The SEC currently has just one ongoing quarterback battle waging with fall camp about to wrap up, and the 2013 college football season about to kick-off. After Tennessee named Justin Worley their opening day starter, followed by Nick Marshall winning the job for Auburn, the Kentucky Wildcats are the only SEC team now who doesn’t have a signal-caller tabbed for their opener.
Sophomore Jalen Whitlow, junior, Maxwell Smith, sophomore Patrick Towles and true freshman Reese Phillips are all “technically” in the hunt to win the job, though the belief is that it’s down to just two of those players.
Whitlow looks like a clear favorite, as he provides UK with a blend of mobility and accuracy that the other three cannot offer. As a true freshman last year, he rushed for 206 yards and three scores while completing 54 percent of his passes for 801 yards and three TDs.
In the annual UK spring game, known as the Blue-White Game, Whitlow passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns while running for 49 more and a TD, and it was the first of many times he showed that he is arguably the Cats’ best option to start the opener vs. the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
"“It adds a dimension,” Offensive coordinator Neal Brown said when asked about the extra boost a running quarterback can give an offense. “It definitely adds a dimension. It puts a defense in some tough spots. But you can say the same thing for a real accurate passer also because you can defend balls, you can play them as well as you can and the guy is still open.”"