PROVO -- Second-year head coach Gary Crowton will welcome back approximately 100 players when the BYU football team kicks off the spring season on Monday, March 4.
The limited-date spring schedule includes workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday beginning Monday, March 4 until Friday, March 22. The final week of spring drills will include a practice session on Monday, March 25, followed by a final practice on Friday, March 29. The team will participate in the annual Blue-White Game on Saturday, March 30 to complete the 15-day schedule.
Daily practices are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (MST) at the practice field. The Blue-White game is tentatively scheduled to begin at Noon (MST) on March 30. All practice sessions will be closed to the general public, however as many as three scrimmages, including the Blue-White game will be open to the public.
The Cougars will return a total of 39 letterwinners for the upcoming season. The list of returning players includes 10 starters from the 2001 campaign, including four offensive and six defensive starters. Matt Payne will also return as the Cougars' field goal kicker. The Cougars finished last season with a 12-2 record, winning their second MWC title with a perfect 7-0 record in league play. BYU enjoyed non-conference victories over Tulane, Nevada, Utah State, Cal and Mississippi State.
It is expected the following key performers will miss spring drills due to injuries and off-season surgeries: Levi Madarieta (LB), Brandon Heaney (DB), C.J. Ah You (DL), and Scott Jackson (OL).
The Cougars will welcome back several players who have recently returned from LDS Church missions. The list of key players includes quarterback Matt Berry, receiver Brett Cooper, Chris Stevens, tight end Jeremy Gillespie and offensive lineman Nathan Hall. Scott Young, a mid-year transfer from Dixie College, is also expected to participate in spring drills.