This morning Kentucky football announced that last season's starting quarterback Jalen Whitlow has decided to transfer after the spring semester. In his statement Whitlow did not announce which schools he is considering transferring. If Whitlow decided to transfer to a fellow FBS program he would have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out a year. If he decides to transfer to a FCS program he will be able to play immediately.
This news comes as a surprise especially given Mark Stoops' comments last week that Whitlow would be the team's starting quarterback if the season was starting. Stoops appears pleasantly straight forward in most interviews suggesting that wasn't just "coach speak". Also surprising is that Whitlow made this decision before the completion of spring practice.
Speculating, Stoops' comment that Whitlow would be the current starter doesn't necessarily mean that Whitlow would not be the long-term starter. If true, Whitlow knew the starting job would be competitive this season, but would only become tougher in the future and at which point he would have even less eligibility remaining. Also possible: Whitlow's future may have not been at the quarterback position, and he may have elected to transfer instead of making a position change.
Speculating further, Whitlow was a symbol for the football team's failure last season to a lot of fans. Being the target may have just gotten old for him and/or his family.
In any case, the quarterback competition will now be focused on Patrick Towles, Drew Barker, and Reese Phillips. Cases could be made for any of these candidates given public information since late last fall, but this spring there has been more buzz with Towles and Barker. Maxwell Smith may now be a factor in the fall after all as well.
Happy trails and best of luck, Jalen. You'll be missed.