Mark Stoops took to Twitter this morning to announce that Patrick Towles is the starting quarterback of the Kentucky football team:
After thorough evaluation and a hard fought competition, we are naming Patrick Towles as our starting quarterback.— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) August 18, 2014
The coaches seemed to indicate late last week that Saturday's scrimmage would go a long way towards deciding who would be the starting quarterback. Crisis averted! Towles appeared to be the front-runner for several months. He had the strongest game of the other candidates during the spring game.
As has been pointed out before, Towles' issues have never been his measurements or arm strength, but rather his maturity, slow-release, and his knowledge of the game. Kudos to the young man for taking advantage of his redshirt season to improve in all of these areas. Seeking out (and paying) quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. for additional tutelage further reinforced his commitment (at least publicly).
In any case, the quarterback position will be much better this season from top to bottom. This is an important development as UK quarterbacks have not remained healthy for an entire season since Mike Hartline ran the gauntlet in 2010. The back-ups could very well get their shot at some point this season. Whether highly efficient quarterback play is correlated to success at UK the last seven years remains another question.
Today's news likely solidifies the chances that freshman Drew Barker will redshirt this season, while redshirt freshman Reese Phillips will be named the second string quarterback. If senior Maxwell Smith can remain healthy he is an experienced vet to have in the third string slot.
Now, what will UK sports talk radio have to talk about...