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February 14, 2013
Memphis to Begin Spring Practice Feb. 28
University of Memphis football coach Justin Fuente has announced the Tiger football team's spring practice dates. As allowed by the NCAA, Memphis will hold 15 team practices this spring with the first scheduled for Feb. 28 at the university's Park Avenue Campus.
With the exception of the first week, Memphis' practice routine will have the Tigers on the field Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Following the Feb. 28 practice, Memphis will hold team workouts March 2, 3, 5 and 7 before the university has its annual spring break for students. The Tigers will return after the break and have 10 more practices starting on March 19.
The annual Spring Game is slated for Saturday, April 6, with the final practice slated for the following Tuesday, April 9. Kickoff for the Spring Game is set for 12 noon at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
In addition to the Spring Game, the first two practices (Feb. 28 and March 2) will be open to Tiger Fans. Times for those practices will be announced at a later date.
Memphis will return 16 starters in 2013 - eight on offense and eight on defense, from a 2012 campaign in which the Tigers won their final three games to finish 4-8 overall and 4-4 in the program's last season in Conference USA. It was the team's best finish since 2008.
Memphis returns its top two tacklers - linebackers Charles Harris (79 total tackles) and Anthony Brown (71 total tackles) - along with safety Lonnie Ballentine who ranked fourth on the squad with 66 total tackles and a team-leading three pass interceptions. Returning defensive end Martin Ifedi had 11 tackles for lost yardage including 7.5 quarterback sacks to lead the Tigers' defensive line.
Offensively, Memphis returns student-athletes who accounted for 88 percent of the team's rushing yardage and 72 percent of its receiving yardage in 2012.
Returning running backs Brandon Hayes and Jai Steib combined to rush for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rising senior quarterback Jacob Karam completed 176-of-274 yards for 1,895 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Tigers will have to replace its leading receiver from 2012, Marcus Rucker. The Tigers' returning receiving threats include receivers Keiwone Malone (44 catches for 476 yards), Reggie Travis (11 catches for 162 yards) and Tevin Jones (10 catches for 165 yards) along with tight ends Alan Cross (23 receptions for 301 yards and team-leading five touchdowns) and Jesse Milleson (10 receptions for 98 yards).
The Tigers will also have to replace offensive lineman Jordan Devey, who is participating in the NFL Combined starting this weekend, but returns rising junior Al Bond who played every snap in 2012 at right tackle and Chris Schuetz who started all 12 games on the offensive line last fall.
2013 Memphis Spring Practice Schedule
No. 1 - Feb. 28 (Thursday)
No. 2 - March 2 (Saturday)
No. 3 - March 3 (Sunday)
No. 4 - March 5 (Tuesday)
No. 5 - March 7 (Thursday)
No. 6 - March 19 (Tuesday)
No. 7 - March 21 (Thursday)
No. 8 - March 23 (Saturday)
No. 9 - March 26 (Tuesday)
No. 10 - March 28 (Thursday)
No. 11 - March 30 (Saturday)
No. 12 - April 2 (Tuesday)
No. 13 - April 4 (Thursday)
No. 14 - April 6 (Saturday) - Spring Game
No. 15 - April 9 (Tuesday)