The Kentucky Wildcats run of horrific luck at the quarterback position continued Thursday when the mother of quarterback Reese Phillips announced that her son ruptured his Achilles tendon. The Wildcats already lost Maxwell Smith to transfer and could be without Drew Barker for an extended period time after an off-the-field incident. Kentucky confirmed the news after Mrs. Phillips made the information public via Facebook, but there remains a chance that Phillips will be ready for summer training camp.
Phillips, however, has already been ruled out for the entire spring and how he rehabs will be a major determinate on whether or not he wins the starting gig. If Barker is punished, the loan scholarship quarterback remaining on the roster is returning starter Patrick Towles, who proved to the SEC that he’s incapable of winning any meaningful games.
Instead of a spring filled with competition, head coach Mike Stoops is looking at a chance to focus his attention solely on Towles. Despite his 2014 struggles, Stoops has an opportunity to develop the sophomore quarterback into a program changer and should use this time to regenerate Towles’ confidence and mechanics. Last season, Towles threw for a team-leading 2,718 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions, proving that he possesses the necessary physical traits to translate into a successful collegiate quarterback.
Nonetheless, whichever quarterback walks away the starter will be burdened with the extremely difficult task of elevating a Kentucky program coming off of a 5-7 season. The Wildcats haven’t been post-season bound since 2011, and coach Stoops needs to prove to the athletic department that he is making progress with the team.
*Section Photo credit to Lexington Herald-Leader; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark Zerof, USA Today Sports