The wait is finally over. The Kentucky Wildcats football team has a starting quarterback, and it’s sophomore Max Smith. Joker Phillips announced the much-debated decision earlier today, putting many impatient fans at ease and finally giving his team a captain under which to cement. In the last few weeks, Smith has been competing against senior Morgan Newton, but finally pulled ahead with his play on the field and future potential.
“They both have done a great job of preparing,” Joker said of his two potential starting quarterbacks. “Both have done a great job of competing.” Reports from preseason camp have been positive in regards to both athletes. The heated competitive environment and that each player has on-the-field wins under their belts, there was no clear leader in the competition until this week when Smith’s play and Newton’s lingering injury recovery pushed the sophomore to the forefront.
“You have to make the tough decisions and be accountable for them,” Joker added. “This is one of the tougher decisions that I have had to make. We have two quarterbacks we fill like we can win with… and Max smith we feel gives us the best chance to win at this point.”
Max Smith is no stranger to being thrown into a leadership role. After Newton’s season-ending injury last year, he was tossed into the game and forced to lead his team. He’ll be facing a similar predicament this year, only given 13 days as the team’s official quarterback to fortify his leadership on the field. It’s certainly going to be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean Smith considers it a burden.
“I felt great,” Smith recounted on being given the position. “That’s what I’ve been working for since I was a little kid.”
Kentucky has a quarterback that fought his way into the spot, and he’s going to need that competitive edge to make his way through the harrowing SEC schedule successfully.
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.