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Father proud of the endurance and commitment Patrick Towles showed to become No. 1

UK quarterback Patrick Towles jokes with a young fan duing UK Football Fan Day last week. (Victoria Graff photo)

UK quarterback Patrick Towles jokes with a young fan during UK Football Fan Day last week. (Photo contributed)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Terry Towles got a text from his son, Kentucky sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles telling him that his grandfather would be “partying in heaven” Monday.

Terry Towles knew that could mean only one thing — Patrick Towles was going to be UK’s starting quarterback. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops confirmed that on Twitter a few hours later and then discussed with the media after an open practice ended why Towles, a former Kentucky Mr. Football from Highlands, had won the job over Reese Phillips and Drew Barker.

Terry Towles said his son was “on cloud nine” Monday after winning the job he could not as a true freshman in 2012 under Joker Phillips or in 2013 in Stoops’ first season when he ended up eing redshirted. Few gave Towles a chance to win the job going into spring practice even though he had spent extra time working on his own to improve his fundamentals and play.

Patrick Towles had an impressive spring, played better than any other quarterback in the spring game and then went to Caliifornia for extra work again during the summer break.

“I am extremely proud of him, but I am more proud of just his endurance and his commitment to get better,” Terry Towles said. “I told you a long time ago my proudest sports moment was that he did not give up and was out there on the scout team putting forth effort last year and never once got his head down. I am sure there were some down moments for him, but he never projected that when he was out there practicing. They say sports reveals character and that is a prime example. He knew he had work to do and he did it.”

Patrick Towles said earlier this month that his parents had been a “huge help” to him during his time at UK. He came to Kentucky after leading Highlands to three straight state championships and was perhaps Phillips’ marquee recruit.

“The parents are the people who are going to be reassuring no matter what is going on. If you are really high, they are going to bring you down a level and if you are really low, they are going to bring you back up. I had some highs and lows. My dad, mom (Amy) and my whole family, including my sister, were great about staying on me and just making sure I was alright.”

What was their best advice?

“Just keep a level head. Playing in the SEC, there is going to be a lot of great and lot not so great. They were really helpful,” he said. “I talk to my parents every day. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to them every day, but it nice them being around and just being reassuring. They never doubted me.”

Yet Terry Towles also told his son that if he didn’t win the starting job, he should not look back with any regrets.

“This (being named No. 1) was icing on cake but if it had not happened it was just never meant to be. If he had cut corners and not put in the work, he could second guess. He did all he could do. That’s why he could not have any regrets no matter how it turned out,” Terry Towles said.

Patrick Towles faced some adversity at Highlands his freshman year when he was a safety, not quarterback.

“He wanted to play quarterback. I would notice him always being the first guy to warm up the starting quarterback,” Towles said. “He’s just a team guy and very mature kid when it comes to things like that. The Kentucky thing was much tougher. He had a lot of notoriety coming in and some saw him as a bust, but he kept plugging and it worked out. But he always been a team player and was here for the first two years.

“When he won his second state championship (at Highlands), he came back to play basketball and if he was not on court he would be the one over getting guys drinks. That resonates about what a great kid is. Truly, he is a genuine good person.”

Terry Towles believes his son can relax “and just play” now that he’s been named the starter for the opening game Aug. 30 against UT-Martin.

“He will still be held accountable when he plays, but you can see a lot more bounce in his step after getting the news (about starting) and now there is not an extra worry,” Terry Towles said. “The guys competing against him were putting forth a ton of effort as well and are great competitors. We really had no idea how this would work out. But God forbid something would happen to Patrick (injury wise), Kentucky would still be in good hands with whoever they bring in next. They are great players.”

Terry Towles and his wife will have a shorter commute to watch UK home games their son will be starting. They recently moved to Paris after Amy Towles got a new job.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with the quarterback situation. It was just a unique job opportunity for my wife,” Terry Towles said. “Certainly it will be nice just to shoot down Paris Pike in 10 to 15 minutes and be at UK. It’s a nice perk of now being closer to Lexington, but we had no idea how the quarterback thing would shake out when she took this job.”

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8 comments

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  1. Bill

    Now that the decision has been made I’m pulling for Patrick to have a great season. The one thing about being in the “spot light” is it makes you an easier target. There are so many Monday morning quarterbacks in fan land, and they never make a bad call or poor decision. Just keep grinding away Patrick, and congratulations.

  2. Anonymous

    Dad and Mom must be very happy and relieved with Patrick being named the starter, and should be. I hope he does well, and stays healthy. I also hope he was the right choice, and the other qb’s stay focused and happy to remain at UK. I would not be surprised though if one of these guys leaves the program. There is still a lot of time left for Towles at UK, and for Phillips and Barker, a ton of timel. The questions are, will they,and Max too, be satisfied to take a backup’s roll? Who will the backup be? One of these guys is going to be left out as I see it unfold, that is the problem in a nutshell. Perhaps they could use all of them in a backup roll some way, but the revolving door is not usually effective.

  3. Ira

    Bill

    You know those Monday morning QB’s played way better in their time as college QB’s so of course they have a right to critique every play lol.

    I’m glad he got the nod, but I would have been just as happy for Reese Phillips. Either way we needed a starting QB and I don’t think the staff could have lost by picking either one. I do think partly the reason PT got the nod, PT seems to push the ball down the field better. He has that big arm. Either way, he has it, enjoy it, win us some games!

    1. RJ

      I agree Ira but with one caveat. Big arms do have the long ball potential but they are also high risk throws. No risk, no gain right. On the other hand, if the Cats are looking for a game manager, I’m afraid he’s going to be riding the pines or out altogether which would be a shame.

      1. Larry Pup

        The problem last year was, UK couldn’t stretch the field so much. They didn’t throw the ball down the field or over the middle like they probably should. There are risks in throwing the deep balls, but if no risks no joy either. Plus it keeps the defense off guard and on their heels, and maybe gassed. I liked Reese too, and at times thought he would get the nod based on the chatter, but I must defer to these coaches who observed every min of every practice, every decision each QB made, and every pass made, and made their decision, they say, on those facts. With that said, I think fans must accept their decision, and like Bill said above, in so many words, get behind this QB and this team.

        1. RJ

          You’re absolutely right Larry and I am behind this team. But you have to understand my mindset because I am not trying to be negative about this team. In fact, I want them to go 11 0 no matter who is under center.

          That said, I made a living “hitting singles”. Whenever the company I was working for needed a 95% success on a project, they called my group (my engineering guys) because we didn’t make mistakes and we couldn’t care less about headlines. When they wanted headlines, they usually “threw the long ball” so to speak and once in a while they made headlines and I was good with that because I made money too! I also saw what taking those long shots cost them (and us) when they didn’t work out. I like young men that compete quietly and confidently without making a lot of noise. That’s why I have a soft spot in my heart for young men who exhibit those characteristics.

          1. Larry pup

            I can see your point RJ. I sure hope all the other QB’s stay. They can help this team, and grow and keep competing, Who knows, they could see the field too before this is all said and done this year.

  4. krautdog

    First of all, congrats to Patrick! Secondly, pats on the back for Coaches Stoops and Brown for having the patience and courage to make that decision. I’m that sure most of the BBN thought as I did-that Drew would be “that guy”. I wasn’t a Stoops fan when he was hired but I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for his honesty and decision making. I’m still not convinced that he is “the man” for the job but I sincerely hope that I am again-wrong!

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