when the team won eight and nine games respectively, has turned into discontent following back-to-back 5-7 seasons. Lou Holtz, who was a genius by coming in to Columbia and establishing a team that was fundamentally sound and did not make mistakes, is now perceived as being out of touch with systems too conservative for college football in the 21st century.

By nature of being a great salesman and recruiter, he continues to bring top-flight players into the Gamecock program. The drop-off in wins has sucked much of the energy out of these players, or at least compared to most of their conference opponents. South Carolina has fallen into the habit of playing not to lose while their opponents are aggressively attacking and making plays that the Gamecocks are hesitant to make, or are instructed not to attempt.

The SEC is a tough league in which to make up ground, but that is what Holtz and his staff must do. They have the talent on offense to rank (at least) in the middle of the conference, not toward the bottom, where they have been recently. True, they still don't turn the ball over, but sacrificing game-breaking plays out of fear of making mistakes just doesn't cut it in this conference unless your team has an overwhelming defense.

South Carolina is decent but hardly overwhelming on the defensive side of the ball. The front seven will need to attack more this season. The linebackers in particular will have to gamble more often and find ways to get into opponents' backfields and disrupt their offense. This is critical to protect a secondary that will range from mediocre to bad, especially on the corners.

This is a critical season for the Gamecock football program. A third straight season of mediocrity or worse will justify serious consideration of taking the program in a different direction and putting Holtz back on the motivational speaking circuit full time.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
DE George Gause
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Dondrial Pinkins, 322-162-9, 2127 yds., 10 TD

Rushing: Daccus Turman, 132 att., 646 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Troy Williamson, 31 rec., 428 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Daccus Thurman, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: Josh Brown, 46 punts, 40.5 avg.

Kicking: Josh Brown, 0-2 FG, 4-4 PAT

Tackles: Marcus Lawrence, 90 tot., 49 solo, 10 TFL

Sacks: Moe Thompson, 5 sacks. George Gause, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Four with 1 sack

Kickoff Returns: Matthew Thomas, 22 ret., 19.2 avg.

Punt Returns: Demetris Summers, 9 ret., 12.3 avg.


OFFENSE: Travelle Wharton-OT, Jeff Barnes-OG, Hart Turner-TE, Chavez Donnings-WR, Mikal Goodman-WR, Daniel Weaver-K
DEFENSE: Jeremiah Garrison-LB, Dunta Robinson-CB, Deandre' Eiland-CB, Teddy Crawford-CB

Dondrial Perkins will be in his second year at the helm of the Gamecock offense. Built more like a fullback, Perkins is not a scrambler; he is a runner. He also has a very strong arm but needs to drastically improve his career 50% passing accuracy. Perkins has a low INT percentage, so we realize essentially mistake-free ball alone won't get it done. Head coach Lou Holtz also needs to move South Carolina's passing schemes into the 21st century and quit using the same schemes he used successfully at Notre Dame in the late '80's. Two unproven quarterbacks are behind Perkins on the depth chart, so it is squarely up to him to breathe some life into the offense.

Running Back
Daccus Turman and Demetris Summers will again share the load. Turman, who broke Hershel Walker's Georgia high school rushing record, has surprising speed for his size. Summers is smaller and more of a slasher. Both runners averaged over five yards per carry in 2003 and broke big plays as receivers out of the backfield. Cory Boyd is good enough to get the start, which he will as a quick, darting runner. The running game should again be productive for South Carolina.

Wide Receiver
The Gamecocks' two leading receivers from 2003 return looking for more opportunities to strut their stuff. Troy Williamson, a former high school track star, has been given few chances to utilize his speed downfield, and converted defensive back Matthew Thomas has seen even fewer passes thrown his way. Both receivers have the potential to stretch the field and develop a vertical passing game should the coaching staff show the inclination to do so. South Carolina needs big plays if they are going to compete with the top teams in the SEC - only 12 TDs again through the air will spell similar team results.

Tight End
As you might imagine on a Lou Holtz team, the Gamecocks' tight end is essentially another offensive lineman. Brian Brownlee, a converted linebacker, is an excellent athlete and a solid blocker.

Offensive Line
The Gamecocks bring back four starters on a veteran offensive line. Along with experience, Carolina's line is one of the largest in the land. The "baby" of the bunch, John Strickland, tips the scales at a petite 304 pounds. Jabari Levy anchors the line at 340 pounds. This is an outstanding unit, strong both on the run and protecting the passer. They allowed only 15 sacks in 2003 and paved the way for a very predictable running game to be successful. The line should be even better.

Watching a Lou Holtz-coached offense is seldom a thrill a minute, but it was downright tedious to see the '03 Gamecocks when they had the ball. While South Carolina fans were watching other teams adapt to more creative and complex passing schemes, the Gamecocks were proving to be quite resistant to change. South Carolina fundamentally played well, but their scoring numbers just never showed the same results that the combined individual numbers reflect. They have the personnel to be explosive if quarterback Dondrial Perkins continues (and coaches allow him) to grow into his job. Carolina has speed to burn at both receiver and running back and a solid offensive line to keep Perkins upright.


RB Demetris Summers


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Dondrial Pinkins-Sr (6-2, 245) Syvelle Newton-So (6-2, 196)
RB Daccus Turman-Jr (5-11, 229) Gonzie Gray-Sr (5-11, 186)
Brandon Schweitzer-Jr (6-3, 265) (FB)
RB Demetris Summers-So (6-1, 200) Cory Boyd-So (6-1, 210)
WR Troy Williamson-Jr (6-2, 200) Noah Whiteside-So (6-0, 170)
WR Matthew Thomas-Sr (6-1, 188) Andrea Gause-Sr (5-9. 207)
TE Brian Brownlee-Sr (6-3, 247) Andy Boyd-So (6-5, 260)
OT Jabari Levey-Jr (6-7, 340) Woodly Telfort-Jr (6-8, 320)
OG Stephen Sene-So (6-6, 320) Web Brown-Fr (6-5, 275)
C John Strickland-Sr (6-5, 304) Fran Person-So (6-6, 262)
OG Jonathan Alston-Sr (6-5, 302) Chris White-So (6-4, 310)
OT Na'shan Goddard-Jr ..
K Josh Brown-Jr (6-2, 190) Joey Bowers-Sr (6-0, 189)



Defensive Line
Moe Thompson and George Gause give the Gamecocks a pair of strong pass-rushing ends. They tied for second on the team in sacks and are both good at coming off the edge and pressuring quarterbacks. Starting tackles Darrell Shropshire and Freddy Saint-Preux both occupy blockers, sometimes two each. Neither one makes very many plays, however, putting a heavy burden on the linebackers to make tackles. South Carolina's defensive line looks soft against the run and gets very little push up the middle.

Marcus Lawrence is the closest thing to a big play man on the Gamecock defense. He is the leading returning tackler. Neither he nor Lance Laury, the other returning starter, is particularly strong in pass coverage. With the lack of plays from the front line, South Carolina linebackers have to commit to stopping the run, making them vulnerable to the pass. Lawrence and Laury keep plays in front of them, but don't make many big plays, either.

Defensive Back
Jermaine Harris and Taqiy Muhammad give the Gamecocks seniors at both starting safety positions. Harris, the nephew of former Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, is both big and a heavy hitter. Third safety/nickel-back Jamacia Jackson has good speed and can cover a lot of ground. Neither Harris nor Jackson, though, has shown the ability to make big plays. South Carolina will have an open competition for both cornerback spots. The Gamecock secondary was mediocre at best in 2003, and could be a big liability with question marks at both corners. As answers come, we will let you know about this area.

The strength of South Carolina's defense lies in what is does not do - give up big plays. The weakness also is something this unit does not do - make big plays. The Gamecocks don't give up home runs to opposing offenses very often, but they don't make the type of plays than can change the momentum of a game. The secondary, in particular, is devoid of this type of player. The safeties are good tacklers, but, due to their own assignments, are usually several yards down the field once they help. Carolina's corners are vulnerable and could be torched on occasion. The middle of the defensive line keeps blockers off their linebackers, but they fail to gain significant penetration into opponents' offensive line. The linebackers themselves are more run-oriented, opening the short middle of the field to a ball-control passing game. Ironic, how the patterns which plague the USC offense are precisely what will succeed most against their defense.


LB Marcus Lawrence


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Moe Thompson-Jr (6-3, 280) Jason Capers-Sr (6-4, 275)
DT Darrell Shropshire-Sr (6-2, 299) Stanley Doughty-Fr (6-2, 315)
NG Freddy Saint-Preux-Jr (6-5, 295) Charles Silas-Jr (6-6, 255)
DE George Gause-Sr (6-5, 270) James Scott-Jr (6-3, 260)
OLB Rodriques Wilson-Sr (6-2, 217) Lance Laury-Jr (6-2, 231)
MLB Marcus Lawrence-Sr (6-3, 236) Orus Lambert-Jr (6-2, 240)
OLB Ricardo Hurley-Jr (6-3, 233) Ryan Brown-Fr (6-2, 238)
CB Jonathan Joseph-Jr (6-0, 190) Tremaine Tyler-Jr (6-0, 181)
CB Fred Bennett-So (6-2, 186) Taqiy Muhammad-Sr (5-11, 182)
S Jamacia Jackson-Sr (6-1, 210) Andre Hemphill-Jr (6-2, 202)
S Jermaine Harris-Sr (6-4, 210) Corey Peoples-Sr (6-2, 212)
P Josh Brown-Jr (6-2, 190) Joey Bowers-Sr (6-0, 189)




Josh Brown will finally ascend to first-string placekicker in his fourth year. He possesses a very strong leg and should develop into a reliable long-distance kicker. Joey Bowers will handle kickoffs. Bowers needs to get more air under his kicks and help the Gamecocks reduce their yield of nearly 25 yards per kickoff return.

Brown and Bowers will again share the position. Brown, taking advantage of his stronger leg, will punt in normal situations. Over 40% of his kicks were not returned in 2003, a number which should be higher this season. Bowers handles the "pooch" punting. He is a specialist in dropping kicks inside the 20-yard line, successfully doing so with over half his punts in 2003. Bowers will again be a good field position weapon for the Gamecocks.

Return Game
Matthew Thomas and Troy Williamson will share the kickoff return duties and look to improve on their mediocre 2003 numbers. Both players averaged less than 20 yards per return. Thomas has the speed and athleticism to be an explosive kick returner. Williamson, a former high school track star, needs to better utilize his blazing speed. Demetris Summers has the inside track on the punt return job. He showed potential in 2003 and will to have more opportunities to display his elusiveness.


QB Dondrial Pinkins had great spring practices, but a poor spring game. Inversely, backup Syvelle Newton had a poor spring practice but a great spring game. Newton, who saw time at WR last season, has moved back to QB full-time. If Pinkins doesn't make more of a forward push, we will likely see split time between the two. RB Demetris Summers has shown a liking to the new I-formation the Gamecocks will utilize, and his production on the field demonstrated this. Senior RB Gonzie Gray makes a strong bid for the backup role, with an inspiring spring effort. The Gamecocks are starting to run the ball the way we are accustomed to seeing an SEC team do. WR Troy Williamson had outstanding spring, while backup WR Noah Whiteside proves he can be counted on to turn in some big plays. With depth a little skinny at WR, it's important that these starters raise the level of their game. The O-Line was banged up and not many bodies were available to get reps.

Injuries on defense kept some starters out, and the guys they did play gave up big plays early. But as the spring drew on, they got better. New DC Rick Minter (former boss at Cincinnati) brings a stingy defensive attitude to Columbia, so this group will surely improve on last year's marks (to the point where they will be one of the conference's best). Remember, Minter held the same position under Holtz at Notre Dame (1992-1993), and those defenses finished among the best. LBs Marcus Lawrence and Lance Laury draped the entire field. DBs Andre Hemphill and Jonathan Joseph, as well as former WR Taqiy Muhammed, helped give the secondary good grades.

Stephen Stellfox and Charlie Carpenter will handle the placement duties, leaving Bowers to kick-offs. Whiteside will see time returning punts once coaches see it beneficial to keep Summers rested and out of harm's way.

WR Sidney Rice (fr)
OT Justin Sorensen (fr)
OL James Thompson (fr)
CB Jonathan Joseph (jr)