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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Backup quarterback Heavner actually a junior this season

    At the beginning of the year, it was thought that with the eligibility of quarterbacks Adam Austin and Kris Heavner expiring after this season, the Arizona football program would be forced to turn to untested Tyler Lyon as a backup in 2007.

    But the team clarified after practice last night that Heavner, who is listed as a senior on the official team roster and in the team’s media guide, will actually have another year of eligibility to use next season.

    “”I think all you all think I’m a senior,”” Heavner quipped to a group of media last night, before adding, “”I guess I’m a junior.””

    Heavner started as a true freshman under former UA head coach John Mackovic and as a sophomore in Stoops’ first season at the helm. But after losing the starting job six games into the 2004 season, he transferred to Baylor in the spring of 2005 and took part in the Bears’ offseason drills.

    After just a semester at Baylor, Heavner returned to Tucson with hopes of making the UA baseball team, but things didn’t work out on the mound, so he returned to the football program as a walk-on, and – after injuries to Tuitama and Austin – found himself starting once again two weeks ago against Oregon State.

    Heavner, who is expecting to graduate in May 2008 with a degree in sociology, said he wouldn’t have to apply for an extra year, as his season away from football counted as his redshirt year. He plans on using his final year of eligibility in 2007 –

    “”Oh yeah,”” he said. “”If I can afford school.””

    UA head coach Mike Stoops said he wouldn’t hesitate to keep the quarterback next season.

    “”Kris has been a really solid kid for us,”” he said. “”He’s a great team guy.””

    Walters to play Saturday

    Lute Olson brought his sense of humor to the Winter Sports Kickoff Luncheon, which was previously held for solely men’s basketball but this year also featured gymnastics, swimming and diving and the women’s basketball team.

    “”People asked me why we were recruiting a 5-7 guard,”” Olson told the crowd of several hundred as he put his arm around Nic Wise. “”Well, he’s up to 5-9 and a half.””

    When asked by someone in the crowd how the defense is coming along, Olson responded, “”In three weeks, we’ve gotten to D-E-F.””

    Joking aside, however, Olson confirmed that forward Marcus Williams will not play in Saturday’s exhibition game against Team Georgia on Saturday. Williams, who is saddled with a right ankle injury, has not practiced since Oct. 24.

    Center Kirk Walters, on the other hand, will likely see his first action Saturday after dealing with the effects of a concussion. Walters has not practiced since Oct. 18 and wasn’t even allowed to get on the exercise bikes because the training staff “”wouldn’t let him do anything physical,”” Olson said after the event.

    But Olson is hopeful that the senior will get back on the court for practice today and tomorrow and will be available in some capacity on Saturday.

    “”Maybe it’s four minutes at a time or whatever he can handle in terms of his wind,”” Olson said of Walters’ possible playing time.

    Meanwhile, guard Jawann McClellan, who is coming off knee surgery, had a “”great practice”” Tuesday and Olson said he likes what he sees from the Houston native.

    “”He’s shooting the lights out,”” Olson said.

    – Roman Veytsman contributed to this article

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