Pace gets his first taste of the pros

ST. LOUIS - Orlando Pace got his first exposure to the NFL on Friday.

"It's like being a freshman all over again," Pace said. "You have to learn a new system. Once again, I finally got Ohio State's down, now I've to learn another system."

Pace, the Ohio State offensive lineman who was the first overall pick in the NFL draft two weeks ago, was a bit overwhelmed during the first day of the St. Louis Rams' mandatory minicamp.

"It's all kind of mind-boggling," Pace said. "I was sort of confused. They are trying to put in a lot of things in a short period of time. I'm gradually grasping the offense. I'm sure everything will work out."

Rams offensive line coach Jim Hanifan was impressed with Pace.

"I really enjoyed working with him this morning," Hanifan said. "He assimilates things very well; he's a very instinctive football player. The thing that struck me probably the most was how quick he was for a big man."

U. spring drills

The University of Utah football team will conclude spring drills with scrimmage today at 10 a.m. at the McCarthey practice field.

Like they have in previous scrimmages, the Utes will probably concentrate on running the ball, although they want to take a final look at quarterbacks Jonathan Crosswhite, Darnell Arceneaux and Scott Styles, who have been waging a close battle for the No. 1 QB job.

Coach Ron McBride will also be taking a close look at the defensive line, which has been a major focus throughout spring drills.