By LARRY VAUGHT
George Whitfield Jr. is known as a “quarterback guru” and has worked with Andrew Luck and Cam Newton, both former No. 1 picks in the NFL draft. He’s been working with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, another potential No. 1 pick, recently.
Soon he’ll be spending a week with Kentucky sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles, too, to help him work on his game before UK starts spring practice March 28. Towles is going to spend his upcoming spring break in California working with Whitfield and renew a relationship that started when Towles, then a quarterback at Highlands High School, met him at an Elite 11 camp in Los Angeles.
“Andrew Luck and Cam Newton swear by him. He is their guy and he’s working with a lot of guys now getting them ready for their Pro Day,” said Terry Towles, Patrick’s father. “He’s agreed to take Patrick on during spring break and Patrick is really excited. They had a good relationship before and Patrick knows it is time to get moving before spring football starts.”
Towles has already been working out some on his own with Donnie Walker, who has worked with current California offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. Walker conducts clinics in the same offense that UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown played in and now uses with his own tweaks.
“Patrick just wants to go out with Whitfield and have an extra eye look at him and see if he notices anything or has any suggestions,” Terry Towles said. “It will be good for him to get in a real good workout before spring practice starts. He’s throwing about three days a week now, but there’s not a whole lot the (UK) coaches can do. People don’t realize how little time the coaches are actually allowed to spend with them. The strength coach can be there, but the offensive coaches are there for spring practice and then again Aug. 1.
“If you are not out there working and doing a little extra, it’s hard to improve, and Patrick wants to get better. That’s why he has been doing some extra work with Donnie Walker, too. He (Walker) understands the Kentucky offense and has a really good grasp of it and can just point out things to Patrick.”
Towles was the premier player in UK’s 2012 recruiting class under then coach Joker Phillips. He was Kentucky’s Mr. Football and led Highlands to three straight state titles with a 44-1 record. He threw for 3,820 yards and 42 touchdowns with just one interception as a senior and threw for 7,429 yards and 73 scores in his career while also rushing for 1,718 yards and 38 scores. He was ranked as one of the top-10 pro-style quarterbacks in the country by Rivals.com and 24/7 Sports.
He played in five games in 2012 and completed 19 of 40 passes for 233 yards and a score. His first appearance against Mississippi State he led UK to a 71-yard scoring drive capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass, but he hurt his ankle in the win and was limited the rest of the season. Last year he was redshirted.
Towles goes into spring practice battling for playing time with Jalen Whitlow, Maxwell Smith, Reese Phillips and Drew Barker.
“The offseason has gone pretty good. He’s done a lot of agility and strength stuff and has done well,” Terry Towles said. “He just wants to be as ready as possible.”