It hasn't been easy being Kentucky's quarterback the past few seasons. But Mark Stoops knows which player he wants to try and change that.
Direct from Stoops' Twitter feed Monday morning:
After thorough evaluation and a hard fought competition, we are naming Patrick Towles as our starting quarterback.— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) August 18, 2014
This competition has brought out the best in our quarterbacks and I'm confident in Patrick moving our team forward.— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) August 18, 2014
A redshirt sophomore, Towles beat out redshirt freshman Reese Phillips and four-star true freshman Drew Barker, an early enrollee. Towles was considered the narrow favorite coming out of spring practice, though fall camp began with all three sharing equal reps in practice.
Like Phillips and Barker, Towles has never started a college game, though he did appear in five games as a true freshman in 2012 (completing 19 of 40 passes for 5.8 yards an attempt) before redshirting in Stoops' first season in 2013.
The Wildcats' 2013 starter, Max Smith, underwent offseason shoulder surgery and was not considered a serious candidate to earn the starting job by most Kentucky followers. Stoops recently said Smith was not yet 100 percent.
A former four-star in-state recruit himself, Towles faces arguably the toughest quarterbacking job in the SEC. But Stoops himself would tell you: if the Wildcats are to make any progress in the East, it's a challenge Towles has to prove himself up for all the same.