As I was walking around the football camp this weekend, talking to high school coaches or players, they all talked about the 2 quarterbacks at this year's Rocky Long football camp, Gabriel Flores (Montwood HS, El Paso TX) and St. Michael's Kevin Chavez was the other. I made a point to see both of them.
When I first walked up to see the St. Michael's team play they were on defense so I was able to kind of look "K-Chav" as his teammates call him over and he looked like a young man that is about to start his senior year. Not a ripped Adonis type body, but a strapping 6- foot 180lb. young man that could easily put some weight and muscle on. That is exactly what St. Mike's Coach Joey Fernandez said, "Kevin needs to get stronger. He has all the tools but really needs to work on his body to stand up to the rigors of D-I football"
I asked Coach Fernandez how he evaluates Chavez:
Kevin is a good passer, he is very accurate, and can toss the long ball, which we enjoy as well as any other throws we ask of him. He is a pitcher that can toss it in the high 80's so arm strength isn't an issue at all. We run a multiple set offense mostly out of the pro set, and with a QB like Kevin we want to put the ball in the air as much as possible.
With all the build up, I was curious to see Chavez toss the ball and once the St. Mike's team went on offense it only took a couple of passes to see why the Lobo coaching staff was looking at him. "K-Chav" can flat out chuck the rock, on deep patterns, short, and intermediate as well. Chavez leaves no doubt as to whether or not he has a D-I arm.
I also noticed that Chavez likes to move around when the ball is in his hands, I asked him about that. "I play better outside of the pocket, moving around. I don't panic and it isn't a nervous thing. I can stay in the pocket, but for some reason I just like to have my feet moving," exclaimed Chavez. "I like to heave the ball, I don't favor the short or long game, I just love to toss the ball and have fun playing."
The beauty of a diamond in the rough is that not many people look through the rough to find that diamond, being their all day I noticed the Lobo coaches Long and Toledo were keeping an eye on Chavez, and after one of their games Coach Fernandez let me in on a little secret. "Rocky Long just told us that he wanted Kevin to go up to his office after this game." Did the coaching staff feel they had their diamond in the rough?
Prior to speaking to Coach Fernandez I asked "K-Chav" who was recruiting him and he said received plenty of letters, but that there weren't any offers as of yet. "UNM and a couple of Ivy League schools have expressed some interest," said Chavez.
With that I moved on to check out some of the other players during Saturday's camp, when I spotted Kevin later on in the day he told me, "I just got back from seeing Coach Long!" Yeah, what did he have to say?
Coach Long was telling me how they would love me to come play for them and that he and the coaches like the way I play and they think I can play D-I. Then he offered me a scholarship. Coach Long told me to think about it check out my options and then get back with them after I make a decision.
That's pretty exciting news Kevin. Were you expecting an offer when you came down for camp?
No, not at all.
Well how does it feel to receive your 1st scholarship?
It feels good. I think it has been a long time since someone from my school has played
D-I so I'm pretty excited.
So have you committed?
Not yet, I have to get home and weighing my option.
Now the argument is going to rage on all summer as well as next fall long as to who is the best QB in the state and Kevin's name may be in some lists, but might not be in others. He is on one list however, the list that counts for him and for the University of New Mexico. Perhaps UNM has found their diamond in the rough.
To talk about Kevin Chavez and discuss who is the best QB in the state of New Mexico next year, go to our message board NMVarsity.com