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Should Kentucky Redshirt Patrick Towles?

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.

@wilmhoffKSR

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on blogredmachine.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

37 Comments for Should Kentucky Redshirt Patrick Towles?



  1. Coach Durbin
    5:33 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Of course he should be redshirted. True Frosh starting in the SEC are exceedingly rare and typically come in for the spring if they do start. If we have to pull off Towles’ redshirt, things are in bad shape.



  2. Ist
    5:34 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Patrick towels niothing near Maxwell rite now



  3. 3rd
    5:35 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Nothing



  4. kevin higgs
    5:41 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    if joker smart you start towles or you will see another player tranfering and that happens bye bye joker



  5. UK Homer
    5:42 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, redshirt.



  6. tdogg40330
    5:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    its a good problem to have. Smith impressed me last year, hopefully Towles wont hang his head and transfer.



  7. Common Sense
    5:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I would prefer him to redshirt and by since he seems to have loyalty to this university, I would not think he would be too upset about redshirting. However, I am not impressed with Smith yet. I’m not convinced hes better than Newton, although he will start this season since Newton is hurt. Smith played against the weak part of the SEC schedule and did average. Does no one remember his game against S Carolina (0-3, 3 picks)? Lastly, Joker needs two more years since this team is YOUNG, we only have 17 seniors!



  8. Burger
    5:55 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Let Alex take the train into the hole. If he makes it out of the other side
    then we have a QB battle on our hands.

    We will be best served with Patrick getting a full year in red shirt to acclimate his body and mind to SEC calibur defenses.

    Then when he comes out of red shirt next season, we most likely have a better understand of who our coach will be (can Joker survive this season’s ticket losses) and we will have a stonger Towles for 4 full seasons.

    *If Alex gets hurt and Fig Newton is serviceable, then he gets his 3rd chance. If Newton isn’t serviceable then we are forced to yank Towles red shirt or coast into the Young Money Cash Money Billionaires with a “Come Out Big 7”



  9. SaveOurProgram
    6:07 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    This is why Joker has to go! Patrick Towles should be given as much of a chance as Max to be the starter. Who gives a crap that he is a freshman. Play the best players ala Calipari; don’t start upper classmen just because you don’t have the balls to tell them that are now coming off the bench…think Calipari and Darius! That is the only way for us to start having a competitive program.



  10. Walter Sobchak
    6:08 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    8) who is alex?



  11. StuckInACCountry
    6:08 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    8. You’re right, Alex Smith would be good to have starting next season. Unfortunately, we have Maxwell Smith. Points for them both being from California.



  12. Walter Sobchak
    6:09 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    damn, i meant #8



  13. Valley Station Cracker Barrel
    6:12 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Im imagining Towles as a 5th year senior and I like it.



  14. big tim
    6:19 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    towels should redshirt i think max will be fine in his second year even jared larenzen said he best bet would be to redshirte but if max gets hurt it could be a diffrent story



  15. truth
    6:22 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Uk football is the anal cavity of the sec. The kid must have a brain tumor if he thought playing for joke was a good idea.



  16. John L
    6:31 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    This decision will be one of the biggest Joker makes this year. Personally, I think he should give Towles every opportunity to win the starting job for the season opener. If he is the best QB and beats out Smith than start him as a true freshmen and play him the whole season without a short leash. If he can’t beat out Smith for the season opener, I want him to redshirt. There is no reason burning his freshmen season unless he is clearly the best QB on the team. The WORST possible scenario is that Towles is the backup and thrown into the mix but given a short leash. That would completely waste the season for our likely QB of the future.



  17. jmoney
    6:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    does it really matter? We’re talking about kentucky football….



  18. JBR
    7:02 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Of course he should redshirt…and then he will have four years of eligibility left when we get a better coach next year. And normally I would say that this is a coach’s decision…BUT, after watching Joker coach, I think that the average post on here will be more intuitive and insightful than anything Joker could come up with.



  19. Bluecat
    7:03 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I’d love to see Towles start from day one and watch him progress as the all-american calibre talent that he is. He brings the one thing the programs is in short supply of…RXCITEMENT!



  20. GD4UK
    7:08 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    15 and 17 – right now, its hard not to agree with you thanks to the Joker “coach in waiting” experiment that failed miserably. With five bowls in a row and continuing improvement almost every year, including 6 winning seasons in a row, Brooks did his job and he did it well.
    But the mistake was Joker Phillips. It wasn’t a mistake to give him a one season shot at it, but his first year proved Joker didn’t have the tools to be a head coach in the SEC. He proved it vividly and clearly and there could be no doubt.
    But nice guy that he is, Barnhart and the Board gave Joker another shot. All he did was make things worse.
    And now year three will be more of the same…decent players…poorly coached. A sorry, sorry state of affairs at Commonwealth Stadium. I just don’t know how Barnhart could continue to keep Joker on the sideline when it was clear he wasn’t the man for the job.
    That is what mystifies me.



  21. Roller derby
    7:08 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I’d like to see him have four years under the new coach and staff after Joker is gone



  22. boomdaddy
    7:15 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Play tthe best players. Towles has the most talent. If I was a coach and wanted to keep my job, I would start Towles.



  23. Bookend
    7:17 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Bill Curry threw Tim Couch to the wolves as a freshman QB on the road against an SEC team with him running the option. I would hate to see another talented freshman QB thrown out on the field to try to salvage his head coaching job to appease some fans. There really is no way he (Towles) picks up the system in a few weeks. He needs to red-shirt unless Smith is injured and out for the season. Playing some mop up minutes is a waste of a scholarship.



  24. optimistic
    7:44 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    morgan newton for heisman !!!



  25. Han
    7:46 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Either way, unless Joker gets his act in gear, Towles will be learning a new system under a new coaching staff in Spring/Fall 2013.



  26. Han
    7:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    20) Everyone gets 3 years or more to put their system in place and recruit. Of course, he was already here recruiting, so that wasn’t really a factor. But we’re not so proud a tradition to get rid of someone in 2 bad years. He’s just got us back to where we were before Brooks built some respectability. That said, even under Brooks, it’s not like we were winning 6 SEC games a year.



  27. Common Sense
    7:53 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Redshirt Towles, Joker needs 4 more years at least. Really young team and would love to see what Joker could do with these guys in 2 years. But he probably won’t get the chance since he won’t win a lot (young team, brutal schedule) and since the fan base will be whining profusely. Sad situation for Barnhart because 75% of UK can’t stand Joker and want his head while 25% can actually see the future.



  28. Card's Defense
    8:27 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Please start him.



  29. oldblue
    8:28 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Heard Jared Lorenson interviewed couple of weeks ago as he coached him at Ft. Thomas Highlands and Jared said he will be a great quarterback at UK but, it would really help him to redshirt because it is so hard to come into the SEC and play as a true freshman. He said Patrick is ok with it if he redshirts. So all you experts can take it for what it is worth. I think Barnhart should hire all the expert’s on here and let all of you rotate coaching. We would never lose another game.



  30. the Big Dog
    8:34 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Curry made a bad decision in not redshirting Tim Couch. He played in a few games with no impact. However, we may not have the luxury of keeping him off the field if he is that good. We can’t let this get any worse than it is.



  31. HydenCat
    9:01 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Play the best players in the best positions to win games. If it be Smith, fine. If Towles is better, fine. Joker’s job is on the line, he will make the decisions required to survive.



  32. WKY Dude
    11:08 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    For the sake of his health, he should be redshirted. Sending that kid into battle with the poor offensive line that UK has would be almost criminal. He’s the future of UK football. Keep him healthy.



  33. ??KentuckyFootball??
    6:23 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    First off is Morgan Newton not even up for consideration? Wasn’t he suppose to be our savior coming out of high school? He had a rocket for a arm and could run the ball like a running back. I know he struggled last year and ultimately got hurt and that’s when Max stepped in, but I would think him being a upperclassman that the coaches would be working with him to develop a little touch on the ball and get him to actually stay in the pocket a little bit longer to let plays develop. I know its a “what have you done lately kinda world” but Max started against the weak teams in the SEC and didn’t start when we beat Tennessee. Towles is just plain old stupid for coming here in the first place, he should have went to a big name school and made a name for himself. Playing here isn’t going to do anything for his career except sideline it and make sure that he is back in Highlands working in a bank in 4 years! My opinion (which doesn’t mean anything) is that the starting spot should go to whoever plays the best in the spring and has the best workouts. It just kills me that in all the comments above Newtons name was mentioned maybe 2-3 times. He is only a junior this year and at times the kid looked really good in his first 2 years.



  34. Rich Madky
    9:05 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    You never redshirt a talent like Towles.



  35. Dolfan66r
    9:59 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    It doesnt matter. Joker will resign by game #9 this year. 40,000 at Commonwealth will do it. At best they will be 4-8. I am a big UK fan but the coach in waiting approach never works. Barnhart needs to go too.



  36. Jared
    11:55 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is basically running the spread this year due to a lack of experience at QB, so regardless of what kind of numbers Smith puts up, Towles has a shot at starting. Its not like the pro style offense which takes a number of years to pick up, and seeing as how Towles has flourished in the system in high school….

    Dont forget, Jared Lorenzen was named starter over Dusty Bonner who had a full year behind him (and a pretty good one) and managed to put up over 3000 yards as a true fresh.

    Towles will be starter before the end of the season. Count on it.



  37. spookykim
    1:50 pm April 23, 2012 Permalink

    Def. redshirt. Besides Smith & Newton, we have Jacob Russell, who has been the backup quarterback for spring practice. He would have looked better in the blue/white game if he had had any offensive linemen.