COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - When it comes to Jake Bentley's game, leadership is something he takes pride in. Since getting the starting job midway through his freshman year, Bentley has worked to guide his team in the right direction. A lot of that simply comes from trying to do things the right way.
"I think, naturally, as a quarterback, you need to be a vocal leader at times," Bentley said. "I don't think you need to be overbearing though, but i definitely try to be a leader by example."
As a young leader, Bentley has learned a lot over two seasons. While some of those lessons came sooner than expected, it's all been helpful to his maturation as a quarterback. But Bentley isn't just learning those lessons on the field or in the meeting rooms. Some of those lessons come on the lake while fishing with his dad, USC running backs coach Bobby Bentley.
"A lot of it is just patience, waiting on fish, but a lot of it is storytelling, too," Bentley said. "It's a lot of sitting on the boat telling stories about whatever's on my mind and it's really cool to be able to spend a lot of quality time with him doing that."
Now, Bentley enters his junior year in a position where he's not just leading the Gamecocks as a whole. He's grooming players who look to take snaps when their number is called.
"I was watching film with Jay (Urich) the other day," Bentley said, "and he was like 'What did you think about that decision?' and it kind of struck me back because I always asked a coach or asked a guy older than me what they thought so the role is kind of reversed. Now, I'm trying to help them as much as I can and try to get them ready to go for years to come because they both have a lot of football to play."
South Carolina enters this season hoping to take another successful leap. Bentley's leadership is just one key in doing so. For the Gamecocks, it'll take everyone chipping in to reach their goals this year.
"Each and every day, the guys on our team have that goal of elevating our team," Bentley said. "That's the main mindset of everybody on the team is to get better each and every day for the ultimate goals of winning championships."
South Carolina will host Coastal Carolina in their season opener at noon on Sept. 1.