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Reese Phillips Makes Four


Since Mark Stoops’ arrival, four Kentucky quarterbacks have transferred. Starting with Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles, and now Reece Phillips later followed suit.

Concerning? Yes. But in 2015/16, quarterbacks on the move are about as newsworthy as what I had for supper. With no intention to magnify or disrespect departing players, in today’s college football environment, quarterbacks play or find a new home. Grass was greener for both Smith and Whitlow as the pair found post-UK success. As for Towles and Phillips, time will tell.

So, what does this mean for the 2016 Wildcats? For better or worse, Mark Stoops will be eternally conjoined with Drew Barker. Of the four QBs that left Lexington, all were signed or originally recruited by Joker Phillips. Drew Barker is Stoops’ guy. As the leader of the vaunted Class of 2014, the time is now for that group to transition propaganda to touchdowns, catches, tackles, and ultimately wins. 

UK is one hit or off the field incident from true freshman Gunnar Hoak or walk-on Davis Mattingly being the starting quarterback. Think about that for a minute. Kentucky has gone from three quarterbacks with game experience on its roster to just one. The one, Drew Barker has started all of two games and played in five. His numbers: 50% completion percentage after going 35-70 for 364 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown pass.

Gunnar Hoak is a promising passer. Preceding Phillips’ announcement, Hoak’s decision for January enrollment has become an unexpected sanctification. Mattingly impressed during the Border Bowl and is a capable signal caller if called upon. However, the Kentucky quarterback position can now best be described as precarious. Amplifying the issue is that Kentucky’s offense will be led by its yet to be named third offensive coordinator in three years. UK is not the only program in this situation. From Lexington, Gainesville, and College Station, welcome to college football in the 21st century.

Some have inquired if the high number of quarterback transfers are a reflection of a speculated locker room divide. Generalizing the foursome would be unfair. Each move was most likely determined by varying factors. To lay sole blame on conjecture would be overly simplistic. Regardless of reason, I am confident in saying that Smith, Whitlow, Towles, and Phillips are all stand-up young men and wish them the very best. But the program and life must go on. Thank you and goodbyes will be quickly forgotten as tomorrow becomes paramount in the win at all cost and unforgiving Southeastern Conference.

As I’ve told many high school teams and groups of college football hopefuls, the one word that is constantly screamed on the game or practice field is NEXT. For Kentucky, next is now the only operative proposition.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

21 Comments for Reese Phillips Makes Four

  1. blueballs80
    2:26 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Its Drew’s show now. Towles had hit his peak/celing so there was not much left for him here. I guess it was time for the QB slate to be wiped clean and now Drew can get majority of the reps. Last season, he just didn’t get too many due to poor OL play and lack of execution on offense.

    Tate should shore up the left tackle to help him. Jordan Swindle underachieved so no loss there as well. Reese is the one guy that should have been given more opportunities earlier on but Brown didn’t really do much for him. Max was always injured and never the same and Jalen was not a SEC QB. In reality we didn’t really have very many good QB”S. Time will tell with Barker.

  2. Shredder
    2:47 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    I’d say the term “concerning” is a bit of an understatement.

  3. jimlowe7
    2:56 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    The current situation is the BEST for the program as we transition into annual RELEVANCE! Each of the 3 QB’s who will be in Spring practice actually have great MINDS as well as athletic ability. Rather than try to “fit” an OC’s system to the LIMITATIONS of what our QB’s can learn, we finally have three players whose intellects can QUICKLY master ANY system. As long as the OL can play as ONE we will have a BRIGHT FUTURE!

    • bigblueforever
      3:48 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      Bright future? Well…if you say so but you see something in this trainewreck that I don’t. Next year, we will lose at home to So. Miss. We will lose on the road to Alabama, UT, UL, Fla, probably Mo. We will lose at home to Georgia and Miss. State. That’s 8 loses. We have two sure home patsy wins. USC and Vandy at home are toss ups. No way in hell this team goes to a bowl next year.

      Defensively we will be worse next year and we weren’t very good this year. Offensively, we have third OC in three years and one QB. What if Barker gets hurt? We gave same suck O line. This coaching staff is… Uh… Let’s just say jury is still out.

      But you see a bright future?? If you insist…

  4. pithuahua
    3:03 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    You can’t blame Phillips, he will start at UTC and play in his home town. Good luck Reese.

  5. BluKudzu
    3:08 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    2016. Well, we we find out early with Southern Miss whether our 3 stars are better than a quality coached team from the sunbelt (?). Last year we almost lost to a bottom feeder in that conference. Southern Mississippi has a good program. A couple of tough games early will define the season.

    • DennyC
      3:23 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      Southern Miss plays in Conference USA. They played in the C-USA Championship losing to WKU (like STOOPS has done TWICE). Southern Miss will defeat UK at CWS to start a season of despair. Kentucky will not win 5 games next year. Write it down. The program is an unorganized dumpster fire.

    • bigblueforever
      3:55 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      So Miss would have beaten us by double digits this year. If we hire the OC that just blistered San Diego State with 7 points, well ….. good luck with that.
      I have family members who are big UK fans and who coach high school football for a living. Although it’s high school, they are very successful and know more than most about football. They feel this UK coaching staff is questionable, to put it mildly.

    • cats42301
      3:59 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      DennyC, thank you for your invaluable insight! (I say that in gest of course). Are you really that much of a loser that you resort to leaving irritating messages on blogsites on Christmas day just to get someone to talk to? Why don’t you get off the internet, it’s for big boys, and go play with your new train set that Santa left you. Wait a minute, that’s right you didn’t get any presents this year cause you were a bad boy because you dirtied your panties when momma was trying to ween you off of your diapers! Why don’t you go practice yelling for mommy to come wipe you while the rest of us men talk about sports. It’s way past your nap time anyway!

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:22 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      Conference USA? Isn’t that the conference the “football juggernaut” down the road used to play in? 😉

    • UK Big Board Update
      10:26 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

      Stoops has only lost to WKU once… dumbass.

  6. Buckeye Fan
    5:24 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Gunnar Hoak didn’t even get a honorable mention on the Columbus Dispatch’s All Columbus Metro Team. That means there are at least 3 or 4 QBs better than him in the Columbus Metro Area alone. Good luck with that.

  7. FunkyMonkey
    5:54 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t like Reese leaving at all. We are one thump hit on Barker away from being up the creek without a paddle. There is more to this story than we know I bet. I thought he was good but I’m sure Reese thought he would never be seriously considered or given a fair shot. If Barker gets hurt early in the season I see an 0-fer record potential. This is spooky stuff no lie and can’t believe more fans aren’t freaking that literally we are 1 deep at our biggest position with an unproven QB. Holy shit.

  8. Tej
    6:27 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    I’m wondering if UK looks at any judo qbs although it’s pretty late to do that. Hoak was the offensive player of the year in 2014 for the Columbus metro area. His coach compared him to Brady Quinn. I don’t know what his senior year was like. Hopefully, by enrolling early he will benefit greatly.

  9. Tej
    6:37 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink


  10. plumloopy
    7:59 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Well, you know, after all the recent success it’s natural that it would be a rebuilding year.

  11. pickle42141
    8:13 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Why is everyone so upset? It not like the ones leaving are getting very much playing time anyway.

  12. 2thepoint
    8:39 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Look, UK is getting a good quarterback in Gunnar Hoak. That troll bUckeye fan knows the gig. The Columbus dispatch Metro team winner for 2014 offensive player of the year was none other than Gunnar Hoak who had a trememdous year and FOLLOWED IT UP THIS YEAR WITH SIMILAR NUMBERS. I got that information from the Columbus Dispatch. In April this year Gunnar committed to UK and then for some strange reason the The great auto-dealership university otherwise known as Ohio State University signee just happened to be selected above him. Hmmmm, wonder how that happened. Best I remember we have seen that show before in Ohio. The newspaper did post ratings and Gunnar is listed #2 for the state of Ohio and #6 for the region. Not bad for a guy not getting honorable mention since there wasn’t any such recognition.

  13. 2thepoint
    8:40 pm December 25, 2015 Permalink

    Tremendous not trememdous, sorry about that!

  14. Scrappy Cat
    7:11 pm December 26, 2015 Permalink

    This is a bad situation. We have no experience at the QB position. If our OL and receiving corp was great it wouldn’t be so bad, but we all know that is not the case. This past years team made the QB’s job almost impossible with bad OL and receiver play. Now we will be starting a QB that doesn’t have experience playing under such conditions. Freddy is worried about what happens if Drew gets hurt. I am just worried period. I seen Drew play against a UL team that was one of the worst teams we played this season and he went 6 for 22 and hit 1 of his last 15 targets. I hope the new OC is a QB whisperer and Drew improves drastically before next season. Because if he looked like a high school QB against UL what in the world will he look like against SEC defenses(UF, UA, UG, UT, etc.). I am more than concerned. I can’t see next years winning record being as good as this years. I mean whoever is hired as OC better be a genius.

  15. Glenn Fohr
    11:12 pm December 26, 2015 Permalink

    Hoping Drew is the answer. Otherwise we could be watching Boston College highlights