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UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown says Patrick Towles has “made tremendous strides”

UK quarterback Patrick Towles (Victoria Graff photo)

UK quarterback Patrick Towles (Victoria Graff photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Now that Jalen Whitlow has announced he will transfer rather than accept a move from quarterback to receiver, where does that leave sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles?

He couldn’t beat out Whitlow or Maxwell Smith when he was a true freshman in 2012 under then coach Joker Phillips. Last season he redshirted after Whitlow and Smith emerged 1-2 in the preseason quarterback battle under new coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown.

“I wasn’t here for the first time, so I don’t know if he really lost that or not, but he has made tremendous strides, now he’s got a long way to go, Patrick does,” said Brown Wednesday. “And he’s still making some decisions that aren’t correct, making some negative plays, but he’s gotten tremendously better from a fundamental aspect. So that should be a positive for him, not necessarily a negative for Jalen.”

With Whitlow gone, that also means Towles, Drew Barker and Reese Phillips will have one less person to split quarterback reps with in practice until a starter is named.

“That’s why we made the decision. We’ve got to get it down to a manageable number. We’re hoping to do that going into fall camp. I think that was part of the issues we had last year is we let it drag out too far and we didn’t get enough quality reps for either Jalen or Max,” Brown said.

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16 comments

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  1. MILLCAT

    I would hope that if its possible to redshirt Barker start Towles and have Phillips back him up Whitlow made a mistake IMO he could have really been a nice playmaker all over the field ala R Cobb I think it worked out for him :)

  2. Andy

    I am glad the coaches are whittling down the QB’s. Let the best man start. If its Barker so be it and let him take his lumps. The SEC is a brutal league and we all saw the injuries our QB’s faced and the struggles with the Oline. Hopefully our Oline has better improved to give the Qb sometime. Running a QB in the league will only get you on the bench faster and we need to spread defenses by throwing the ball around.

  3. Ira

    Glad Towles may be 1 step closer to realizing his dream of being the starting QB at UK.

    BUT …. I have a question Larry V, can you ask about Reese Phillips. They the staff Coach Stoops and Brown both talk up Towles and Barker, but you actually never hear any input about Phillips other than he’s improved or he’s done some good things well today. I’d like to hear something else. They gush on the improvements techniques of Towles, throws in scrimmages, how great Barker looks, well there is a 3rd QB I’m interested in as well. Not trying to come off like a jerk, more like inquiring mind really wants more info

    1. Larry Pup

      I agree Ira. What about Phillips.? Nary a word.

  4. Mike

    It would be nice to hear more about Phillips. I remember last year hearing that he was doing some things better than the others and then he would drop off the radar screen. Hope these guys are all being fairly treated and given equal chance to perform.

  5. Bill

    I suspect Reese is taking care of business. He threw a slant pass for a 45 yard touchdown during the scrimmage. I was able to pick that out since I’m also really interested in how Reese is progressing. I recall at one point Stoops was considering taking the redshirt off him last fall. I think Reese is the one that the others have to catch. I could, of course, be totally wrong. I think the coaches want everyone to keep competing and developing. I also suspect they would like to name a starter after the Spring game. Then the fans will understand the pick since so much attention has been focused on Barker and Towles.

  6. TimA

    There’s a reason Whitlow was let go. The coaches saw what they needed to see at the Saturday scrimmage. Barker is the man. I was just listening to L. Glover’s radio show and Lonny and Jeff both are hearing that Drew is the frontrunner right now.

    1. sluggercatfan

      J.Whitlow was NOT let go …He was asked to move to receiver and left because he didn’t want to change positions…Good Luck to Jalen…

  7. RJ

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist but here’s something that might make you go hmmmm.

    It could be the coaches have already picked the starter, at least as far as it goes anyway. If they have already made up their mind and it is Philips, talk up Towles and Barker to keep the pressure off Philips until fall. Red Shirt Barker and split the early QB duties between Towles and Philips to keep them sharp and go into the SEC schedule with a healthy starting QB. Just sayin’…..

  8. TJ Wren

    I think this is the same problem every year for the last 4 years even with joker Phillips as the head coach. You should only have 2 quarterbacks splitting time with the starter getting 75% of the reps. They need to redshirt Barker yes he talented and yes 1 out of 500 true freshman can play. The smart thing to do is start Towles have Phillips and Smith as the backups. If Towles were to get hurt you would have Smith whos shoulder should be better than ever and has game exp. Then you have a Redshirt freshman as his back up. Barker should learn the system for a year get the play book memorized and get stronger and faster and compete as a redshirt freshman for the starting job depending on how well Towles does this year. The coaching staff wastes to much practice time debating who the best is going to be. They have been coaching for long enough to see who the best QB is after a couple of practices.

  9. TJ Wren

    Maybe if Towles got majority of reps maybe he would break out like they have been waiting on him to do. Everybody is going to always be waiting until they give the kid the football and tell him to win games. Give the kid a chance. If he got to play majority of the snaps in practice maybe at the beginning of the year our QBs wouldn’t look lost out there and they could make some plays.

  10. TJ Wren

    The kids a winner plain and simple. Barker is too he just needs time.

  11. Larry Pup

    These coaches see em in practice, make a decision. They chart these guys every practice would be my guess. Are we to assume all three are so close these coaches don’t honestly know who stands out and who don’t? That is troubling IMO. What is each QB’s completion percentage and knowledge of the play book right now? I just find this mystery a little annoying. I personally think they are making this way to difficult. They went through this same scenario last year. Besides, there is still a fall camp to go through, and all could change over the summer anyway as these kids continue to progress on their own and begin to compete for playing time in August again. I would also have to believe Phillips and Towles should be slightly ahead of Barker in running this offense due to there time at UK. What’s the big secret? I don’t get it.

    1. sluggercatfan

      Think the starter will be named the first week of FALL practice…

    2. Andy

      Maybe the coaches know but they are not yet revealing it? Why not keep your opponents guessing? Not like they have much tape on them since high school. There are still a few more practices remaining and i am confident the coaches would have reached a decision after the Spring game.

  12. joslow

    Either of these guys are better than Whitlow. This team will suffer for not having him

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