What did freshman Jalen Whitlow of Alabama do to elevate himself above Patrick Towles, the record-setting freshman quarterback from Highlands who was Kentucky’s Mr. Football last year when his team won a third straight state championship?
"It’s different. Different quarterback. Again, we have to get the third guy ready, and I just think a guy (Whitlow) that can win with his legs and some of our passing game, I just thought he would be the guy we’d go with," Phillips said of the decision to make Whitlow No. 3 on the depth chart. "It has nothing to do with the future, but we just thought we had to make a decision, and we made the decision to go with Whitlow."
Towles was willing to take a red-shirt season if necessary, which is a good thing considering how well Maxwell Smith is doing so far this year. Getting some separation between the freshman Towles and the sophomore Smith is important, because it will be hard for Towles to dislodge Smith if he continues to play this well.
I, like probably many Wildcats fans, see the potential logjam at quarterback and worry about a coming controversy. We have seen highly-ranked quarterbacks like Ryan Mossakowski transfer after a couple of years, and part of me worries the same thing could happen to Towles. If so, it's just one more angle Phillips detractors will use to make their case against him, even though you can hardly blame him for playing the best available player.
Let's just hope that it all resolves itself, but right now, Smith looks like a serious SEC QB, and nobody wants to see him slow down or, God forbid, get injured.