Practice report: Class policy costs Jeffery again

semerson@thestate.comMarch 25, 2010 

For the second time this spring, receiver Alshon Jeffery was kept out of practice because of USC's missed class policy.

This time Jeffery showed up for the class, but failed to stick around, according to coach Steve Spurrier.

"He really didn't miss. He left early. So when he leaves early, that's like a miss," Spurrier said. "He's not been bad. But he's just not supposed to miss any."

Spurrier added that Jeffery is not in danger of being suspended a game for violating the policy.

The second line

Defensive line coach Brad Lawing knows who three of his four starters are going to be - and none of them are participating in practice right now.

End Cliff Matthews and tackle Travian Robertson were ruled out before the spring for precautionary reasons. Tackle Ladi Ajiboye hurt his ankle recently and while he might return to practice, Lawing vowed not to play him in scrimmages or the spring game.

"We're not trying to win the spring game. We're trying to beat Southern Miss," Lawing said, referring to the Gamecocks' opening opponent.

The injuries have given Lawing a chance to evaluate younger players. He said four players - Chaz Sutton, Aldrick Fordham and Devin Taylor and Byron McKnight - are competing for the other end spot.

Melvin Ingram is becoming more comfortable at tackle. Ingram has been a tackle for a year, after coming to USC as a linebacker, and playing tailback in high school.

"The more time goes by, the more comfortable I get," Ingram said.

Ingram also has seen work at fullback, which Lawing said he supports.

"As defensive coaches, we're best when we're on the sideline clapping our hands for the offense," Lawing said.

Spur update

One starting spot in the secondary remains up for grabs, but by the sound of it the Gamecocks will be happy with either choice. Alonzo Winfield and Antonio Allen are playing well enough at the Spur position that both are on the field in the team's dime packages.

"They've both had really good springs," said assistant coach Shane Beamer, who coaches the spurs. "I think they both have the potential to be big-time players. Big time."

Shorter spring game?

It's not just the defensive line that lacks players. So many are being held out that Spurrier is considering shortening the spring game to as few as two-and-a-half quarters.

"Spring game will not be a complete four quarters because we just don't have enough players right now," he said. "But we'll try to get two-and-a-half to three quarters in, and hopefully come out healthy. It was a little bit of a downer last year when Dion (LeCorn) got hurt there. So we'll do all that we can to prevent that."

Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.

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