Ole Miss Kicks off Spring Football Training On Friday

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) _ Spring football practice begins at Mississippi Friday with the Rebels returning 15 starters.

For the first time in three years the defense will not be learning a new scheme. The Rebels had a new defensive coordinator each of the last two seasons. Chuck Driesbach is entering his
second spring practice as defensive coordinator.

Three defensive starters must be replaced, including linebacker Eddie Strong and safety Matt Grier

Ole Miss will spend most of its 15 days of spring drills, including 12 in pads, on fundamentals and trying to develop inexperienced players.

``The first thing people have to realize about spring practice is that youre talking players, not plays,'' said coach David Cutcliffe, who is preparing for his fifth season at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss returns 51 lettermen off last year's 7-6 team, which ended the season with victories over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl and Nebraska in the Independence Bowl.

Returning starters on offense include quarterback Eli Manning, tailback Tremaine Turner, fullback Rick Razzano, wide receiver Bill Flowers, tackle Tre Stallings and guards Doug Buckles and Marcus Johnson.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)