Latest updates on the quarterback questions

If there is a frontrunner at quarterback, Kentucky coaches aren’t giving any hints.

The three sophomores Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow all have gotten nearly identical repetitions in spring drills and scrimmages. Coaches were providing zero details about which of them were leading the offense’s biggest drives or making the scrimmages’ biggest plays.

One thing is clear as spring practice winds down, the quarterback query will continue well into fall camp.

“It will definitely go into the fall,” offensive coordinator Neal Brown said. “In fall camp, you’ve got four weeks. I like to have two weeks — and I’m not setting a deadline, this is just kind of my thought process — I like having two weeks to kind of see who you’re going to play with and two weeks to get prepared to play. It’s definitely go into those two weeks and maybe longer. I’d love for a guy to jump up and take it.”

Collectively, he said he was pleased with their progress.

“They had more command,” Brown said without offering any individual specifics. “Their body language was better, their energy was better. They were actively cheering for each other.”

As a group, he saw them forgetting the previous play (both the pretty and the ugly) and focusing on the next play, something that’s going to be key.

Coaches aren’t allowed to mandate or even watch workouts in the summer, but both Brown and Stoops said that likely will be the time when some separation occurs.

“Those guys are going to have to work, to be leaders this summer and get the receivers out here,” Coach Mark Stoops said. “These guys have to work on their own. We expect them to do that and we’ll see the results when we get back out there in the fall.”

Stoops acknowledged this week that there are drawbacks to not having a starter now.

“Again, we’re telling the truth there,” he said on Friday. “We feel like we have three guys and that’s great in a lot of ways, but that hurts in some ways because they’re not getting reps with the ones and the consistency that we need.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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