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Jalen Whitlow to transfer from Kentucky


BREAKING NEWS: Jalen Whitlow has decided to transfer from Kentucky. UK announced the news this morning via press release at spring practice. Whitlow started eight games for the Cats last season. Here are Mark Stoops’ and Jalen’s comments about his transfer:

Stoops:  “We respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him. I thank Jalen for his contributions to the team. I want everyone to understand how hard he has worked and the effort he has given since our staff has been here.”

Whitlow: “I appreciate the University of Kentucky and what the coaching staff and administration have done for me. I also thank the community and the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck.”

Jalen will finish the spring semester at UK. Patrick Towles, Reese Phillips, Drew Barker, and Maxwell Smith (recovering from shoulder surgery) will now compete for the starting quarterback position.

We’ll have more information as soon as we know it.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

75 Comments for Jalen Whitlow to transfer from Kentucky

  1. Kash_Ohio
    11:01 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Im going with Towles or Baker starting the first game.

  2. DB11
    11:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    WHAT!?!?!?!?!??!?! NOOOOOOOOOOO

  3. Rei
    11:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This caught me off guard. He’s not a bad football player and was the favorite according to Stoops for now. Was hoping to see him play some wildcat formations this season. Guess that means Towles and Phillips are indeed the frontrunners like everyone has been saying

  4. MTA
    11:03 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Other than some hints that Barker and Towles we’re killing it, I think this is a major surprise to those outside the locker room. Would love some details. Neal looking for a traditional pocket passer?

  5. the_ghost_of_ronnie_lyons
    11:03 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    What an idiotic response to the news that a nice kid is leaving the program….. Best of luck to him wherever he ends up.

  6. Hollahollaholla
    11:04 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I guess I’ll actually watch a UK football game now

  7. Catfanran
    11:04 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Something must have happened for him to up and do this we dont know the whole story and may never know

    • pr
      12:14 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I know. Too many qb’s. Dude wants tonbe a qb.. not a reciever

  8. Zach
    11:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Drew Barker will start the first game. Book it.

    • SEC
      11:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Start a true freshman in the SEC and you’ll be lucky to win more than 1 conference game. Book it.

    • technicolor yawn
      11:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Ummm, 1 conference game would be an improvement

    • Aaron Craft's Rosacea
      11:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      SEC- Tell that to Texas A &M

    • Shows what you know
      11:24 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Well “SEC”, Morgan Newton started as a true freshman and won more than 1 sec game. Including beating auburn and Georgia on the road. So shows what you know. Just sayin

    • memphis
      11:31 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I’ll give you the Georgia game regarding Morgan Newton but the Cats beat Auburn in spite of him, not because of him.

    • SEC
      11:31 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Manziel and Newton didn’t play on this crappy team. They had help.

    • cwhunt0
      11:34 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Texas A&M? if you are reffering to Johnny Football, he was a Red Shirt Freshman…

    • Smuv
      11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Manziel was a redshirt freshman. As are the majority of successful quarterbacks in the SEC. If Drew is not the runaway best option at quarterback, redshirt him.

    • Scott Baio
      11:36 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Manziel was a red-shirt freshmen, not a true freshmen. Big Difference there!

    • bddfromcincy
      12:04 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      In general, I would agree that it would be hard for a true freshman to come in at qb and lead an SEC team to success. However, I am open to the idea and possibility of Barker being a freshman starter simply due to the fact the he is already on campus and going through spring drills as opposed to most freshman who don’t enroll until the fall camp. With the exception of actual game experience, this spring and summer should speed up Barker’s learning curve and hopefully put him on the same level, or close to, as a 2nd year player.

    • L1C6
      12:05 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but Johnny Football was a redshirt freshman. Did someone already mention it, I can’t read.

  9. Han
    11:07 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Considering he was “Your starter if the season started now” about two weeks ago, this must mean the staff is confident Barker’s got the job. Unless something major and personal happened behind the scenes.

  10. Randy
    11:07 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    He seen that he wasn’t going to get any PT at QB and doesn’t want to play anywhere else but QB. Best of luck to him.

  11. Notmattjones
    11:07 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This is crazy. My guess would be Stoops told Whitlow that someone else would be the starter (Barker) heading into next season, but this is contrary to Stoops’ interview on KSR.

    Something isn’t right here. Does Whitlow hate the OC? Is he trying to escape a personal problem at UK? Is this a family issue? WTF is going on?

  12. inside info
    11:09 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Neal Brown: Jalen, you can either move to wide receiver/slot or you can transfer. You will not be UK’s quarterback this season.

    Jalen: It was nice knowin’ ya. I’m OUT!

  13. Admiral Halsey
    11:10 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    So from being the “starter if the season started now” just two weeks ago to transferring? Towles and/or Barker and or Phillips must really be tearing it up in practice and grabbed a huge lead for the starting job. While i’m not glad he’s transferring i’m glad he won’t be our quarterback this year. I just never could trust him.

  14. Andrew
    11:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    But how will we replace lines like 14-28, 120 yds, 4 INT?

    • schwing
      11:58 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      i know. he was flat out terrible. just awful.

  15. Steve
    11:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    The writing was on the wall with all the talent coming in. Would have liked to see him hang in there and try another position, can always use his athleticism somewhere on the field. Best of luck to him.

  16. Catpocalypse
    11:16 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This doesn’t surprise me at all….. our “fans” (a small, but loud, amount) have been doing nothing but bustin’ Jalen’s balls the past few years. The guy was doing the best he could with what we had. This will make us look stupid once that comes out. Thanks idiot loudmouth, crap slingers…..

    • L1C6
      11:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Well your comment is what looks stupid now, after finding out that Jalen just refused to switch positions bc he isn’t good enough to be QB next year.

  17. Biff Switters
    11:16 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Jalen might have started the season, but the long term trajectory of the QB position for this coaching staff trends away from a Whitlow and more toward a Phillips, Towles, Barker anyway. I would have rather had Whitlow as a playmaking threat out of the slot and/or backfield. I think it could add another dynamic option and someone smart and savvy enough to run the offense, but in a supporting role. I guess that’s not something Whitlow wants. I’d rather have it happen now so Reese, Towles, and Phillips can all mentally prepare.


  18. Actually
    11:16 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think he might have just stumbled upon this web site’s “Comments” section from last week. After Stoops’ “If we played today . . .” statement naming Whitlow the current favorite (and it was announced here on KSR), several fans got nasty and negative . . . FAST.

    Didn’t Matt Jones even mention on-air that Whitlow’s father emailed or Tweeted him about all of the negativity aimed at his son?

  19. Will
    11:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I am honestly not that shocked. While Jalen did well with what he had, his ceiling is low. He can make plays with his feet, but his accuracy is sometimes suspect. Towles can toss the ball well (was inconsistent in beginning, but just look at his very first drive his Freshman year). Barker has huge upside with rocket for an arm and making plays with his feet. Reese has been solid all around as well. I think Jalen just saw the writing on the walls, especially with the staff asking him to change positions. I wish him the best, and I loved watching him play. But he is not the best choice to lead a SEC team.

  20. bluebloodtoo
    11:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I always feel bad for the players that are transferring, but in most cases it’s a good thing for both parties. I hope Whitlow can find a better fit for what he wants.

    • Boneboy
      3:18 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Well said!

  21. Ruffnuf
    11:20 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Well like I always said “Good coaches got to make tough decisions”! This should’ve happened last year. While Auburn took a JC qb to the top, UK was spinnin wheels. Expect a quick return on this investment!

  22. John
    11:21 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    A comment and a few observations:

    #1. Jalen is a great athlete and the BBN should be thankful for his conduct off and on the field.

    #2. It’s obvious with this move that Brown wants to shift the offense to the Air Raid philosophy, which did not see the field with Whitlow running the offense.

    #3. It’s obvious that Brown sees more value running the ball with the running backs, while the defense is protecting against a true passing threat, than with the majority of running yards coming from QB keepers or busted plays, because the defense doesn’t have to worry about protecting against a consistent passing game.

    #4. Whitlow obviously didn’t want to play another position.

    #5. Whitlow is probably more ahead as far as the speed of the college game, with regard to making split decisions, with the starts under his belt, and this is probably the primary reason he was listed as the most probable starter. This doesn’t speak in any way against the different tools that Barker or Towles possess, in fact it probably speaks more about what Whitlow lacks.

    #6. Whitlow needs an option oriented offense to continue at QB in football. He was never going to be successful in a spread offense because of his accuracy problems with short and medium range passes.

  23. Jayone
    11:26 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Jalen will make a nice player for a Georgia State or Grambling. But the truth is, he was not leading Kentucky or any team to the promised land in the SEC. He could have contributed at another position because he has football talent. But quarterback? Nah. I doubt the decision was because of message board comments.

  24. Hayley's quadriceps
    11:28 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think he’s probably a great kid who worked really hard for UK, but he wasn’t very good at throwing a football. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

  25. jpg
    11:29 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    After watching Whitlow last season, I just never felt he was a good enough passer to be QB. He was a great playmaker with his legs, but not the former.

    The job is open, yet he is transferring? My guess is Stoops and company approached him about a position change (to utilize his athleticism) and he declined.

    My guess is that if Barker does not get the starting job, they will grey shirt him and give the job to Towles (who has had time with the playbook) with Smith as the backup.

    • jpg
      11:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh, and good luck to Whitlow wherever he goes.

    • Scott Baio
      11:47 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Why would they grey shirt Barker?

    • Charlie
      2:03 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You mean redshirt. Grey shirt means that you skip the fall semester after graduating high school and enroll in college in January for the spring semester.

  26. Stoopid
    11:30 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Is Mark Stoops on crack? Does he have a split personality? He said on this very show recently that if they had to play right now, Whitlow would be the QB. Now, The Herald Leader has this little nugget:

    “Stoops said Wednesday that he was disappointed that Whitlow is leaving. The coach said he discussed UK’s quarterback situation with Whitlow and asked him to move to wide receiver.”

    A few days ago you said he was your starter, now you want him at WR? Certainly this just didn’t come out of nowhere, he had to know when he did the interview. Why say it then? Stoops is clearly in over his head and it’s another little incident that makes you realize you cannot trust anything that comes out of Stoops’ mouth. The man is a manipulator and a liar.

    • memphis
      11:34 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Pat? Pat Forde? Is that you?!

    • Will
      11:34 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      He said if they had to play a game tomorrow, he would be their starter. Not September, tomorrow. The other QBs have way more upside and have improved. Jalen has been doing this for a while and is not getting a heck of a lot better. The writing was on the wall. Please take your outspoken football ignorance elsewhere.

    • Hayley's quadriceps
      11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You are an idiot and your opinion is seconded by no one. Go back under your bridge; no one here likes you.

    • Steve
      11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Which part of “right now” is so confusing to you? Clearly, Whitlow was the one who had the most experience at that point in time, and the others have a lot of catching up to do. But by this fall, there will be better options to lead this team, and Jalen just isn’t an SEC QB long-term.

    • L1C6
      11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Wow, you mad bro? Did he steal your lunch recently?

    • inside info
      11:36 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      A lot of what coaches say to the media, especially during spring and fall camps, is said to either protect or motivate certain players. Saying Whitlow was the starter was probably to try and motivate the rest to work harder.

      Behind closed doors Towels/Barker/Phillips have shown enough improvement that Brown was comfortable forcing a position change on Whitlow.

    • Steve
      11:37 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Unless Jalen’s arm strength had gotten a lot stronger or his passing ability had improved tremendously from last season continuing to play Jalen at QB for the next 2 years was going to be a losing proposition. Last season Jalen and Maxwell could not throw the ball well enough to make defenses defend the pass thus no offense meant no wins. Simple as that.

    • Stoopid
      11:38 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh I agree it’s the right move. Whitlow shouldn’t be the starter. Mark Stoopid just handled it badly. If you know he’s not going to be your guy, DON’T TELL THE WORLD HE’S QB1 ! Take some lessons from Cal on how to handle the media and fans…jeez.

    • DH
      11:51 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Your handle fits you… Just because Stoops said at the time that if the season started today that Whitlow would be the starter doesn’t mean he didn’t expect that to change over the course of the preseason. He had the most experience/least injuries among the QBs competing for the job. Stoops was asked who the starter would be and he answered as PC as he could. Did you expect him to say, “Jalen would start if the season started today, but someone will pass him in a couple weeks.”?

    • DH
      11:53 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Good lord. He didn’t tell the world Jalen was the QB. He said if the season started TODAY that Jalen would be the QB.

  27. Bill
    11:33 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I like Whitlow, seems like a good kid. But he was never going to lead the team to more than a handful of wins in a season at QB. he was the right guy the past couple of years because he was the only guy. We didn’t have a solid receiving corps, so passing wasn’t going to be a priority regardless. And he allowed people like Towles and Phillips to redshirt.

    The truth is, the staff is building towards a big 2015 season in which they expect to do more than just win a few games. That means that one of Towles, Barker, or Phillips need to be the starting QB by 2015 (really before then), and not letting them take those snaps this year does nothing to prepare them.

    If you want these younger guys to win next year, they have to play this year. Jalen wasn’t the answer at QB, so he wasn’t going to play at QB. I wish him luck, and hope he’s successful whereever he lands.

  28. Rick in TX
    11:33 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Wow! I wonder if Jalen ever heard of a guy named Randall Cobb? I understand he played a little bit at UK and switched from QB to wide receiver. I wonder what happened to that guy?

    • 2mites
      12:03 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I think Cobb was just the smarter of the two.

  29. Boil on Bob Knights A$$
    11:33 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I wish Jalen nothing but the best…….I’m sure he’ll get his shot somewhere and will be a real productive quarterback in the right situation.

  30. Justin
    11:34 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve had seats in the 5th row of CW the past two seasons. Attended every home game despite our inability to play. I can honestly say that when Whitlow was put in the game, myself and those around me were never confident in his ability. I like the kid, but I never liked him at QB. Glad we will have a real pocket passer now instead of a poor thrower and decent runner.

  31. jpg
    11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks for being a moron….He gave it his all. He just did not have the tools to play QB in the SEC. The thing is he wants to play the position, so he has decided to transfer. No harm in that.

    Good luck to him.

  32. Jughead
    11:47 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    He wants to play, realized he would not see any snaps for the foreseeable future. Why not transfer somewhere where he can play?

  33. UKBlue1!
    11:49 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Best of luck to the young man. Wide received would have been ideal position for him. He would have a chance to play beyond college. Drew Barker or Towles will get there chance. As for some of the comments above, a total of 4 wins would be a huge improvement over the last 2 years. I would take that and a offense that can actually score a few points. This team is not going to win 7 or 8 games. It will take a miracle to win 6 games.

  34. Big Mike in The Wood
    11:56 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks Jalen for being a Wildcat. Loved watching you play last season I was looking forward to seeing how things shook out for you this season. Best of luck to you in the future.

  35. 2mites
    12:01 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Cool it everyone the coaching staff made the best decision for the team to move him to receiver. The guy is not a quarterback and never has been. A great athlete but that does not translate to QB. We have seen him for 2 years just freeze at times not knowing what to do and throwing horrible pass after pass. Too bad for his career since he would have made a nice target with his size and running ability. I look forward to seeing a true quarterback in there now.

  36. Tej
    12:24 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I hope Jalen Whitlow finds the right fit at another D1 school. He’s a good kid who put out maximum effort and was a credit to UK. Most criticisms of him failed to take into consideration the players he had around him and the plays he was sent. The offensive line was a patchwork for two seasons and the play calling was sometimes questionable. Jalen became the scapegoat for everything bad offensively. The posters who get satisfaction from criticizing every player and every coach add nothing to the Comments section.

  37. paul
    12:25 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Quarterbacks were born to transfer. Having said that we recognize Jalen gave his all and at times played hurt. Coaches have to make tough decisions. Nothing done reflects badly on Stoops or Whitlow. Kid has confidence in his abilities. Now he will pursue his dreams elsewhere. Wish him the best. No need for name calling on anybody.

  38. Rex Chapman
    12:46 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Word is that Barker is being moved to punter and Teddy Bridgewater is pulling out of NFL draft and transferring to Cats!! Heard this from Jeff Goodman. Done deal. No BS

  39. Big Blue Coming At You
    1:11 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I said last year that i would be surprised if Barker wasn’t the starting QB this season. Good luck to Whitlow wherever he goes but Kentucky hasn’t had a great QB in long time like Barker. It was just a matter of time before he started separating himself from the rest of the pack. Whitlow is a good athlete and we could have used him at WR.

  40. Big blue
    1:22 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    First towels then Reese now barker all we’re blown up as being the new hero when they came in as freshmen so who really is better. Towels lit it up in his spring game then Phillips and I’m sure barker will too. And maxwell isn’t too shabby himself when/if he can stay healthy which has shown to be a problem for him.

  41. KG
    1:33 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Hate to see him go. If his heart is set on playing Qb. then he should go to a smaller school because he is not a sec caliber Qb. Not trashing him just his ego.

  42. UKfan
    3:10 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Didn’t he endorse Shout Stain Remover also?