Originally created 11/05/99

SEC notes: Week of rest helps USC



South Carolina coach Lou Holtz said his team spent its long-awaited week off going back to the basics.

"It gives us an opportunity to get healthy," said Holtz, whose 0-9 Gamecocks (0-7 SEC) will play host to Florida next week at 12:30 p.m. "It gives us an opportunity to spend a lot of time on fundamentals, spend a lot of time with our players and looking forward to next year."

South Carolina practiced Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Today and Saturday will be devoted to recruiting, Holtz said.

ONE THAT GOT AWAY:

Kentucky coach Hal Mumme once envisioned Charles Grant wreaking havoc for his team, not against it. Mumme recruited the Georgia defensive endrunning back out of Colquitt (Ga.) High School.

"We actually had him committed for a few days, too," said Mumme, former head man at Valdosta (Ga.) State.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder slipped away to the Bulldogs, where he's now creating an impact on both sides of the ball.

Grant's most splendid day came two weeks ago at the expense of the Wildcats, who saw him rush for 44 yards and two touchdowns on offense and amass three sacks on defense.

"Chucky is an unusual guy," Mumme said of Grant. "He's just a unique talent. He has great speed and great size, and has always wanted to play defensive end in the SEC.

"Guys like Chucky just don't come along very often."

LEARD HURTING:

Barring "a dramatic turnaround," Auburn quarterback Ben Leard won't play in this week's game against Central Florida, Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville said.

Leard suffered a severe concussion -- the third of his career -- in the second quarter of last week's 34-10 loss at Arkansas. He experienced headaches Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

"He does not have any headaches left, but he does have some dizziness," said Tuberville, whose team plays at Georgia next week.

It was the junior's first appearance in a game since he suffered a separated shoulder against Ole Miss on Sept. 25. Jeff Klein is expected to make his fourth start of the season in Leard's place Saturday.

EXTRA POINTS:

Holtz said quarterback Phil Petty has been practicing this week and will play against Florida next week. Petty suffered a severely sprained knee Sept. 25 against Mississippi State. ... Georgia coach Jim Donnan said defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who suffered a bruised hip in last week's loss to Florida, will be back for next week's game against Auburn, while the status of offensive tackle Jonas Jennings, who suffered a sprained ankle, "is up in the air."

Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645 or at larrywill7@yahoo.com.