Kovalcheck on Tennessee and Arizona

Richard Kovalcheck, a 6-3, 210 pound quarterback from San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine has returned from his 5th and final official visit from Tennessee. It's still a two horse race between the Vols and Arizona and it looks too close to call right now.

"I can't believe how crazy and passionate the people are for football there," Kovalcheck said. "It's really like a religion. All the radio shows there talk Vol football and I even heard them talking about me visiting while I was there.

"Casey Clausen was my host and everywhere we went, he had people asking him for his autograph. The players are treated like royalty there. It's going to be a tough decision because there are great challenges at both schools. "With Tennessee, the challenge is trying to compete against the best players and help the school win a National Championship. At Arizona, the challenge is taking a team that is rebuilding and helping them get to their first ever Rose Bowl. Both appeal to me."

Kovalcheck said while on his trip to Arizona, he didn't think he could find a better situation for himself.

"Arizona is where I would go if I could never play football again," Kovalcheck said. "Going in to this process, that's one of the things I said I wanted to do- take football out of the equation and make sure I'm somewhere I'll be happy at outside of football.

"Tennessee is such a great school though and I really like the offense they run. Watching practice, you can tell the quarterback has a lot of responsibility there and calls a lot of the plays. They give the quarterback a lot of control and I liked that. With Arizona, I need to learn more about their offense and what they do.

"I know they pass the ball but I don't know as much about them. Right now, the two schools are 50-50. I need to talk to some people I respect and get their opinion. Arizona is coming over for a home visit tomorrow and Coach Fullmer (UT head coach) is coming over in January right after the dead period. I don't have a time frame for my decision, as soon as I think I know what the best school is for me, that's when I'll make my decision."

Before the trip to Tennessee we got a hold of Richard's mother Ella, who went on the visit to Tucson, said the family loved their time at Arizona and the 'Cats are one of two finalist right now.

"We loved everything about Arizona," Ella said. "Richard enjoyed meeting the players and coaches and we got a lot of our questions answered. The facilities are great, Tucson is a fun city and the whole coaching staff treated our family with nothing but respect the whole time there.

"Of course we brought up what we saw on T.V regarding some of the players not being happy there. We've been hearing that it was blown way out of proportion and was mostly a select group of seniors who just weren't going to be happy no matter what was going on. After talking with some of the players on the team, the underclassmen, we feel that way even more so.

"They have a nice freshman and sophomore class at Arizona and it definitely looks like their future is bright. We had dinner with Coach (John) Mackovic and after talking with him and getting to know him, our whole family is very comfortable with the idea of Richard playing there."

Kovalcheck has already visited Notre Dame, Colorado and Washington, but according to Mrs. Kovalcheck, the Wildcats and Tennessee are the only two schools Richard is looking at.

"He's down to those two," Ella said. "We're all going to Tennessee tomorrow and we're really looking forward to that. We've heard just great things about the school and people there so we're looking forward to checking it out ourselves.

"After Richard gets home, I think he's planning to take at least a couple of days, maybe longer, to go over in his head where he feels most comfortable and then he'll be ready to make his decision. I don't think he'll decide on the visit but I know he won't drag this out either, that's just not him."

Greg Biggins is the Insiders West Coast football recruitng guru. For all of the latest news in West Coast recruiting check out PacWestFootball

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