2011 QB Depth Chart
# 12 Morgan Newton 6-4 234 Jr.
# 11 Maxwell Smith 6-4 225 Fr.
# 7 Theltus "Bookie" Cobbins 6-0 187 Fr.
# 9 Michael Burchett 6-2 198 Fr.
# 14 Ryan Phillippi 5-11 179 So.
Seems like just yesterday, the fall of 2009, KSN was in its infancy and had an opportunity to travel to Indiana to talk with this top ten, QB recruit who was interested in Kentucky. Nine months later he signed with the Cats and from that moment forward everyone expected big things. (click the links to see the old interviews with Newton)
Once on campus, roadblocks emerged. Starter Mike Hartline didn't relinquish his job and another 5-star QB joined Newton at UK creating more competition. Newton seemed to be heading for a redshirt season, but all that changed 5 games into the season. Hartline injured his knee against South Carolina and Newton was named the new starter.
Congratulations, you're the new QB, your first game is on the road in the SEC. However, on the road in the SEC was nothing for #12. The new QB led the Cats to 2 SEC road wins, defeating Auburn and Georgia on his way to a 5-3 record as starter. The season, however, ended on a sour note, with a poor performance in the Music City Bowl loss to Clemson.
Fast forward to 2010 and once again Newton found himself carrying a clipboard as senior Mike Hartline beat him out again. But once again Newton was called into action after Hartline was suspended for the bowl game. Unfortunately, another poor performance followed, causing many Wildcat fans to have concerns over the future QB. Many questioned his poor body language and wondered whether Newton had the maturity or attitude to be the leader of the Wildcat football team.
Fear not says Coach Phillips. Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders have told the media throughout fall camp that Newton is a changed man. One example may have been earlier this summer when he called out his teammates on twitter after he believed they weren't pushing themselves as hard as they should.
Many also believe the addition of Andre Woodson onto the UK staff has been a huge positive influence on Newton. Woodson was of the reasons Newton ended up at UK and #12 looks at him as a mentor. Hopefully, Newton can have the brillant turnaround junior season that Woodson had back in 2006. For the Cats to have a success, that is exactly what is needed. Unfortunately, for him he won't have the veteran playmakers around him.
For many fans Maxwell Smith is a virtual unknown. The mohawked California frosh joined the Cats in January, having not thrown a pass in a game in over a year and was suddenly rushed into the backup role. Smith seems to throw with an awkward motion but has a quick release and can let it fly deep. With such a young QB stable it will be interesting to see if Bookie or Smith get redshirted this season. Also, he may be the only player in UK history to have his entire name on the back of his jersey.
The New Orleans native that no one can understand, but everyone thinks is funny is the wildcard of the QB stable. He commited to UK without ever stepping onto campus, which speaks volumes about Tee Martin's recruiting abilities. The No. 26 ranked dual-threat QB looks like a football player and a great athlete. Can run the 40 in 4.4 seconds and has a 38-inch vertical. Again, it remains to be seen whether he or Max Smith is redshirted for this season. If you can understand him, his twitter is interesting read.
Coming off a redshirt season, this Prestonsburg native looks like he is on his way to transfer to WVU. Best of luck to Mr. Burchett.
Redshirt sophomore had a 38 yrd touchdown pass in the spring game along with another nice 37 yrd pass. Phillippi (not to be confused with the movie star) is a third generation Wildcat. His father and grandfather were QB's at UK.