Kentucky fans are very excited about Patrick Towles, the incoming Rivals.com 4-star QB prospect from Fort Thomas, Ky, and many would like to see him start right away as a freshman. Towles starting as a true freshman is a real possibility. Joker has made it clear to all that Patrick will be given an opportunity to compete for the starting job right away, but would that be best for Towles and for the Cats?
Last fall, Max Smith brought new life to the Wildcats’ offense in his first start against Mississippi State, completing 26 of 33 passes for 174 yards in a losing effort. Smith followed up his strong UK debut by throwing for 283 yards in the Cats’ win over Ole Miss. In two scrimmages this spring, Smith has put up some impressive numbers. In the first scrimmage, Smith completed 25 of 38 passes for 227 yards for 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. In yesterday’s final scrimmage of the spring, Smith threw for 353 yards on 29 completions in 45 attempts, throwing for two touchdowns and two interceptions (one of which was tipped).
With such strong numbers for the passing game (not only in the scrimmage, but also in SEC games last year with Smith under center), it will be very difficult for Towles to win the starting job this summer. Max Smith is looking like he could be the guy for Kentucky, and if he is, should the Cats redshirt Patrick Towles? Smith is only a sophomore and Towles a freshman. If Towles doesn’t redshirt and Smith runs away with the starting QB job, Patrick could be stuck on the sidelines for three seasons at UK. Towles is simply too good to not get a least two serviceable years on the field. If he doesn’t win the starting job, it would make sense for Towles to redshirt. If the team is not winning, however, the pressure will be on Joker and the staff to plug in Towles.