In the end, it was another one of those “move on, nothing to see here” moments.
As Ben noted Tuesday evening, rumors began flying yesterday that Bryan Bennett had decided to leave the Oregon football program less than a week after officially losing the Ducks’ quarterback competition to redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota. The transfer speculation made sense as the redshirt sophomore had entered spring practice as the prohibitive favorite to replace the departed Darron Thomas under center.
However, following a meeting with head coach Chip Kelly, Bennett has reportedly had a change of heart.
247Sports.com wrote last night that, per what the website referred to as a well-placed source, “Bennett is staying and Chip can breath [sic] a huge sigh of relief.” Citing its own team source, The Oregonian reported that Bennett told teammates after the meeting with Kelly that he would remain a Duck.
The reason for the huge sigh of relief when it comes to a backup staying put can be boiled down to one word: experience. Bennett is the only QB on the roster with actual playing experience, appearing in eight games last season — with one start in place of a dinged Thomas — as the primary backup at the position.
Mariota redshirted as a true freshman in 2011, while Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues, the only other scholarship QBs on the roster, are true freshmen.