Steven Bench has decided he will leave Happy Valley for the palm trees and bright sun of South Florida.
Joe Schad of ESPN reported the news:
Bench informed head coach Bill O'Brien that he no longer wanted to play for Penn State, which is in the middle of a quarterback controversy. O'Brien granted those wishes and allowed the young man to visit schools such as North Carolina State and Mississippi State before Bench decided that South Florida was the place for him.
The new Bulls quarterback grew up in Georgia, about a half-hour away from Tallahassee. Both of his parents went to Florida State, which helps give him some familiarity with the Florida area.
According to the Schad report, Bench is ready to go and feels confident he can win the starting job.
"I want to get my face in the playbook and get ready to go," Bench said. "Coach [Willie] Taggart is a real confident guy. He will play anybody, anywhere, anytime."
Much like the school he just left, South Florida is searching for answers at quarterback as well, with veteran B.J. Daniels graduating. Bench will certainly provide some competition to the rest of the guys.
The former Penn State quarterback was considered a 2-star recruit by Scout.com. He didn't have many intriguing offers on the table, which played a role in how he ended up at Penn State. Bench didn't see much playing time last season, throwing the ball only seven times for 12 yards while running three times for 18 yards.
He is capable of making plays with his legs and has above-average arm strength. He should have no problem fitting into the system and becoming a reliable quarterback for a program that was searching for an answer at the position.