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Mark Stoops: Patrick Towles leads QB race, but Drew Barker making push

Drew Barker is making sure the veteran Patrick Towles isn't handed his job back in 2015.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest position battles to watch for Kentucky football this summer will be at the most important position of all.

Quarterback is anything but set in stone going into the 2015 season, and Mark Stoops still is not ready to name a starter. He did admit during Wednesday's Governor's Cup luncheon that junior Patrick Towles does have a light lead, but redshirt freshman Drew Barker is gaining ground.

"Patrick has done some very good things, Stoops said." He has some experience. He did some very good things in the spring. We're constantly evaluating that. We went back and watched a lot of tape and a lot of cut-ups and are trying to be very critical.

"Patrick probably has the leg up right now, but Drew is young and playing better and better every time he steps onto the field. He's still going to have the opportunity to throughout the summer and through camp to win the job, but Patrick's got a leg up at this point."

Towles started every game last year as a redshirt sophomore, but ended the year on a slump that now has him fighting for his job for the second straight offseason. The 6-foot-5, 238-pound Towles completed 57.3% of his passes for 2,718 yards, rushed for 303 yards and produced 20 total touchdowns as a first-time starter.

Barker is a 6-foot-3, 216-pound former four-star recruit from Burlington who was rated the No. 5 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country by Rivals for 2014.. He threw for 6,264 yards, rushed for 3,931 and accounted for 113 total scores in high school, but never sniffed the field last year after losing to Towles in training camp.

It's good to see Barker is making sure the veteran Towles isn't handed his job back in 2015, but it's equally as encouraging to see Towles is responding to the challenge well and not letting it discourage him.