In basketball, NBA executives have drafted players based on potential for years. Many times, it doesn’t matter what the player has done in high school or college. NBA general managers will take a shot at a player who shows that he might be the next big thing.
On the gridiron, perhaps the same thing can exist at times. A prime example of this could be the 2013 Kentucky Wildcats. The Big Blue has a new head coach, Mark Stoops, and a new offensive coordinator, Neal Brown. These two men will make the decision on the next UK quarterback during the spring and, if necessary, during fall camp.
There are three candidates for the job: Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow. All three are sophomores, and all three have seen at least some action in college games.
Smith was the starter last season before being injured. Whitlow took the majority of the snaps when Smith went down. Towles saw some action before an injury sidetracked his first collegiate season.
If Stoops and Brown make the decision based on potential, Towles could very well be the choice. A former Kentucky Mr. Football, Towles came to Lexington with outstanding credentials. He was a Parade All-American, the Gatorade Player of the Year in the Bluegrass and a four-star recruit from Highlands High School in Ft. Thomas, Ky.
Last season’s plan was to redshirt Towles, as Smith played the season. However, when Smith went down, Towles’ redshirt was pulled. In his first career drive against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Towles went 5-for-5 for 71 yards and a touchdown. However, he was injured later in that game.
Towles finished the season playing in five games, completing 19-of-40 passes for 240 yards with just that one touchdown.
Kentucky fans love when home-grown talent shines for the Big Blue, and Towles is the choice of many in the Big Blue Nation. He has the credentials and has shown flashes of brilliance. If Stoops, Brown and the UK staff decide to go with the player that has the most upside, look for Towles to be behind center for the Wildcats this fall.