Reports from Kentucky football’s first scrimmage indicate Maxwell Smith is pulling ahead in the race for starting quarterback. The debate between Smith and Morgan Newton has been widely argued, but never concluded by the coaching staff. The answer still awaits “enough separation to make a decision,” according to Joker Phillips after the scrimmage, but Smith is apparently the best quarterback on the field right now.
Offensive Coordinator Randy Sanders was singing the praises of Maxwell Smith, claiming he’s done a “really done nice job,” while lamenting the recovery of Morgan Newton from last year’s season-ending shoulder injury. “It’s not something that the doctors just one day say you’re better, and you go out there and you’re where you were before. It takes time to build up the strength, the muscle memory and a little bit just to get confidence in it.”
Despite Newton’s greater experience on the field as a senior, Smith would be a more adaptable choice in what many consider a rebuilding year. Smith is only a sophomore, and an extra year of game-time snaps may help down the road when Kentucky is more competitive.
One thing’s for sure, Maxwell Smith’s performance after replacing Newton last year won’t be playing a role in Joker Phillip’s decision. “I don’t think you can worry about last year,” Phillips said. “This is a new competition. One thing we’ve got to do is base our evaluation of what’s happening now.” And what’s happening now according to those in the know, is that Smith is pulling ahead on all counts.
Filed Under: Football
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.