Former Penn State QB Steven Bench transferring to South Florida
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Penn State quarterback Steven Bench will transfer to South Florida.
Bench announced the decision via Twitter on Thursday:
I’ve decided to attend the University of South Florida and become a bull!! #DoSomething
Bench (6-2, 205) also visited Mississippi State and North Carolina State.
Former Arkansas QB Brandon Mitchell announced earlier this week that he would transfer to N.C. State.
Because of modified transfer rules in the wake of Penn State’s NCAA penalties, Bench is eligible to play at an FBS school immediately. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
His decision to transfer was seen as a somewhat surprising move.
As a true freshman, he moved quickly up the depth chart past Paul Jones to become Matt McGloin’s backup last fall. Bench saw action in two games as a true freshman last season, and, by all accounts, appeared to be in the mix to replace McGloin.
This spring, Bench battled junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson, and the two appeared to be neck and neck. Both posted similar numbers in the spring game, completing 9-of-15 passes, and Ferguson throwing two touchdowns and Bench one.
But with incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg soon to arrive on campus, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien informed Bench during their post-spring meeting that he would not get any more snaps with the No. 1 offense, and Bench decided to move on. (NCAA rules would have forced him to sit out a year if he transferred to an FBS school after the Fall of 2013.)
The Bainbridge, Ga. native saw action in two games last season, playing against Virginia and Purdue. He completed 2-of-8 passes for 12 yards and gained 18 yards on three rush attempts.
A three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Bench (6-2, 205) originally committed to Rice. He played the first three years of his prep career in a run-first offense at Bainbridge High School, before transferring to neighboring Cairo High for his senior season.
At Cairo, Bench amassed nearly 2,000 yards through the air and on the ground and threw for 20 touchdowns, leading the Syrupmakers to the Georgia State class AAA semi-finals. He was rewarded with a last-minute scholarship offer from Penn State.