O'Hara back in the fold

Last week Ryan O'Hara left the Wildcat football team to deal with family issues. It was not known if the sophomore quarterback would return to the program, but many speculated that it was the end of his Wildcat career. Not only is O'Hara returning to the program, but he's doing it much sooner than expected.

When Ryan O'Hara left the team last week he was expected to be gone for at least the rest of the semester, if not longer. His younger brother was undergoing a difficult kidney transplant and he felt his place was with the family. To make things tougher, this is a busy time of the year for his father's business and the elder O'Hara was going to be on the road for several weeks while Dustin O'Hara gets better.

Originally the plan was for O'Hara to re-evaluate his place with the team and possibly come back in January, but with Dustin's recovery going better than expected, he made the decision to return this week.

"He's in good spirits and everything is going well," Canales said of Dustin's recovery. "We got the call today and Ryan said that he wanted to come back. As far as we knew if he got back in school and did what he had to do he could come back. I'm happy. He said ‘coach, I'm home'."

O'Hara still has to regain admission to the university, but that is supposed to be a mere formality. University officials were well aware of his brother's illness and O'Hara was in good academic standing.

O'Hara attended Tuesday's practice in street clothes, but could practice as early as Wednesday.

"I'm hoping he'll be out here tomorrow," Canales said. "That is what his plan is. He just has to get cleared. I think the dean and everyone else knows the details."

It was a good time for O'Hara to come back as Kris Heavner has been limited the past two days with what Wildcat coaches describe as a bad case of the stomach flu.

"Right now No. 8 (Richard Kovalcheck) is the back-up and I'm going to prepare that way." Canales explained. "He needs to know that just because he (O'Hara) is back that he isn't automatically the back-up. Rich has worked extremely hard and with Kris having the flu I have to get him some work"

Heavner is not expected to miss any more time. Canales indicated that it should be okay as Wednesday and Thursday are the two most important days of practice.


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