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USC practice report: Aug. 9

News of the day

South Carolina has been employing a new exercise: Pilates. Coach Steve Spurrier is an enthusiastic supporter of the discipline, which aims to stretch certain muscles through unusual positions.

The Gamecocks have been doing it about two or three times a week, and last week Spurrier's web site even invited the public to participate. "Pilates: Not just for ladies,” read the headline.

In one of the stretches described by Spurrier, you lay on your belly, reach back and grab both ankles, and hold it.

“You get in sort of funny positions, where you’ve gotta hold it. But it’s mainly to strengthen your stomach muscles, your hips, your butt,” Spurrier said. “I love it, you’d love it if you tried. It’s good for you. It is. I learned a new trick.”

Stock rising

Freshman tailback Eric Baker got a lot of snaps in Friday’s practice, according to Spurrier. That’s an indication that Baker is pushing Taylor Rank for the third tailback role - No. 2 behind Brian Maddox while Mike Davis is out. “They should be ready if Mike can’t go,” Spurrier said.

Stock falling

Ankles. Three starters - linebacker Jasper Brinkley, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and offensive tackle Jamon Meredith - left Friday’s practice with ankle injuries. All were during non-contact drills. Spurrier said he expects all of them to be fine.

Injury report

Davis is still listed as day-to-day, but the senior is wearing a sling, not an encouraging sign. Linebacker Gerrod Sinclair (hand) was held out of contact drills. Tight end Jared Cook (broken toe) is still expected back next week.

Quote of the day

“I agree. If anybody feels like weren’t not the best secondary, we will be the best secondary. We go out, we work hard every day, study film, the coaches are hard on us. I feel like when all is said and done, we will be the best secondary.” - Senior cornerback Carlos Thomas, when asked whether the Gamecocks have the best secondary in the SEC.

Up next

The Gamecocks will scrimmage today from about 4-6 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. It’s closed to the public. Spurrier said it will be a scrimmage for veterans and rookies, with each team penciled in for about 50 plays.

- Seth Emerson