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  1. One more year: Jake Bentley will return to South Carolina for senior season January 04, 2019 South Carolina’s ride with Jake Bentley has one more season. The junior quarterback announced he’ll forgo the NFL draft and return to Columbia for his senior season. He’s already been a starter for 2 1/2 seasons and will get a chance to put a final cap on a long, sometimes tumultuous Gamecocks career. He’s the second of three potential draft prospects to make his choice. Donell Stanely announced he’ll return to USC. Bryan Edwards has yet to make his decision public. ESPN’s Todd McShay projected Bentley as a second- or third-round player in the 2019 draft, but also said he should return to school. Bentley’s journey in Columbia has had its share of ups and downs. The son of one of the most successful high school coaches in the state’s history, he turned down Alabama to join the team that hired his father, Bobby. Then he skipped his senior season of high school to enroll early. For about half his freshman campaign, he appeared destined to redshirt, but with the team in desperate straits, he became the starter and thrived. He led USC to a 4-2 finish to the regular season, securing a bowl spot. Jake Bentley came into his sophomore with high expectations, and delivered a solid but at times inconsistent campaign. He threw for 2,794 and 18 touchdowns, but 12 interceptions helped drag his rating down to 130.7. His junior season featured an up-and-down start, with struggles against good Georgia and Kentucky defenses and an injury that sidelined him against Missouri. He had a poor first half after returning against Texas A&M, earning a cascade of boos in the process, then caught fire as a comeback bid fell short and posted strong numbers the rest of the regular season (he set a school record with 510 yards against Clemson). But things closed on a sour note. USC’s offense sputtered in the second half against Akron, and then died against Virginia in the bowl. Bentley was 17 of 40 with 218 yards and a pair of interceptions. He posted a statistically impressive season with the third-most passing yards in school history (3,171), second-most touchdowns (27). But he also faced biting criticism at times.
  2. Todd McShay talks about Jake Bentley’s NFL stock November 29, 2018 “I would love to see him come back for one more year,” McShay told The State on Thursday. “He and (Bryan) Edwards and the rest of that group and the defense gets healthy, I just think it would be good for him just as a player, just the maturity and everything else.” McShay, a longtime draft analyst for ESPN, has a “Day 2 grade” on Bentley, meaning there’s potential for the 6-foot-4, 224-pounder to be taken in the second of third round this April. Some QBs in front of him include Oregon’s Justin Herbert, N.C. State’s Ryan Finley, Missouri’s Drew Lock, Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Duke’s Daniel Jones. “I’m not going to guarantee that he would go there (on day two),” McShay said. “Coming into the year, I think I had him higher than most people. Physically, I don’t think he has any elite qualities, but I don’t see any weaknesses in his game and I think there’s potential to be developed into a good quarterback. “I think he has a chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. If not, a good backup.” The biggest knock against Bentley is his 1-10 record against ranked opponents. His last two performances in such matchups have produced impressive numbers, however. At No. 19 Florida on Nov. 10, Bentley completed 18 of 28 passes for 239 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His 510 yards in Death Valley came from 32 completions on 50 attempts. He did it against a Clemson defense that could have at least five players taken in the ‘19 draft, including potential first rounders in linemen Clenin Ferrell and Dexter Lawrence. “It matters, but it’s not necessarily all wins and losses,” McShay said about Bentley’s big game shortcomings. “It’s studying each game and how they’ve played. ... I think prior to this (Clemson) game, you’d want better results in the bigger games. But I think this game helped. “It also adds to the point of ‘All right, come back next year, build on this momentum, win a couple big games with a team that’s going to continue to get better.’ And I think scouts will start to look at him a little bit differently in terms of how he performs in those big moments.” South Carolina hosts Alabama in Week 3 of next season. “Which you love,” McShay said. “Outsiders look at it, ‘Well, he may struggle in that game,’ I can’t wait to watch that tape. Even if they lose. I walk away from that Clemson loss liking him so much more than I liked him before that game.
  3. Jake Bentley is worried about his short-term future with the South Carolina football team. The long-term stuff will be dealt with at a later date. On Tuesday, during his weekly sit-down with reporters, the junior quarterback was asked if he’d submitted paperwork to the NFL’s draft advisory board. "I'm just trying to beat Akron right now and see where we go for the bowl game. There's still a lot that I personally and we as a team have to accomplish,” Bentley said. A month ago, the question would have been received with eye rolls from more than a few armchair quarterbacks. Now, on the heels of his 510-yard, five touchdown performance against No. 2-ranked Clemson, it’s not so far fetched to think Bentley will have a significant decision to make within the next month or two. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- I definitely think Jake and the 2019 NFL Draft is more discussion worthy than most think. His play over the last several weeks has certainly bolstered that. I could end up being wrong, but I think there will be a brief period of uncertainty in early January as we wait for him to survey his options and make a decision. This year’s QB draft is not terribly deep and quite frankly Jake has delivered comparable play/outplayed several prospects on the board including Stidham, Lock, Finley, etc. He owes it to himself to see where exactly his elevated play would stack him amongst the 2019 field. Another factor to consider is his history of knee injuries and the scare he had this year...that could impact he and his family’s thinking. Personally, I don’t “think” he goes this spring, but I think it’s a more viable possibility than most detractors are willing to admit and many fans are willing to accept..
  4. Gamecock QB Jake Bentley rated as second-best QB in SEC East by ESPN Feb. 07, 2017 South Carolina has the second-best quarterback situation in its division and seventh-best in the SEC, according to ESPN rankings published on Monday. “Jake Bentley is yet another talented young SEC QB who appears to have a bright future,” wrote Sam Khan. “Behind him is Brandon McIlwain who also got starting experience as a true freshman in 2016. Veteran Michael Scarnecchia returns from an injury that kept him out all last season, and 2017 recruit Jay Urich will join the team in the summer.” Bentley and McIlwain both started games in 2016 as true freshmen. McIlwain, who enrolled early, took hold of the starting spot early in the season and started three games. Bentley became the starter at midseason coming out of a bye week and started the final seven games of the year, leading South Carolina to a 4-3 mark in those games and into a bowl game. Bentley finished his freshman campaign with 9 passing touchdowns and 1,420 passing yards, completing 65.8 percent of his passes. He rewrote the South Carolina bowl record book with his performance in the Birmingham Bowl, throwing for 390 yards and 3 touchdowns in an overtime thriller with South Florida. McIlwain threw for 600 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 52.5 percent passing. He served primarily as a rushing option on situation downs after Bentley took over the starting spot. McIlwain, who is gearing up for baseball season right now, also played the second half against Clemson after Bentley tweaked a knee and coach Will Muschamp opted to hold him out for the second half. Scarnecchia missed the 2016 season after having offseason shoulder surgery. Urich signed with South Carolina on Wednesday as the quarterback in the 2017 class.
  5. QB Jake Bentley sets school record for most passing yards in a bowl game Dec. 29, 2016 South Carolina lost in dramatic finish in the Birmingham Bowl, but Jake Bentley had a memorable day. The Gamecocks quarterback completed 32 of 43 passes for 390 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in a 46-39 overtime loss to USF. Blake Mitchell held the previous record when he threw for 323 yards against Houston in the 2006 Liberty Bowl. A school record is little consolation after a loss, but Bentley’s strong performance Thursday was further proof of his promise. In the effort, he set career-high totals in completions and passing yards. His total for passing yards broke the previous bowl record set by Cincinnati’s Ben Mauk in 2007 (375 yards). The 32 completions also were a bowl record. The true freshman impressed this season as South Carolina’s signal caller, and if he continues to develop in a positive way, that will bode well for his future as well as the Gamecocks’ direction under coach Will Muschamp. South Carolina closes the season with a 6-7 record.
  6. Jake Bentley leaves a strong impression to cap freshman year at South Carolina Dec. 30, 2016 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jake Bentley finally got to be a record-setting quarterback in the state of Alabama on Thursday — just as he should have been all along in 2016. The South Carolina freshman, who very well could have been obliterating Alabama high school records as a senior at Opelika this year, instead was putting his name all over the Birmingham Bowl record book. “I thought he was outstanding,” coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s a high school senior and he threw for (almost) 400 yards in a bowl game. I thought he played extremely well.” Bentley finished the 46-39 loss to South Florida with 390 passing yards on 32 for 43 passing with 3 touchdowns. All the numbers were careers highs, while his 390 yards ranks as the No. 7 passing performance in South Carolina history and his passing yardage, completions and total yardage (381) all set Birmingham Bowl records. He also did it all while wearing his high school number, as Bentley shifted from No. 4 to No. 19 after Lorenzo Nunez’s transfer opened up the possibility. In front of his high school coaches and plenty of friends from Opelika, Bentley led a comeback that took a few stages to fully develop. The freshman opened the second quarter firing away, hitting three passes in a row on the way to USC’s first touchdown. He kept it clicking, throwing another touchdown later in the quarter and finishing it with 175 yards on 12 of 14 passing — more yards than he threw for in three starts. But perhaps the most impressive display from Bentley came after his worst play of the day, an interception that USF’s Tajee Fullwood took back for a touchdown to boost the Bulls’ lead to 39-21. Bentley came right back and engineered a drive down to the USF 1-yard line before a Rico Dowdle fumble. Then he did it again. Then again. Then again and again until South Carolina tied the game with 1:11 to play “Jake really never gets negative,” tight end Hayden Hurst said. “He just goes drive to drive. Some negative stuff happened, but he bounces back and he led us back to overtime.” Bentley scattered the ball around the field to Hurst, Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, all of whom had touchdowns and at least 70 yards receiving. “He has got chemistry with everyone,” Samuel said. “He throws the ball to the open guy.” Mind you, it wasn’t all pretty. Bentley was sacked 5 times, including on the final play of the game when South Florida got to the freshman on fourth down in overtime. It also took a bit of luck — although sometimes being a gamer leads to some luck — when he tossed a prayer to the end zone on fourth-and-2 from the USF 9, which Edwards caught with a dive and off a deflection. But the promise Bentley showed that made a change necessary midseason was flashing again and maybe as brightly as it did all season on Thursday night in Birmingham, as he was back in Alabama slinging a ball around the field. “Jake is only going to get better,” Hurst said. “He’s going to mature and going to get older. He is going to have a year of experience under his belt. It’s going to be fun next year.” SECCOUNTRY
  7. Jake Bentley discusses decision to enroll early at USC (AUDIO) APRIL 6, 2016 The future is now for quarterback Jake Bentley at USC. Bentley announced earlier today that was going to graduate high school a year early and enroll with the Gamecocks this summer. It was an unexpected addition to the USC quarterback depth chart for a lot people, but obviously an option Bentley was carefully considering with his family and the Gamecock coaching staff. Bentley joined SportsTalk Wednesday night to shed light on what his thought process was with the decision and what his expectations are next year in the USC program. AUDIO: Jake Bentley
  8. South Carolina received huge recruiting news on Wednesday night/Thursday morning when four-star quarterback Jake Bentley (Opelika, Ala.) committed to the Gamecocks over Alabama, LSU, Florida State and others. The 6-foot-3.5, 219-Bentley gives South Carolina one of the top quarterback prospects in the country in back-to-back classes, joining Brandon McIlwain in the 2016 class. Bentley, who is the son of Gamecocks running backs coach Bobby Bentley, is coming off a big showing at The Opening/Elite 11 Regional in Atlanta where he finished with the top Nike+ rating at the event (100.2). Bentley is the No. 4 pro-style quarterback prospect for the 2017 cycle per 247Sports Composite rankings. He was personally recruited to South Carolina by co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper and head coach Will Muschamp. Bentley is verbal commitment No. 6 in the 2017 cycle for the Gamecocks.
  9. 4 star QB Jake Bentley commits to USC MARCH 24, 2016 Video: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1888061/jake-bentley Rivals bio 247sports bio Rivals star ranking 4 247sports star ranking 4 Jake Bentley Highly regarded QB Jake Bentley 6'4" 205lbs, currently of Opelika, AL, Thursday morning announced a commitment to USC where he will join his father who is the running backs coach for the Gamecocks. Bentley, who could end up playing his senior season at Dutch Fork High School, chose the Gamecocks over LSU, Alabama and Miami. He also strongly considered Stanford until the Cardinal got their own 2017 commitment. “Thank you to every coach that has recruited me and invested their time to build a relationship with me,” Bentley wrote on his Twitter page. “After many prayers and talks with my family, I have decided that I am coming back home and committing to the University of South Carolina. I am ready to be a part of the new era of Gamecock football.” USC coach Will Muschamp offered Bentley in December, the first quarterback he offered after taking the job, and he personally recruited him making sure his father’s presence on his staff was not an influence one way or another. Bentley said then he appreciated the opportunity and Thursday added that it’s a perfect opportunity for him. “Just excited that I can come back home to the place I grew up watching, and excited to be a Gamecock,” Bentley said. “It’s going to be a unique situation. It wasn’t the reason why I committed but it’s going to be fun. And I feel like I fit great into their offense, I’ve run many plays that Coach Roper is running now.” Bentley grew up in Duncan while his dad was coaching at Byrnes High School and later at Presbyterian College. The family moved to Auburn in 2014 when Bobby Bentley joined Gus Malzahn’s staff. Last season Bentley passed for 2834 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was a finalist in the Elite 11 regional competition in Atlanta last Sunday. Bentley is one of two quarterbacks Will Muschamp plans to take in this class and he’s the 7th commitment for the Gamecocks’ 2017 group. He will be a December graduate and plans to enroll at USC in January.
  10. QB Jake Bentley will visit Alabama Tuesday March 08, 2016 QB Jake Bentley of Opelika, AL will visit Alabama Tuesday. USC has been the only other visit he’s taken in recent weeks. Bentley will be in Spartanburg Thursday to visit with family but is not visiting USC on that trip.
  11. QB Jake Bentley recaps USC visit Jan. 19, 2016 HIGHLIGHTS Quarterback spent a lot of time with OC Kurt Roper In addition to Carolina visit he also visited area high schools Gamecocks joined by Stanford, Georgia and Miami in top 4 South Carolina 2017 quarterback target Jake Bentley visited USC this past weekend for the first time since Will Muschamp took over the program and his father, Bobby Bentley, joined USC’s staff. Bentley’s trip to USC was also his first since attending a camp in Columbia two summers ago. He said he enjoyed his time on campus and added that it was nice to meet with Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. “It was great. I haven’t been there in a while. Both times my family went I was kind of busy with the ACT and then I had to do something else the other week, so just going back up there was good,” Bentley said. “It was great seeing all the new coaches and getting to meet them and getting to meet with Coach Roper and Coach Muschamp. It was really good.” Bentley knows that South Carolina will run the spread offense under Roper, but he is interested to see how exactly everything works out. The unanimous four-star prospect plans to pay close attention to the Gamecocks this upcoming season as he tries to decide which college to attend. “I actually don’t know a lot about (USC’s offense), just talking with the coaches they said they don’t really know the players they have now or what they’re going to be working with,” Bentley said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out as the season goes.” Bentley’s current top four includes South Carolina, Stanford, Georgia and Miami. He said all four schools are pretty even. “Stanford and South Carolina are definitely probably up there, then Georgia and Miami with Coach (Mark) Richt. I got an offer from Georgia when Coach Richt was there, and now he went to Miami,” Bentley said. “Stanford, South Carolina, Georgia and Miami are probably the top, but it’s going to be interesting to see with three of the four having new coaches how it’s going to be this season.” Even though his dad coaches running backs at South Carolina, Bentley said his recruitment is being handled by Muschamp and Roper. He would like to be treated the same as any other recruit as much as possible. Bobby Bentley was a member of Auburn’s staff before joining Muschamp in Columbia, and Jake was being recruited by Auburn when his dad was there. “Just like when he was at Auburn you’ve got to go into the process and go into the school not thinking about that and just trying to really focus on the school and the other coaches and the academics, but then again it’s hard not to think about it,” Bentley said. “Your dad’s always with you, and just talking about work or football it always is related back to where he’s working. He wants what’s best for me, and he’s not going to pressure me into going where he’s at or anything like that. But it is challenging at times.” Bentley added that he likes the way USC is handling his recruitment with Muschamp and Roper. “Coach Muschamp, the first time I talked to him when he was there at South Carolina, one of the first things he said was he’s not going to try to use my dad to persuade me or try to get me to come more,” Bentley said. “Coach Muschamp said he was going to be in charge of my recruiting and he would be the main person I would talk to, him and Coach Roper. He said he’s not going to use my dad at all.” Bentley is anxious to continue to take trips to USC and other campuses and is excited to go through the recruiting process. “I want to be treated just like another player,” he said. “I want to go through all the same processes of being shown the school and everything. Even though my dad’s a coach I don’t really get all what a normal recruit gets. I get a lot of it, but I still want to go through the whole process. I know my mom wants to see everything too.” Before deciding on a college Bentley has to decide where he will play his senior year of high school. He is currently enrolled at Opelika High School in Alabama but has visited high schools in the Columbia area as he decides whether to transfer to a high school in South Carolina or stay in Alabama. “We went and visited everywhere this weekend, and we’re going to decide soon what we’re going to do,” he said. “There is a possibility I could stay down here. There’s a lot going on right now, so I’m going to sit down with my mom and dad and figure out what we’re going to do.” Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/high-school/prep-football/article55475365.html#storylink=cpy TOP 5 FOR 2017 If he transfers to a high school in South Carolina for his senior season, Jake Bentley would become the top-ranked recruit in the state for 2017. The top five as it now stands: Player;Pos.;School 1. Ortre Smith;Ath.;Wando 2. Davondre Robinson;S;Lake Marion 3. Shi Smith;Ath.;Union 4. Savalas Cann;S;Bamberg Ehrhardt 5. Brad Johnson;DE;Pendleton THE STATE Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/high-school/prep-football/article55475365.html#storylink=cpy Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/high-school/prep-football/article55475365.html#storylink=cpy

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