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WACO, Texas - Baylor kicked off spring football drills on Friday with the first of 15 scheduled practice sessions, going through a two-hour workout at the Highers Complex practice fields and the Allison Indoor Practice Facility.
"We had good energy and good spirit today," sixth-year head coach Art Briles said. "The offensive execution was off a little bit, but that will improve in a day or two. The defense did a great job of moving fast and being in position. We are certainly not where we are going to be, but we feel we are a lot farther ahead than in past seasons."
The Bears, who return 15 starters (six offensive, seven defensive and two specialists), opened the practice with position drills, before running play sets with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense. Halfway through the practice, rain forced BU inside the indoor facility.
Baylor will now have practices on Saturday and Sunday, before concluding pre-Spring Break work on Tuesday and Thursday. BU will pick back up with 10 more practices scheduled for March 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, April 2, 4, 5 and 6.
The Bears boast 49 returning lettermen from the 2012 Holiday Bowl championship team that finished 8-5 and won its final four games.
Along with the group of returnees, four scholarship newcomers went through their first practice as Bears. That quartet included mid-year junior college signee Gus Penning, a tight end from Riverside Community College; early enrollee Chris Johnson, a quarterback from Bryan [Texas] High School; and two enrollees from BU's 2012 signing class: nickelback Kiante' Griffin of Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas, and defensive end Brian Nance of Trinity High School in Euless, Texas.
Four former Baylor standouts, including NFL players Danny Watkins and Kendal Wright and 2012 seniors Terrance Williams and Nick Florence, were in attendance for the first day of practice.
Baylor opens the 2013 season and the final season at Floyd Casey Stadium on Aug. 31 with a home game against Wofford.
For updates on the Baylor football team follow @BUFootball on Twitter.