Former Penn State quarterback Steven Bench left the Nittany Lions in search of a better opportunity to compete for a starting job. With Bill O'Brien suggesting to the Class of 2012 recruit out of Georgia he was going to focus on JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson and incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg, Bench made the decision to look elsewhere for his opportunity. Bench transferred to South Florida, who looks for a new quarterback after the graduation of five-year senior B.J. Daniels — one of the nicest players I have ever come across — and it is likely Bench will lead the Bulls under new head coach Willie Taggart as the program begins a new era in the American.
An Associated Press column published by the New York Times takes a look at a handful of transfer quarterbacks who could have an impact with their new teams this fall, and Bench comes in at number two on the list. Who is number one? New Syracuse quarterback Drew Allen (pictured), who could face Penn State in the first game of the season on August 31 in MetLife Stadium.
The Daily Orange made note yesterday the former Oklahoma quarterback had been taking reps with the second team Orange offense in practice while Terrel Hunt was with the first team. Former Penn State reporter for StateCollege.com Nate Mink, who now covers Syracuse for Syracuse.com, reports there is no separation between the two quarterbacks at this point. But Syracuse quarterbacks coach Tim Lester says Hunt is only ahead on the depth chart at the start of camp because he was available in the spring and ha a head start.
"We told Drew from the get go the only reason that Terrel was ahead in the spring is because he started in the spring game," Lester said according to Syracuse.com. "You don't have to name a starter in practice, so we've split the reps between the both of them. They get the exact same amount with the ones, the exact same amount with the twos, much like the beginning of the spring."
Like Penn State, Syracuse is looking to find a new quarterback entering the 2013 season. Penn State's Matt McGloin was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders. West Chester, Pennsylvania native and former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib was a fourth round draft selection of the New York Giants. The loss of Nassib is a big one for Syracuse, but the transfer addition of Allen could help the Orange keep the offense developing. Per the Associated Press, "Allen has Orange fans believing they have another NFL quarterback to replace the one who just left. He's not being handed the job… but it'll be surprising if the new coaching staff doesn't go with Allen's upside over Hunt's familiarity with the offense."
If you are following the news out of Syracuse leading up to the season opener in the Meadowlands, keep an eye on the quarterback developments. That is, if you get tired following Penn State's own QB decision.