NEWARK, Del. -- The new era of University of Delaware football will reach another milestone today when head coach Dave Brock welcomes back his squad for the start of spring drills.

The team will open a month of spring practice today, Friday, Apr. 5, at 4 p.m. on the Delaware Football Practice Fields. The squad will practice 15 times leading up to the annual Blue-White Spring Game and Fandemonium festivities on Saturday, May 4. All practices and scrimmages are free and open to the public.

“We are looking forward to getting out on the field and seeing the kids run around,” said Brock, who joined UD in mid-January and has spent the last two months hiring his staff, meeting the players, and preparing for spring drills. ”Our goals for the spring are to identify playmakers, build team chemistry, and determine the style we are going to play. I know we will be aggressive and I’m looking forward to seeing plenty of energy and enthusiasm out on that practice field.”

The squad will practice the following dates, each beginning at 4 p.m. unless noted: April 5, 6 (tba), 9, 11, 13 (tba), 16, 18, 20 (2 p.m. scrimmage at Milford, Del.), 23, 25, 27 (tba), 30, May 2, 3 (tba), and 4 (Blue-White Spring Game at 1 p.m.).

A new event will take place this spring when the Blue Hens take to the road to hold a scrimmage on Saturday, Apr. 20 at Milford (Del.) High School. Fans are invited to come out for a day of free fun, football, and giveaways beginning at 12 noon. Concessions and merchandise will be sold and tailgating (no alcohol permitted per school district policy) will be encouraged. The scrimmage will begin at 2 p.m.

Youngsters will have the chance to take part in fun football skills with members of the UD football team, Radio Disney will be on-site to provide interactive fun, and Delaware t-shirts will be distributed to the first 150 fans in attendance.

Bounce House fun and the team's gameday inflatable helmet will be up for fans to make their entrance. YoUDee and the University of Delaware cheerleaders will also be on hand to add to the spirit. A post-scrimmage Football Meet & Greet will give fans the chance to join their favorite Blue Hens football student-athletes on the field for autographs and photos.

Delaware will once again host a full day of festivities on Saturday, May 4, with the ever-popular Fandemonium leading up to the Blue-White Spring Game.

Fandemonium, which begins at 11 a.m., will feature a bounce house, face-painting, a wing-eating contest sponsored by Hooters, live music entertainment from the Mason Dixon Band and DJ Andrew Hugh, inflatable games, pony rides, photo opportunities, free sampling from favorite food partners, concessions, merchandise, and much more. Members of the football team will sign autographs following the game.

Among the Blue Hen players who will not see action this spring due to injuries are quarterback Trent Hurley, wide receiver Andrew Peterson, offensive lineman Erle Ladson, defensive back Eric Farkas, linebackers Jeff Williams, Kyle Gayle, Derek Battle, and David Mackall, and defensive linemen Travis Tirrell, Logan Shultz, David Tinsley, Laith Wallschleger, and Irv Titre.

Brock welcomes back 28 players with starting experience from a team that posted a 5-6 record a year ago. Delaware will open the 2013 season Aug. 29 vs. Jacksonville (Fla.) University at Delaware Stadium.