Tonight, Mark Stoops confirmed what we suspected. Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith are his quarterbacks. Both will play against Western Kentucky in the season opener on August 31. Stoops said he hasn’t decided who will take the first snap.
Meanwhile, Stoops said Towles is open to redshirting. The former Ft. Thomas Highlands star played in five games last season as a true freshman. He threw for a touchdown against Mississippi State on the initial drive in his first collegiate action, then suffered an ankle injury. He completed 19 of 40 passes for 233 yards on the year.
A four-star recruit, Towles was rated as the ninth best dropback quarterback in the Class of 2012 by Rivals. He was considered the No. 1 prospect in the state.
Towles, said Stoops has “as much talent as any quarterback we have on campus, but it’s just a matter of letting him grow into the situation a little bit. And he’s open to the idea, if the opportunity presents itself, to redshirt.”
If Towles does redshirt he would drop a class behind Whitlow and Smith, who are both sophomores. Now throw Conner quarterback Drew Barker, ranked No. 121 overall by Rivals for the Class of 2014, who will be on campus next fall. On the day he committed, Barker said he expected to redshirt his first season in Lexington.
Stoops also indicated today that if Smith and Whitlow are not getting the job done, the competition could be thrown back open. The guess here is that Towles sticks it out this year and sees how the season plays out.