Cali QB wide open

When Coach John Mackovic was hired to head the Arizona football program he expressed a desire to bring in a top-notch quarterback in virtually every recruiting class. He has been successful thus far luring both Nic Costa and Ryan O'Hara to Tucson. There are several outstanding prep quarterbacks on the Wildcat radar screen this year and one of the most intriguing is Richard Kovalcheck of St. Augustine High in San Diego.

Kovalcheck brings pro-style QB skills and size (6-3 & 205), decent athleticism (4.7 x 40) and plenty of smarts with a 3.7 grade point average and a 1370 SAT. He spoke to Cat Tracks on a recent weeknight after putting in a full day volunteering as a program worker for children with disabilities.

CT: How have you been spending the summer?
RK: Right now I'm working with children with disabilities. I spent most of the day today with a kid who has a spinal cord injury, and yesterday I was working with this girl with Down Syndrome.

CT: Have you been working out at all?
RK: I have been working out too, but I don't want to get my upper body to bulky because I don't want to mess up my throwing and I don't want to put too much on my knee?

CT: Tell us about your injury last year?
RK: I got injured in the seventh game of the season when I tore my ACL. I had already sprained my ankle in n the fourth game of the season and then, in the sixth game I sprained the other ankle, so it was a tough year for injuries.

CT: What was your record?.
RK: Our record last year was I think 8-3. We went to the playoffs.

CT: What do you see as your strengths? You run a little bit don't you?
RK: I do scramble some and I'm not afraid to run. I ended up with like 280 yards rushing, but I wouldn't call myself a running quarterback.

CT: What are you running the forty in after the injury?
RK: By the time I'm all finished with my "rehab" and everything I should be back down to a 4.7.

CT: Which Arizona coach is recruiting you?
RK: Coach Bernstein. He's cool.

CT: Did you attend the Arizona Football camp? Have you ever been to Tucson?
RK: No, I didn't go to the UofA but I went to ASU for a day. And I have been to Tucson before because we played in a passing league tournaments in Tucson my Junior year.

CT: Do you play any other sports?
RK: I play baseball and I might play basketball. In baseball I used to play third base, but I think I might play outfield this year.

CT: Do you have a top five right now?
RK: It changes all the time. Some of the ones I like right now are USC, Colorado, Washington and ASU. I haven't really been to Arizona with this coaching staff so I still have to check them out. I like Miami too. CT: What do you think about Arizona?
RK: I think it seems like a good opportunity for a young quarterback to go into.

CT: What have you seen or heard about the Arizona program right now? RK: I know that as the season went on the offense really picked up, but I haven't really followed college football too much up till now. This is the year I'm really going to start watching college football more. Until this year, I never really thought about how a team plays and how my game would fit in.

CT: Do you intend to commit early?
RK: I'll probably wait and take visits. I'm not going to decide until I'm sure of where I want to go.

CT: When did you start playing football? Did you play Pop Warner?
RK: Since I was little I always liked football, but I didn't play Pop Warner because I was too big. I wasn't fat or anything but they probably would have put me at tackle. My first year of really playing football was my freshman year in high school.

CT: What position did you play as a frosh?
RK: I played quarterback but we ran the ball every single play. I played quarterback and middle linebacker.

CT: What are the things you will be looking at in making your decision?
RK: It will come down to where I feel is the best place for me. I'll be looking at the coaching staff I'm going to be spending time with for the next five years as well as the people around me there. And I will also look at whether or not I would like to be there even without football.

CT: What do you plan to study in college?
RK: I'll probably study business and management.

CT: Are you a good student?
RK: I get pretty good grades. I have about a 3.7 grade point average?

CT: You are already qualified on the SAT?
RK: I got a 1320.

CT: Richard, couple of quick personal questions. Favorite Food?
RK: Pizza

CT: Do you have any hobbies?
RK: I like to surf and beach volleyball.

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