Key returners: Nic Costa, RS So.; Ryan O'Hara, RS Fr.
Johnson leaves as one of the best passers in school history and although both O'Hara and Costa are talented, neither have much experience. In an effort to fill the void the Cats are bringing in three quality passers. In addition to a pair of talented prep passers the Cats are welcoming back John Rattay to the fold.
QB, 6-3, 215
Lyndon B. Johnson HS, Johnson City, TX.
Rank: QB #50, 3-stars
Strong-armed quarterback who is slowly gaining national recognition. Played for a small school against less than stellar competition. Heavner is mobile and can avoid the rush. Stats: 151-288 for 2,104 yards and 17 TD's, with 11 INT's. Had 104 carries for 813 yards (7.8 per carry) with 9 TD's. Chose Arizona over New Mexico and Oklahoma State.
"He's the real deal," said his high school coach Todd Brown. "He'll make you all happy. You got yourself a good one."
Role in 2003: Heavner is most likely a redshirt candidate. Although he is lower rated than some of the other Wildcat quarterbacks, Heavner has the tools to be a starting quarterback at the D-I level.
QB, 6-3, 210
Desert Vista HS/Pasadena CC, Phoenix, AZ
Rank: JC top 101, 4-star prospect
Rattay returns to Arizona after a year at Pasadena City College. Rattay backed up Jason Johnson in 2001, before heading to the JC ranks. He injured his knee in the season's seventh game and will walk-on at Arizona. Expects to be 100% by fall and hopes to compete for the open QB job.
"I'm really excited to be coming back," Rattay said. "I can't wait to hang out with the guys and play football."
Role in 2003: Rattay already knows the offense and despite the knee injury will be up to speed come fall. Although Rattay is coming in to compete for the starting job, he is most likely an experienced back up who can come in and lead the team if one of the younger players falters.
QB, 6-3, 215
St. Augustine, San Diego, CA
Rank: #11 QB, 4-stars
One of the best quarterbacks in the country. Rebounded from a knee injury that sidelined him his junior year to throw for 2,626 yards and 19 TD's as a senior. Good size and mobility to go along with a cannon arm. He has great touch and is one of the most accurate prospects in the class. Chose Arizona over Tennessee, although the Volunteers kept after him after his verbal commitment.
"I'm looking forward to getting in there and fighting for some playing time right away," Kovalcheck said.
Role in 2003: Although Kovalcheck has the talent to be a starting quarterback in the Pac-10, it will be an uphill battle for him to learn the system. The Cats would love to redshirt him, but if no one steps up he could see the field.
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