There's been a lot of shocking news and controversy over the past 18 months or so surrounding the Penn State football program, but it's all been stuff off the field. Well, welcome to controversy on the field as sophomore quarterback Steven Bench will be transferring from Penn State. It's interesting because most expected Bench to be the starting QB after his performance in spring ball.
So, why the transfer? Well, let's let the words of head coach Bill O'Brien tell us, shall we?
"I have been meeting with all the players this week with my evaluation of where they are at related to football and academics and to discuss what they need to work on this summer," O'Brien said through a Penn State press release. "After meeting with Steven, he informed me he wants to play elsewhere. We want what is best for Steven. I want to thank him for his contributions to the program. We wish Steven the best in the future and will assist him anyway we can."
So, it appears that Bench was either unhappy or saw the writing on the wall with highly-touted freshman Christian Hackenberg coming onto campus this fall and junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson battling him to a near draw out of the spring.
What's really interesting to us is the fact that we spoke with Kevin McGuire of The Nittany Lions Den just this morning and he made it clear that he thought Bench would start the season as the starting QB. He did also note that it would be an open battle through fall camp, but still, it is interesting that a competitor wouldn't want to continue to fight to gain the top spot and just decided to transfer out of the blue like this.
Perhaps he has some other reasons to make the transfer, but it was perhaps a shrewed move on his part if he was truly uncomfortable as players have until the end of this summer to transfer without penalty of losing a season thanks to the sanctions on the Nittany Lions. So, perhaps he is thinking ahead and outsmarting the system a bit?