If you’re paying attention to Matt Jones’ WKYT KSR Minute or Nick Roush’s inside looks into UK’s practice scrimmages, it’s very clear that there’s no decision yet by Mark Stoops to choose a starting quarterback for the ready-to-start 2013 season. Also clear is that scrambler Jalen Whitlow and passer Max Smith are currently the contenders for the esteemed position, with Stoops undoubtedly watching the duo closely as he makes his decision. Of course, scrimmages and practice play factor heavily into Stoops’ choice — but behind the scenes, an additional series of scrutinizing tests is being conducted to determine the candidate most likely to lead the Football Cats to a winning season. Sources have tipped KSR off to some of these goings-on as UK searches for its next field general.
A written test, not unlike the NFL Combine’s Wonderlic Test, gauges Whitlow and Smith on decision making and practical, applied intelligence. The test is designed to predict success both on the field and in the huddle.
Advantage: Smith, whose quick-thinking in on-the-clock situations projects him as a valid option for tight games and last-minute initiative.
A knowledge of the many plays and routes are key — if you can’t learn the plans, you can’t succeed in a gametime situation, after all. Constant quizzing on the playbook are key to groom a quarterback who knows his team and its capabilities at all times, in any instance.
Advantage: Whitlow, whose dedication to learning the plays inside and out have proven effective in practice, impressing the coaches and staff.
Locked inside a steel cage, the two quarterback candidates fight to submission as onlookers wager and cheer on the combatants. Round two introduces foreign objects, and round three of the competition lights a ring of fire around the pair as they battle for supremacy.
Advantage: Whitlow’s quick feet and gustiness make him a formidable opponent, but Smith’s fourteen years of Brazilian jiu jitsu training are inevitably too difficult to overcome in a ground game.
What if the success of your team depended solely on your ability to convey, wordlessly, the title of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days in less than sixty seconds? A preparation for any situation is key to the acumen of any quarterback as Stoops and his staff write down song and movie titles and put them into a hat.
Advantage: Smith’s demonstrative and expressive face and arms makes him unbeatable through three rounds, his crowning achievement being the ability to effectively mime the very difficult draw of TNT’s Drama Damages to offensive line coach John Schlarman.
Stoops chooses the music, Whitlow and Smith put their moves to the test. Winner owns the streets.
Advantage: Whitlow’s fleet feet are too much for Smith and his crew to handle, leaving them served and seeking new turf to hustle.
While on vacation at the lake, Whitlow and Smith decide on a lark to see who can grow a better beard.
Advantage: Smith’s beard comes in fuller, while Whitlow’s grew faster but is more patchy. Their girlfriends hilariously roll their eyes at yet another silly competition between these two. They’re so crazy!
In medieval England, whoever pulls the sword from the stone — perceived to be impossible — will be the next University of Kentucky quarterback.
Advantage: After valiant efforts from Smith and Whitlow, the onlooking crowd is stunned to find the sword chooses Patrick Towles.