COLUMBIA, S.C. (TheBigSpur) -Quarterback Jake Bentley will not take another snap under center at South Carolina. Bentley announced on Monday that he will transfer for his final season of college ball.
Bentley’s 2019 senior season came to a sudden stop when a right foot sprain suffered late in the season opener against North Carolina was later diagnosed as a Lisfranc injury that required surgery and three months worth of non-weight bearing activity. Head coach Will Muschamp stated multiple times through the season that Bentley’s future plans would be discussed between him and the veteran quarterback at the end of the season.
A Class of 2016 Gamecocks signee, Bentley was originally a Class of 2017 four-star pro-style quarterback prospect before reclassifying and joining the Gamecocks program a year early. A summer enrollee out of Opelika High School in Opelika, Ala. Bentley joined his father, Bobby Bentley, in the Gamecocks football program in the first year of Muschamp’s head coaching tenure.
By the seventh game of the 2016 season, Bentley jumped senior Perry Orth and fellow signing class quarterback Brandon McIlwain on the depth chart. He started the remaining seven games of the 2016 season and went 4-3. He had 125 completions (190 attempts) for 1,420 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
A year later he started all 13 games as a sophomore with 2,794 passing yards (245-of-394), 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Gamecocks went 9-4 that season, which concluded with Bentley winning Outback Bowl MVP honors in throwing for 239 yards and two touchdowns in a comeback victory over Michigan. His father coached quarterbacks for the bowl game after being the team’s running backs coach since being hired at South Carolina.
As a junior Bentley missed one game mid-season with a knee sprain. He started the 12 others and threw for 3,171 yards (240-of-388) with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Bentley’s yardage total was fourth in the SEC. He threw the fourth most touchdowns and the most interceptions. His 3,171 passing yards were third most in a season by a Gamecocks quarterback, highlighted by the 510 yards and five touchdowns he threw on the road against Clemson. Both of those marks were single game highs by a Gamecocks quarterback and the most by a quarterback in the rivalry series.
Among career marks by Gamecocks quarterbacks, Bentley ranks fourth in passing yards (7,527), fourth in pass attempts (1,002), third in pass completions (626), second in completion percentage (62.5 percent), third in passing touchdowns (55), and sixth in quarterback wins (19). His 394 pass attempts as a sophomore are fifth most in a season in program history and his 388 pass attempts as a junior are eighth most.
Bentley is set to graduate from the University of South Carolina in December with a degree in Sport and Entertainment Management. He was a two-time permanent captain (2017, 2018) for the Gamecocks football team.