Stoops talks quarterbacks at Rotary

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a tradition that the coach of the Wildcats is invited to Lexington Rotary in the preseason and that's where Mark Stoops was Thursday, talking about his quarterbacks.

Stoops drew a big laugh, joking that he was going to tell the Rotarians his decision, but that will have to wait for fall practice.

"We've definitely got some guys with some arm strength," said Stoops. "Yeah definitely (Patrick) Towles and (Drew) Barker. They're both big, typical pro style quarterbacks that have big arms."

Towels appeared to have the edge coming out of the spring and Stoops likes the way he developed after redshirting last season.

"The thing that Patrick improved on the most is actually getting rid of the ball quicker, being a little bit more compact. He was so big and long that he was a little bit long a year ago. He worked on that, tightened it up and he's rid of the ball much quicker, but he still has that great arm strength."

Towles doesn't have the position wrapped up. Barker or redshirt freshman Reese Phillips could still win it.

"Drew handled himself exceptionally well for a freshman, he was very mature, he studies the game, it's important to him, he's tough, he's everything we want him to be. Reese Phillips, coming off a redshirt. I was quoted last year saying that I was very close to pulling his redshirt and playing him and we were just so far into the season I'm glad I did not."

Stoops said junior Max Smith is still not 100 percent after undergoing shoulder surgery and it remains a question whether he'll be able to compete.

The Wildcats report for fall practice August 3. The first practice is scheduled for August 4.

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