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Practice report: Whitlock vows to learn from mistakes

South Carolina's  C.C. Whitlock tries to elude teammate Jarrett Burns after fielding a punt during practice, Thursday, March 19, 2009.
South Carolina's C.C. Whitlock tries to elude teammate Jarrett Burns after fielding a punt during practice, Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Leading off

After his string of suspensions in the spring, cornerback C.C. Whitlock was asked Friday what life – like a cat with nine of them – he is on at USC.

“I’m on my last life,” Whitlock said.

And he pledged to make the most of it. “We all call that a freshman mistake,” Whitlock said. “But I think I learned from my mistakes. I came back, felt like I fit in.”

Days after being reinstated from a suspension related to academic and team issues, Whitlock was suspended again in May after being charged with trespassing following a nightclub incident near his hometown of Chester. He was later acquitted.

Whitlock, who is working with the second team but starting in the dime package, said he is suspended for one game this season for his previous troubles. He said he would likely sit out “one of the games they shouldn’t need me in.”

After what Whitlock went through in the spring, it feels nice to be needed again.

“I feel good to be in the position I’m in,” he said.

Stock rising

USC’s backup receivers. Joe Hills’ transfer and the move of Matt Clements to cornerback have created openings for young receivers such as D.L. Moore, Alshon Jeffery and DeMario Bennett. Today’s scrimmage will help coaches decide who to keep in the receiver rotation as N.C. State preparations begin.

Stock falling

Defensive tackle Kenny Davis, a redshirt freshman expected to provide depth on the interior, was wearing a scout-team jersey at Friday’s practice. Injury report

In his second full-contact practice, tailback Eric Baker said he tweaked the sports hernia that kept him out most of the first three weeks.

“I’m resting it, making sure I come back 100 percent, so it won’t be a nagging injury,” Baker said. “I’m just taking my time on it.”

Quote of the day

“I told Joe if I looked like him, I’d still be playing,” – USC assistant coach and former Duke receiver Steve Spurrier Jr. on the physical ability of the 6-foot-4, 199-pound Hills.

Extra points

USC coach Steve Spurrier said today’s scrimmage would feature a lot of young players, with Stephen Garcia and Reid McCollum expected to get most of the snaps at quarterback. “Our quarterbacks need to play,” he said. “They haven’t played much at all.” …

Leon Mackey, the USC signee who failed to qualify academically, plans to enroll at Hines (Miss.) Junior College. Mackey, a defensive end from Delaware, was denied admission to Virginia Tech last year.

Up next

USC will hold its fourth scrimmage at 11 a.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. It is closed to the public.

-- Joseph Person

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