In what should be considered shocking news, Bill O’Brien said today that sophomore Steven Bench has been granted permission to seek a transfer from PSU.
According to Coach O’Brien, soph. QB Steven Bench has been granted a release to transfer from the football program: bit.ly/ZNuBhB
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) April 24, 2013
By most measures, this comes as quite the shock to Happy Valley. Bench arrived on campus last summer and promptly beat out Paul Jones for the backup QB spot behind Matt McGloin. He was seen, by most around the program, as the front runner to start for the Nittany Lions this coming fall.
According to a source close to the program, Bench was told that Sophomore JuCo transfer Tyler Ferguson and incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg would be getting the reps with the first team this summer because they “have more upside” and O’Brien thinks they’ll be better in the future. Bench’s tweet from Tuesday alluded to this:
Potential: a nice way of saying you haven’t done anything
— Steven Bench (@SBench12) April 23, 2013
My most accounts, Bench and Ferguson were having a pretty even spring and the quarterback position looked to be in good shape. Bench was originally committed to Rice before being offered by Penn State in January of 2012. He also held an offer from Mississippi State that came after his commitment. He is the first player to leave the program since WR Shawney Kersey did so in the fall. If he remains in the FBS, according to the rules the NCAA put in place at Penn State, he will have three years of eligibility remaining without having to use his redshirt. While this obviously hurts depth at the quarterback spot and will all but eliminate the option of redshirting Hackenberg, it does open up a scholarship for the Nittany Lions who don’t have many to go around.
I’ve decided to leave Penn State and go to a school that will give me the opportunity to compete for the QB spot and reach my full potential
— Steven Bench (@SBench12) April 24, 2013
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