It is the question on everyone’s minds right now and frankly no one has a clue. I doubt Mark Stoops even know who his starting 2013 QB is and if he has a favorite, the position still has to be won in practice. That is what happens with a brand new coach. We can pretty much throw last years stats out the window as there is a whole new coaching staff and a new system in place. In other words, the starting job is totally up for grabs.
Fall camp starts on August 4th and you can be there will be plenty of competition. But with three viable candidates, where to start? Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown was asked about that recently, and this is what he said:
“We’re going to do it a little bit different,” Brown explained when asked how UK could get enough quality repetitions for sophomores Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow.
“That’s the single biggest issue or factor when you’re going through a quarterback competition,” Brown said. “So what we’re going to do is called a two-spot, where we’ll split up and have three different units, so maybe where the one-on-one offense is going at the same time as the two offense is going against the two defense, so you can get more quarterback reps.”
Let’s take a quick look at the three candidates for the job.
Based on the Spring Game, a lot of fans and pundits seem to think that Jalen Whitlow has the upper hand. Granted, he is the best rusher among the three QB’s but his running did not make anyone forget Randall Cobb in the Wildcat offense … and the defenses KNEW Cobb was going to run. Whitlow had 206 yards on the ground and three rushing TD’s, and improved as the season went on.
Passing accuracy was a problem with Whitlow as he completed just 54% of his passes, but ended on a high note, completing 67.2% over his last two games. Whitlow has just # TD’s versus 2 INT’s on the year, but he did go the last seven games without a pick. In addition, Whitlow was sacked 16 times on the year, but to be fair, that lost yardage also affected his rushing yardage number.
Despite getting a lot of experience his freshman season, Whitlow is still seen as a project. He is new to the QB position and it will be interesting to see if he can keep up his Blue/White game momentum. He has a lot to prove, but if he has a quick learning curve, he is a viable contender for the position.