Kentucky to start Patrick Towles

Redshirt sophomore Patrick Towles will be the starting quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats this season, second-year coach Mark Stoops announced via Twitter on Monday.

Towles beat out Drew Barker, Reese Phillips and former starter Maxwell Smith for the job.

Towles, a Kentucky native, played in five games as a freshman, completing 19 of 40 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, but redshirted last season under the new coaching staff.

The 6-foot-5, 238-pound quarterback led Fort Thomas (Kentucky) Highlands High School to three consecutive state championships and was the state's top-ranked player, according to ESPN, when he signed with the Wildcats in 2012.

Kentucky will open the season Aug. 30 at home against Tennessee-Martin.