Two weeks remain until the college football season opens up between the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals. In all of this, one question remains. Who will be the starting quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats?
It seems as if it could be an Abbott and Costello routine at the moment. I imagine it would go something like the next paragraph.
Who is the starting quarterback? Who? The guy that’s behind center. Who? The guy that’s throwing the ball!
Of course, when it comes to athletics at the University of Kentucky, nothing is a joking matter. That is how serious that the fans and alumni see things when it comes to the school in Lexington. It’s true that most fans focus on basketball more so than football but ever since Rich Brooks took over as coach in 2003, it begin to change. Once the scholarships were no longer reduced, fans started to see what Kentucky Football could be. We saw what happened when Kentucky went to 5 consecutive bowl games. Four under Coach Brooks with the Cats going 3-1.
As John Clay has informed us, today is a decision day when it comes to the depth chart for the football team. If an announcement is made today, it won’t be made public until Monday at the earliest unless somebody close to the team decides to leak it but I really do not see that happening at all.
Yesterday saw a scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium. Coach Joker Phillips had some remarks about what he saw on the field.
Having indicated that he was pleased with the play of the quarterbacks, the coach said that he could be “coming out of this thing with some type of decision (about a starter) hopefully tomorrow,” but more evaluation could be necessary.
“We have to make sure we take a look at this and be fair to everybody involved,” Phillips said. “It’s hard to say now that we have a decision, we’ve already come up with a decision. To be fair to this football team and to the guys involved, we have to go watch the film. Sometimes (when) you’re out here with the naked eye, it’s hard to evaluate.”
By now, everybody knows who is competing for the job. The main three candidates are sophomore Maxwell Smith, senior Morgan Newton, and freshman Patrick Towles. Other candidates include freshman Jeff Witthuhn and freshman Jalen Whitlow. I highly expect that the latter two will most likely be redshirted.
Towles, the grandson of Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, is a 4-star recruit and the top player in the Commonwealth of Kentucky according to Rivals. He’s the 9th best quarterback in the class of 2012. Towles is likely the future face of Kentucky football and is a contender for the starting spot.
My gut feeling is that Maxwell Smith will be named the starter. Make no mistake that Towles is a part of the conversation. I don’t see him getting redshirted at all this season. He could very well be the second stringer over senior quarterback Morgan Newton.
I’m giving Coach Phillips the benefit of the doubt here. Where some fans have turned against him, he still has my support. Whoever he picks as the starter will have my full-fledged support. While it is true that 2011 was a down season for football at UK, I don’t blame Coach Phillips. I look at the amount of offense that graduated or went pro. Some of those numbers just could not be replaced. Maybe this season, things can change. Maybe they won’t. I don’t have the answers nor do I claim to have the answers. But one thing is for sure as we head into this season: In Joker I Trust.