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February 1, 2010

Rivals.com Spring Practice Primer: Independents

We're two days from National Signing Day, and that also means the start of spring practice is just around the corner.

The first team to open spring ball? It's Duke, on Feb. 15. (Uhh, that's two weeks from today.)

To get you primed for spring practice, here's a look at the start dates for all 120 FBS teams plus the overriding problem each program must deal with during spring drills.

Independents Spring Practice Primer

Practice begins: Feb. 17.
Spring game: March 27.
Biggest task: Army's quarterback situation is settled as Trent Steelman prepares for his sophomore season. The Black Knights now need to get more weapons around him as they try to get more big plays. Army was a game away from bowl eligibility last season despite ranking 117th in the nation in total offense and scoring offense.

Practice begins: March 29.
Spring game: April 23.
Biggest task: The position to watch at Navy this spring is linebacker, where the Midshipmen have to replace all four starters. The Middies would love to find someone who can fill the shoes of Ross Pospisil, who recorded more than 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons.

Practice begins: March 26.
Spring game: April 24.
Biggest task: New coach Brian Kelly has a busy spring ahead of him. The Irish need to figure out their quarterback situation since likely 2010 starter Dayne Crist has a torn ACL that will keep him out of spring practice. Crist's injury leaves early enrollee Tommy Rees as the only healthy scholarship quarterback, though receiver John Goodman could move to quarterback and walk-on Nate Montana has returned from Pasadena City College to add depth. The Irish also must begin the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme under new coordinator Bob Diaco.

MORE: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | SEC | Pac-10 | MAC | C-USA | MWC | WAC | Sun Belt

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