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SO. MISS: Less than a month after kidney transplant surgery, Derrick Nix is back on the field. But instead of bowling over would be tacklers, the former tailback is instructing young players at the Golden Eagles camp.

"Feeling great," said Nix, who met with reporters for the first time since his surgery. "The best I've felt in six or seven months."

Nix returned to Hattiesburg last Friday after spending about two weeks in an outpatient program run by the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital.

He is about 20 pounds lighter _ at 205 _ than when he received a kidney on June 6 from his oldest brother, Marcus. And he has a 6-inch scar on his right side, which he gladly traded for the dialysis machine he had been using daily since December.

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