Once forgotten by fans and media alike UK redshirt sophomore Patrick Towles has risen back to the front of the Quarterback picture at the University of Kentucky after an offseason of constant hard work and dedication.
Towles came to Kentucky hailed as the savior of the program. He was supposed to be the next Tim Couch; touted as the crown jewel of the Joker Phillips era. Towles, who is from Northern Kentucky, set state records during a 43-1 high school career at Highlands High School. He was rated as a 4 star recruit by rivals.com and many laid heavy expectations on him before he even arrived in Lexington.
Since he stepped on campus things have been anything but smooth for Towles. He played sparingly his freshman year, before eventually having his first year claimed to injuries. With the departure of Joker Phillips and the arrivals of Mark Stoops and Neal Brown many thought Towles would shine. However that didn’t happen.
Towles underwhelmed in last years spring game and ended up taking a redshirt season as Jalen Whitlow and Max Smith split the snaps during a disappointing 2-10 season in Stoops’ first year as head coach.
With the emergence of Reese Phillips and the fan-fare surrounding Drew Barker many fans had written off Towles. However one person who had not written off Towles? That would be Towles himself.
Towles said one of his primary motivators was when someone sent him a blurb from a local newspaper talking about the QB battle and his name was not even mentioned. “It shouldn’t matter what it says in the paper, but it kind of eats at you,” Towles said. Towles knew something had to change, and change is what he has done.
Towles spent the offseason working with QB guru Donnie Walker, and working on his footwork with UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown. “I am a totally different player than I was last year. It is night and day,” Towles said after a spring game performance that saw him go 11-15 for 126 yards including a last minute drive to close out the first half that saw Towles go 6-7 and move the offense into field goal range.
Fans and media aren’t the only ones who have noticed. When asked at the last spring practice who has made the most of their spring UK Head Coach Mark Stoops said, “Patrick Towles.” But Towles knows his work is not finished yet.
Towles will travel to San Diego to work with famed quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. who has worked with the likes of Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and more.
After being forgotten Towles has put himself in a position that many expected him to be in when he arrived in Lexington. It may not have gone exactly has he planned, but he’s just happy to be here now. “I’m from Kentucky. My parents went to Kentucky. My dream my entire life has been to be the starting quarterback at UK.”
At the end of the spring, Towles’ dream is starting to become a reality.