Vandy gets Kovalcheck

You figured a small-time football program such as Vanderbilt would be one of the first to lose a player due to the new NCAA rule allowing athletes who have a degree and eligibility remaining to transfer and play immediately as graduate students.

Instead, Vanderbilt is one of the first programs to GAIN a player due to the new rule.

According to an article written by Chris Bonney of and posted on, Arizona quarterback Richard Kovalcheck is leaving the Wildcats and transferring to Vanderbilt. Kovalcheck may be the first major college player to take advantage of the new graduate transfer rule, which was implemented just last month. Based on the Bonney story, Arizona's coaches support the player's transfer since he does not figure prominently in their plans for 2006.

Kovalcheck is no stranger to Tennessee fans. When prep superstar Chris Leak reversed his field and opted for Florida over UT three years ago, the Vols made a late but fervent bid to sign Kovalchek. It was a case of too little, too late, however.

Kovalcheck began the 2005 season as Arizona's starting quarterback but ultimately lost the first-team job to true freshman Willie Tuitama. Kovalcheck's eight-game stats for 2005 showed 125 completions in 220 attempts (56.8 percent) for 1,351 yards and 10 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.

Because Kovalcheck completed his degree requirements in three years and redshirted one year, he will have two years of eligibility at Vandy.

Kovalcheck has a good chance to be the Commodores' No. 1 quarterback this fall. The departure of Jay Cutler, Vandy's starting quarterback the past four years and a first-round pick in the recent NFL Draft, leaves a huge void that Kovalcheck may be destined to fill.

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