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Stoops says Whitlow’s decision to transfer comes after they asked him to switch positions

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

During his press conference this morning, Mark Stoops said he was “disappointed” by quarterback Jalen Whitlow’s decision to transfer from UK, but said that it came after the staff asked him yesterday if he’d be open to changing positions. Stoops said he broke down the quarterback situation with Jalen, and then asked him if he would switch to wide receiver. Jalen told him last night that he had decided it was in his best interest to transfer elsewhere to play quarterback, because, according to Stoops, that’s where his heart is.

Just last week, Stoops told us on KSR that if the season ended that day, Whitlow would be the starter. Reading between the lines, it seems they told Jalen yesterday that they’re moving in a different direction, perhaps to Drew Barker, who had an impressive scrimmage on Saturday. Patrick Towles has also shown a lot of improvement this spring, with Reese Phillips presumably in third, followed by Maxwell Smith, who is sitting out the spring to recover from shoulder surgery.

Best of luck to Jalen. Nick Roush will be by in a little bit with a full recap.

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.

65 Comments for Stoops says Whitlow’s decision to transfer comes after they asked him to switch positions

  1. Too bad. He could have been awesome in the slot and an occasional Wildcat situation. He doesn’t look like an NFL prospect as a QB to me, but if he had agreed to become an athlete, who knows?

    Good luck Jalen.

  2. JDH
    11:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Worked for Cobb.

  3. BamaCat86
    11:37 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I always thought that Whitlow could be the next “Randall Cobb” type player at UK had he agreed to change positions. He seems determined to play QB at the college level. He didn’t even play QB on his high school team during his senior year when they won the Alabama 6A championship. It will be interesting to see where he transfers and what position he ultimately plays.

  4. Phat Cat
    11:37 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Probably needed to happen, still wish he had stayed though – Jalen is a tough competitor and will be missed.

  5. Deliriously Happy
    11:39 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Oh Happy Day!!!!! Very sorry to see him leave as he would have been a contributor at WR and would have seen a lot of time on the field. However, he is not and never will be an SEC QB. This is great overall for the program.

  6. JimG
    11:41 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Im gonna get called a “troll”, “Cardinal Fan” or whatever but I am true blue UK however this is more of the same thing with UK football, 1 already pulled his commitment and now Whitlow leaving.

    More chaos and bad football coming in for UK this season.

    30+ years as a UK fan and all I can say is thank God for UK basketball.

    • OldUKFan
      12:12 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I’ve been a fan for 40 years and I still strongly support the football program and Coach Stoops. Losing a kid to Alabama is nothing to hang your head about. The fact that we have kids of that caliber considering Kentucky is a step up. Whitlow is a great athlete but his skills do not fit with the long term plan for the type of offense Kentucky will be running under Brown. His best chance to play at the next level would have been to showcase his talents at wide receiver. If his dream is to be a college quarterback then he made the right choice. Towles and Barker are both very talented passers which is what Brown needs.
      Good luck to Jalen.

    • RUPPS_rhetoric
      12:31 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I can see your point, but lets also keep in mind Whitlow was a hold-over from the previous regime. This type of shuffling ALWAYS happens when coaching changes take place. Now if Barker leaves in 2 years then you may have a point, but I don’t think Whitlow transferring is that massive of a red flag. As far as the early commits de-committing goes. I think that’s just part of the territory when you are going up against the big boys of Big D1 football programs. We’re going to have to fight to keep some of these guys. We’re going to lose commit’s, everyone does; but we’re also going to flip people as well. As long as we aren’t losing kids to the South Florida’s and East Carolina’s of the world (No offense) then I think this is just part of trying to recruit in the big leagues. Again not a red flag for me. #STOOPSTROOPS

    • Pistol Pete
      1:33 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      JimG you are no fan. You continually write negative posts about football. Just shut the f### up!!! Take your negativity somewhere else. I am sure you have not attained much success in life with such an attitude. For you the glass is always half empty!

    • Carter
      10:32 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      If you have to mention how thankful you are for basketball just don’t bother to post.

  7. Rei
    11:43 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Hope he doesn’t end up like Tebow in the NFL

    • Haha
      11:46 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      How on earth can you even make that comparison?

    • eric
      11:51 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Because douchebag Tebow would not ever consider changing positions. I never understood the guy. Desperately wants to play in the NFL/ probably could if he would change positions/ doesn’t want to be anything but a quarterback. Dumb.

    • Dandy Don
      12:23 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      How does not changing your position make you a douche? How do you know he would be in the NFL if he would’ve changed positions anyway? Have you ever seen him run a route and catch a pass?

    • beavis
      12:53 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      No, but I have seen him run and I bet he has a decent pair of hands. Would have made a decent tight end I would bet.

  8. memphis
    11:44 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    You can’t say you’re true blue and then say crap like this about the program. True blue means sticking with the team through the rough times (and there have been many) and the good times (which makes them even more special). I won’t call you a troll or a Cardinal fan but I still recommend you find another program to support.

    • 9-asty
      12:28 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      That’s like saying to be a true American you can never say anything bad about the country, including the president, and anyone who does say something bad about the president should move to another country.
      True blue doesnt mean blindly following and supporting all the sports teams. If it does then I am sure you were an ardent supporter of Gillespie just because he was our coach. I don’t see anything wrong with doubting the direction the team is going, it doesn’t mean he is not a fan of the team.

  9. Stay Calm, I'm Coming
    11:45 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Season ended, or season started?

  10. Steve
    11:46 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    At least the coaches were honest with him. The semester break gives Jalen a good time to leave and plenty of time to find the right place for him at QB. If Stoops were a real jerk he could have strung Jalen along till fall, told Jalen he had no chance for QB but if he wants to play he can play WR or lose a year with his butt on the bench.

  11. Boogie
    11:46 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Jalen Whitlow has no business taking snaps at any D1 college football program. Awful field vision, awful release, laughably inaccurate. Sure he can escape a pass rush and turn a busted play into something. More reps for Drew Barker.

    • C...A....T....S....CATS!
      1:57 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink



      Jalen Whitlow leaving because he won’t be playing QB for UK season means TWO things:

      a). THIS UK football program is moving in the RIGHT DIRECTION and getting serious about their Offense, and Offensive Leadership, at the Quarterback Position

      b). Jalen Whitlow uses the same poor judgment when analyzing his OWN SKILL SET as he does analyzing reads, making throws, avoiding sacks, and moving the team down the field.

      BA BYE Jalen… this is one BBN member who will not miss you behind center this year.


  12. catscatscats
    11:48 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    He was athletic but he wasn’t fast enough to be a slot receiver, those are generally the quickest receivers on the field. If you believe that he is as fast or faster than Stanley Boom Williams or Ryan Timmons you are simply wrong. I honestly felt like Whitlow could have been an amazing tight end.

    • JohnnyCat
      12:00 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      ^^^^ Most accurate comment ^^^^

      Agree 100%.

  13. Bdmnky81
    11:50 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    You are not a troll, Jim but you do seem to not be able to grasp the reality of our program right now. We lost a recruit to Ala-freakin-bama cause they are Ala-freakin bama. And Whitlow leaving has more to do with the overload we have in talent at the QB position. He stays and play QB, he doesn’t help the team because he brings nothing special to the table. Can’t make the throws and his running ability is null if defenses just stack the box against him. He was asked to move to a position where we do need help and he has the athleticism to Excell at. Remember when P-pat was asked by Cal to expand his game to the perimeter in order to clear the lane for Boogie and give us another shooter? Same thing different sport. Whitlow just is under the illusion he is something he isnt.

    • Good times
      11:56 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      *Standing ovation* Perspective; more people need this.

    • And PPat was made more pro-ready by that move. He said that himself. I don’t know if Jalen can be a pro anything, but like comment 2 said, it worked for Cobb.

  14. catscatscats
    11:51 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This could also be the situation where he looks around and realizes that no one wants him as a QB in a major division 1 program and decides to stay at UK in the fall.

    • memphis
      11:55 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      If he wants to play QB, he’ll likely have to approach one of the other teams he was looking at when he committed to Joker (Arkansas State, Florida International, MTSU, South Alabama, etc.).

    • Or go 1AA so he can play right away.

  15. jpg
    11:51 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Exactly what I thought happened.

  16. jame223
    11:53 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    When you are asked to switch positions it probably means you aren’t very good at the one you’re playing. No big deal losing him.

    • 2mites
      12:09 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Kind of obvious isn’t it. You nailed it jame223.

  17. UKfanNKY
    12:14 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Good luck jalen you should have switched to WR not sure where you will play QB.

  18. Kat308
    12:17 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Where will he go? Anybody heard

  19. Reality
    12:19 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Whitlow is a tough kid and a good competitor, sure, but he didn’t cut it at the QB position in this system. He might be happier at a place with a run-first offense to take some pressure off his passing if he’s really set on playing QB.

    I hope he finds a good spot to land where he’s happy playing, but it probably won’t be at a competitive D1 school. Even if he ends up playing QB he doesn’t have the tools he’d need at the pro level (arm, field vision, accuracy) other than his solid scrambling abilities.

  20. Jim
    12:19 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I wish Mr. Whitlow all the luck in the world and hope he finds success, wherever he ends up. I am not a D1 coach, nor am I an NFL scout, but I really think he would have a better shot at making it in the NFL as a receiver. But, that may not be his goal. Hate to see him leave. QB is the toughest position to be a back up, because you may never get to play.

  21. Coach K
    12:25 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    1) He may be making a rushed decision. He should stop and think about it more.
    2) If he indeed transfer, my guess he’ll go to Alabama State and start right away.

  22. Planocat
    12:30 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    What kinda worries me is Stoops said last he was the starter at that time

    • RUPPS_rhetoric
      12:36 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Maybe he knew this was coming and was maybe putting out some praise to entice him to stay, and to light a fire under the other guys perhaps? He is a weapon that could be used in spots. I’m sure you never want to lose a kid of that athletic ability. Maybe he was posturing a bit, who knows. Probably wrong, but if they legitimately asked him to change positions seems that they had an idea all along.

  23. Don
    12:31 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I’m worried we are running into the “we had to simplify our offense” type situation again, because of the inexperience. Towles does not give us versatility at the QB position, but knows the offense. Barker gives us everything we need except the experience.

    I guess a lot can happen between now and opening day.

  24. Greg
    12:33 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Whitlow should have made a move earlier. He saw the improvement in Towles and how the other QB’s were more accurate than he was. I think he made a mistake by leaving though. A tight end with his running ability would have been a great move for him. Good luck Jalan.

  25. ChicagoCat
    12:43 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think its a huge stretch to assume Drew Barker is #1 right now just based off one scrimmage. Remember folks he just got here 3 months ago. Towles is probably #1.

  26. bigbluedan
    12:48 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Jalen is a tad under weight to play TE in the SEC. Yes he is 6-2 217lbs but that is light to stack up against DE/OLB in the SEC. His speed better fit the outer part of the field. He may not be blazing fast but he is dynamic, look at the runs he made as a QB.

    I also think that he was quick to react to transfer. Give me Towles over Jalen and lets get the Air Raid started. This was the correct direction for the staff to take as bad as it sucks to lose a guy.

  27. John
    12:49 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    There is no upside potential with Whitlow at the realm at QB, either individually, or, more importantly, as a football unit. In two years of taking the primary number of snaps for UK, Whitlow as a combined 185/320 passing with a career completion percentage under 58%, with only 12 combined touchdown throws in 320 attempts, and 7 interceptions and less than 2,100 yards in 2 seasons. Worst of all, there was not improvement between seasons 1 and 2, and it would be reasonable to conclude that this year would only be more of the same, hence Stoops going to Whitlow and asking him to switch positions, which would be best for the team and Whitlow’s individual career path. As it stands, Whitlow’s emotions got in the way of this reality and he wants to transfer.

    Whitlow’s 2 year track record is simply not SEC quarterback numbers, and they were never going to be. It was obvious from last year that the offense was stuck in the mud, with defenses cheating up against the run because UK could not pass the ball efficiently.

  28. jaws2
    12:49 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Whitlow did not have the size to play TE in the SEC, no friggin way. Could you imagine him trying to block a guy like Clowney. Paaleeeeeeaze. He should follow his dream. It’s his not ours. If he made a mistake HE made the mistake. That’s what life is all about folks.

  29. Blue Truth
    1:01 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Gawd. I hope he transfers to hell. Whitlow sucked so bad. In the SEC we need a stellar qb. Hoping Barker is that guy.

    • Good 1
      1:17 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      How classy. I know the QB is the most visible position, but perhaps you’d like to see 85% of last year’s team transfer to hell, since they all sucked bad. You win for most classless, stupidest comment of the day, and on this site, that is quite the accomplishment.

  30. Jim 1
    1:14 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Whitlow’s gone, perhaps Drew Barker. KSR writers seem to having a hard time picking favorites without having full knowledge of situations taking place at football practices. Last year it was Whitlow one day and Smith the next. Please let Stoops and his staff pick the starting qb.

    At the present time it appears to be Towles ahead with Barker (freshman) pushing hard to start. At least that was indicated by Stoops on the recent interview by KSR, when he stated he was impressed with Towles improvement after working with qb instructor over the summer and mentioned Barker doing some great things as a freshman. But there seems to be a deep bias among the fans and KSR concerning Towles. Is it politics because of his family or getting beat by him in high school?

    Whoever Stoops picks as starting qb, Barker; Twoles: etc that will be fine with me. The coaching staff will do the right thing in building UK’s football program for the future.

    • Jayone
      1:16 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Agree Jim 1. Stoops is paid the big bucks to build a program. Until he proves he can not do that I support him 1000%.

    • Back to square one every year
      1:19 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh joy, we get to plow through the SEC yet again with a QB that has never been a starter. Great. 2-10 again.

  31. Jayone
    1:14 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Here we go, the old race card. Like we have never had a black quarterback. I see.

  32. R.I.P.
    1:15 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink


  33. wkcatsfan
    1:20 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Best of luck to Whitlow wherever he decides to go. I hate to see a talented young man leave the program, but if he’s is committed to only playing QB, then I think the decision to transfer is probably best for him and UK. I’m anxious to see how Towles and Barker are developing.

  34. UKBoo
    1:21 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This may be a good sign that the O Line is coming together. I felt that a big part of going with Whitlow last year had a lot to do with the O Line breaking down. Some extra time in the pocket could make a world of difference for a Barker or Towels but probably doesn’t help Whitlow as much. I agree with most that he would have been best served in changing positions. I hope he reconsiders and wish him well if he does not. I really hope he does at least think about it before deciding.

  35. uhhhhhhhhhhh
    1:23 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    what in the hell was that??

  36. mickeyjjackson
    1:24 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Shame on you for that terrible comment. I hate to see Whitlow leave because he is an incredible athlete but there is no way that RACE IN ANY WAY HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH COACHS” DECISION. We were a bad team last year and the WR position was a big reason for that. I didn’t think he was our best QB but he was without a doubt the teams best playmaker. A guy like that needs to be on the field and playing a position other than QB is his best bet to play professionally but it’s too bad that he is unable to see that. We could really use him but I wish him, the team and the coaching staff the best of luck for the upcoming season and the future. If you are a true fan of this young man and the team then perhaps you should do the same.

  37. Wake Up BBN!
    1:36 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry to hear any player has to change schools due to athletics but it happens everyday. Everyone on here keeps talking about Towels and Barker. Is everyone forgetting about Reese Phillips?? The Spring Game should open up a lot of eyes. Wake Up BBN!

  38. Honky Kong
    1:43 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry to see him transfer and best of luck. But if UK is wanting to bring back the Air Raid then we need another Tim Couch type qb. Hopefully Towles, Barker, or Phillips can try to be the next Couch.

  39. Wake Up BBN!
    1:46 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Race Card?? This coaching staff don’t care if your white, black, brown, green or purple. If you can play you will have every chance to prove yourself and get on the field. It’s stupid and ignorant to even mention that as a possibility. Wake Up BBN!

  40. JimG
    3:28 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Bdmnky81, Memphis and Pistol Pete;

    Yes i realize we lost the one recruit to Alabama and now we just lost another one this afternoon to go along with Whitlow. Things are really looking up at UK.

    I have nothing good to say about UK Football because there isnt anything good about it. The coaches and athletic director keep sucking you guys in every year with the same result.

    This coming season will be more of the same im sorry to say but its true and if you wanna drink that Football koolaid then have at it cause someday it will poison you!

    And as ive always said, Thank God for UK Basketball and thats the only reason I come to KSR because its defintely not about football….

    • Do whut?
      4:57 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Then why would you read the article and comment? Your attitude is everything wrong with BBN. I’ve listened to you Fellowship of the Miserable “basketball is all that matters” fans my entire life and have zero use for any of you. If you’re so hellbent on being a crabby, unhappy “fan” at least don’t share it with the rest of us. Particularly in the comment section of a football article while protesting that you don’t come here for football.

  41. joecool
    3:44 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think it’s kind of crazy that he’s your starter last week and your running him off this week. This staff makes you shake your head sometimes. But I must admit I wasn’t really excited about going into another year with him as the starter.

  42. ( . ) ( . )
    7:59 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Stoopin it up wit a pair of tities! Yeah baby!

  43. ( . ) ( . )
    8:01 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Its about time Stoops got rid of Whitlow. Kid was never a really good SEC qb as he just never had those skills.

  44. area51(Letcher Co)
    9:54 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I hate to see JW go but he needed to switch positions or go play qb at a non sec school. EKU wld be a good destination. Good Luck and thanks for all the work and sweat you put in.