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Reese Phillips gives his take on Kentucky quarterback competition


Freshman quarterback Reese Phillips is never mentioned as a contender for the starting job at Kentucky but some who have seen UK practice have been very impressed with his play. Still, I thought he might have an interesting perspective on how Maxwell Smith, Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles are faring in the quarterback competition.

Question: How do you see the quarterback competition going?
Phillips: “One of the scrimmages I could sort of tell (who was on top). Honestly, every day it is someone different (doing best). That is what coach Brown wants is consistency and we really have not had anyone who is real consistent. We have guys — and I won’t say a name — who have real good days and then all of a sudden they fall off and then come back. In my mind, I sort of know (who will be the starter) but I can’t tell you for sure.”

Question: What is the biggest thing Brown is looking for in a starting quarterback?
Phillips: “Tempo. Decision making. That is pretty much it. We can all throw it. Everybody can at this level. But it is decision making and living with your decisions and don’t second guess yourself. And tempo.”

Question: Does the quarterback have a lot of freedom in this offense?
Phillips: “We do have a lot of freedom. When we run certain combos or stuff like that, we can decide about running or throwing. He never gets on to us about our decisions. He might say, ‘Maybe you should have done this,’ but he has never got on us about that.”

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  1. Pacman

    Based on the quotes from Reese Phillips looks like Neal Brown is a great players coach. Will be a good change from what we’ve seen in the past. It seems like some of the past staff (starting with the OC) had some egos that needed to be stroked and used the process of running the offense or defense to do it. I think it cost us some wins and a lot of lost player development.

  2. Larry Pup

    Great interview. The starter at qb may surprise us all. It will beinteresting to see how Towles fares.

  3. Ira

    I would think Maxwell Smith would be the QB in the lead, kinda surprising he isn’t. He looked good in the up tempo offense Joker was running at the beginning of the season last year. Read the defense fast, quick release, was accurate. I’m wondering if he is still shaking the rust off from the shoulder surgery. Either way, all of us will have some idea where these three QB’s stand in relation to each other come the 13th.

    Hope Reese keeps working hard as well. Never know, he may be called to go in as well. 3 QB injuries last year. Almost unheard of, but it happened, and helped tank our season last year.

    1. Larry Pup

      No protection. That has to change quick.

  4. RJ

    Based on what I have “seen” Max Smith has to be the one to beat out. He is hyper accurate and if you are going to play the spread, it doesn’t do you any good to throw passes if you can’t hit the receiver at a high percentge rate.

  5. fan fan

    based on what I have seen Jalen Whitlow is the front runner…hes been more accurate and a stronger arm. his speed on roll outs, zone reads, quick game has been the best. he has less interceptions than the other 2 and more accurate.

  6. Thomas

    Based on what I’ve seen, Max Smith is doing great and as long as he is doing an equal job as the other 2, he should probably get it just for seniority. Jalen should also be right up there with Max. Jalen has the quickness that is needed. But it should be between these 2. Too much hype for Towles and isn’t that impressive yet. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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