Highlands High (Ft. Thomas, KY)
Perhaps no freshman has ever arrived at Kentucky with the fan anticipation and expectations that Patrick Towles brought with him when he signed with UK in February. While he may have been the crown jewel of the 2012 signing class, Towles’ recruitment started much differently than it ended.
During the summer of 2010, a sophomore quarterback from northern Kentucky started making waves in recruiting circuits and attracting attention on a non-stop basis. That guy was Zeke Pike. Despite the fact that he did not start a varsity game until his junior season and played for little known Dixie Heights High School, Pike was the most talked about member of the 2012 class from his sophomore season on. Meanwhile, Towles was continuing to take in state championships at Highlands High School and going about his business quietly. After offering only Pike initially, Kentucky held off on pursuing Towles until late in the recruiting process in 2011. After a short period of flirtation, Towles committed to Kentucky and professed that he, the grandson of former UK great/MLB pitcher/US Senator Jim Bunning, had always bled blue. After yet another state championship as a senior, Towles watched his stock skyrocket as he was eventually a consensus four-star player and top 15 quarterback nationally. All the while, his commitment to Kentucky never wavered.
The need for Towles to play as a true freshmen will depend largely on Morgan Newton’s progress in recovering from the injury that cut his junior season short. The battle for the starting quarterback job should be fierce, but Towles will likely redshirt if he finishes in third place behind Newton or Maxwell Smith.
Whenever he plays, Towles will bring the total package to the table. He has an NFL arm, prototypical size (6’6), great athleticism (ESPN listed him as an ‘athlete’ instead of a QB), and a solid head on his shoulders. E really ought to after being tutored by former Cat/NFL QB Jared Lorenzon and Chris Collinsworth for most of his career. If he can live up to expectations, or even come halfway, Towles could be one of the greatest Wildcats of all time by the time he leaves Lexington.