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Utes begin spring drills

Utah football coach Ron McBride and his staff officially greeted 86 players, including several walk-ons, for the first practice of spring Saturday morning.

The Utes worked out in T-shirts and shorts and will begin padded workouts Thursday afternoon.

With a number of new players and new coaches, McBride said he couldn't discern much yet but was pleased with returned missionary Sione Pouha, a freshman offensive guard. "I like the way he strikes," McBride said.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Elliott threw a little bit with trainer Bill Bean but did not participate in any drills as he is working his way back from a thumb sprained badly enough that he was in a cast for several weeks. Elliott hurt himself playing basketball six weeks ago. If the thumb withstood its little game of catch with Bean, Elliott may get the go-ahead on Monday to do limited work.

There are 13 more practices until the spring game/scrimmage on April 21. That is the only date when practice will be open to the public. Because so many new things are being implemented, practice has been closed for this spring