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Former USC players get chance in Calgary

A couple of former football players who left South Carolina on bad terms are hoping for another shot in Canada.

Tailback Demetris Summers is headed to Calgary next week for training camp after signing a free-agent contract with the CFL’s Stampeders. Ex-USC defensive end Moe Thompson hopes to join Summers in Calgary, but must have his probation terminated early to do so.

Thompson was sentenced to five years probation in December 2005 after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree burglary and petit larceny for his role in the theft of electronics and other items from USC dorm rooms.

Summers, Thompson and Eddie Montgomery, a receiver from St. Augustine’s (N.C.) who is the younger brother of embattled sprinter Tim Montgomery, attended a Stampeders’ tryout camp in Florida in March. Montgomery, a Gaffney native, also signed with Calgary.

The 24-year-old Summers, the Gamecocks’ leading rusher from 2003-04 before his dismissal in 2005 for failing multiple drug tests, attended camp with the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 before being cut. He tried out with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year but was not offered a contract.

The 6-foot-1 Summers, a Parade All-American at Lexington High and the state’s all-time rushing leader, believes he is in better shape than he was for Cowboys’ camp.

“In Dallas I felt like I was bigger but slower,” Summers said Thursday. “Now I worked my way back down to the 207, 205 (pounds) range. I feel quicker and I still feel the same power.”

Neither Thompson nor Summers has played since 2004, Lou Holtz’s final season at USC. Thompson, 24, who had a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006, said he has complied with the terms of his probation and hopes a judge will allow him a chance to play in Canada.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.