Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles announces plans to transfer

The first fallout from Kentucky's disappointing 5-7 finish to the season occurred Sunday when junior quarterback Patrick Towles announced his intention to transfer.

“I would like to thank the University of Kentucky for giving me the opportunity to achieve my childhood dream of playing quarterback for the Wildcats,” Towles said in a statement released by UK. “The last four years have been ones that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life.

"Although I wish my time in Lexington could have ended another way, I’m eternally grateful. I’ve decided to transfer to play my fifth year at another university. Thank you to Coach (Mark) Stoops, Coach (Shannon) Dawson, (athletics director) Mitch Barnhart, my teammates and the Big Blue Nation for allowing me to achieve my lifelong dream. I will truly bleed blue ‘til the day I die.”

Towles started the first 10 games of the season, leading the Wildcats to a 4-1 start, but ineffectiveness during a five-game losing streak led to his benching in favor of redshirt freshman Drew Barker for the final two games. The former Ft. Thomas Highlands star played late in UK's 38-24 loss to Louisville on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium, completing three out of four passes for 71 yards and an interception.

On the season, Towles completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,148 yards with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He passed for 5,099 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career.

Since he will receive is political science degree in December, Towles will be eligible under recent NCAA rules to transfer and play immediately at his new program.

“I thank Patrick for everything he’s done for our team,” Stoops said. “I understand his decision and support him. He truly gave everything he had and I wish him nothing but the best."

Kentucky's quarterbacks threw only two touchdown passes in the final seven games of the season.

The departure leaves UK with two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for spring, Barker and junior-to-be Reese Phillips. Walk-on freshman Davis Mattingly may also be in line for some reps.

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