A Quick Glance at the QB's

The Cats are a little over a week from reporting. One of the most important positions on the field is quarterback. Three different players started last season and all three are back. Someone needs to step up and put the team in his back. If that happens, this could be a decent team.

A Closer Look: Quarterback

Position Coach: Mike Canales
Returning Starters: Kris Heavner (8 starts), Nic Costa (3 starts), Ryan O'Hara (1 start)
Starters Lost: none
Top Reserves: Richard Kovalcheck, Adam Austin
Newcomers: none
Departures: None

Kris Heavner was named the starter after the spring, but was not real impressive in scrimmages. Ryan O'Hara showed flashes and has apparently been great in off season workouts. Costs will get a chance to compete for QB job, but they want to use him at other positions. He will see the field somewhere. Kovalcheck had a solid spring, but needs to show a knack for making big plays. He was all too content with the safe play in scrimmages. All four have a legit chance to get the starting nod, but Heavner has the inside track.

DEPTH CHART

Player

Year

Ht

Wt

Hometown

1

Kris Heavner

FR

6-2

230

Johnson City, Tex (Lyndon B. Johnson)

2

Nic Costa

RS-JR

5-11

210

Aloha, Ore (Aloha)

3

Ryan O'Hara

RS-SO

6-6

200

Pasadena, Calif (Muir)

4

Richard Kovalcheck

RS-FR

6-2

211

San Diego, Calif (St. Augustine)

5

Adam Austin

RS-SO

6-3

213

Mundelein, Ill (Mundelein)

2003 STATS

Player

ATT

COMP

YDS

TD

INT

RATE

Kris Heavner

237

121

1501

8

15

102.74

Nic Costa

76

30

362

4

2

91.6

Ryan O'Hara

78

33

341

2

4

91.59

Notes: Heavner was one of less than 10 true freshmen starting quarterbacks in the nation last season…the Cats used three starting quarterbacks for the first time since 1996 when Brady Batten, Keith Smith and Ortege Jenkins all started games…Canales comes to the Wildcats from the New York Jets, he is the second coach in as many seasons to join the Wildcats from that NFL staff…Heavner's 15 interceptions is the eighth highest total in school history. Bruce McCauley threw 18 in 1950…The team threw a total of 23 interceptions, with 21 coming from the quarterbacks. The 1949 Wildcats threw a school record 26…Heavener was the first true freshman starter since Ronald Veal…Costa was the only passer to have more TD passes than interceptions…Six different Wildcats threw passes last season…Heavner's 58-yard completion to Steve Fleming was the team's longest…Arizona did not add a quarterback in the recruiting class.

E-mail Brad atbradallis@msn.com


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