University of Kentucky football commitment Patrick Towles, quarterback from Highlands High School, has been voted the winner of Kentucky's Mr. Football award, his father said on Thursday night.
Towles was informed on Thursday afternoon that he'd be the winner, and official word came on Thursday evening. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior received nine of 15 votes from a panel of Associated Press media members.
Central running back Anthony Wales got three votes, Trinity receiver James Quick two votes and Johnson Central running back J.J. Jude one vote, according to The AP.
Towles, who has also won the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year and Paul Hornung awards as the state's top player, led Highlands to a fifth straight state title (his third as starting QB), beating Franklin-Simpson in the Class 4-A final this month.
He threw for 3,820 yards and 42 touchdowns with only one interception for the Bluebirds (15-0), frequently playing three quarters or fewer after Highlands built big leads. He also rushed for 589 yards and 15 TDs.
Now Towles, who will make his official visit to UK on Friday, has added to his resume what is generally considered the state's most prestigious individual award.
"He was just ecstatic," Towles' father, Terry, told CatsIllustrated.com. "He was just saying, 'How amazing is it to win Mr. Kentucky Football, then go do your official visit this weekend and go to a UK basketball game on Saturday?' It doesn't really get much better than that."
Terry Towles noted the pride Patrick felt in joining Highlands quarterback Jared Lorenzen (1998), Boone County running back Shaun Alexander (1994) and Newport Central Catholic tight end Frank Jacobs (1986), as winners of Mr. Football from Northern Kentucky.
"That's a pretty elite group of guys," Terry Towles said. "It's just wonderful, and the fact that you're going to the University of Kentucky to play football makes even that much sweeter. What really just tops it all is that Patrick has always been a Kentucky kid. … I know it's really special to Patrick especially since he's going to UK to play football."
Terry Towles said he called UK linebackers coach Chuck Smith, the Cats' primary recruiter for Towles, to give him the news that Patrick had been named Mr. Football.
"He was ecstatic, probably the most excited person so far actually," Terry Towles said. "He was just thrilled and talked about what an honor it is to get that award. He was excited about us coming down for this weekend."
Terry Towles said Smith, who won multiple state titles as the former head coach at Boyle County High School, has a strong perspective on the state's top award.
"He knows a little bit about Kentucky high school football, especially the importance and prestige of winning an award like Mr. Kentucky football," Terry Towles said.
Terry Towles said his son's string of success - a college commitment to the team he grew up cheering for, another state title, multiple individual awards - has made for an "amazing" time for the family.
"Just when you feel like it can't get any better, it gets better," Terry Towles said. "… We feel very fortunate and honored and blessed. It's just a very exciting time for Patrick. And as a father, and for my wife, Amy, we're just thrilled we get to share in it with him. Hopefully we've got several years of this stuff to go."