The buzz surrounding the Kentucky Wildcats and new head coach Mark Stoops this summer has been about one topic: who will be the starting quarterback for the Wildcats in the season opener against Western Kentucky?
Unfortunately for the Big Blue Nation, they may have to wait even longer than expected to find out the answer. Initially, Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown said that they would give the fall quarterback competition about two weeks to play out before naming a starter. However, Brown spoke after Wednesday’s practice and didn’t sound so sure.
“We’re getting closer. Nothing we’re going to talk about, but we’re getting closer,” Brown said.
When asked if there was a chance that UK would not announce the starter before the August 31 opener, Brown seemed to think that was an option.
“There’s a good chance (we won’t name a starter). I don’t know. That’s going to be up to Coach Stoops. But I figure, why tell Western? Let them figure it out.”
The quarterback battle is between three sophomores: Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow. Most media outlets covering Kentucky feel that Whitlow will be chosen as the starter, despite the fact that Smith has started games in each of the last two seasons.
There have also been concerns about the injuries that Smith suffered last season. Specifically, his right-shoulder injury that continues to limit his reps in fall camp.
Towles, at this point, seems to be the odd man out. However, it will be the job of Stoops and Brown to convince Towles to stay in Lexington rather than transfer. UK might need Towles, because Whitlow is more prone to run (and therefore, more likely to get hit) and Smith’s injury status remains day-to-day.
At this point, all of the reports, speculation and predictions could be totally wrong, and it could just be Stoops and Brown putting up a smokescreen to disguise who the quarterback will be. Apparently, we may not find out until opening day.