Saturday, the former Penn State quarterback went on the record to confirm as much.
Labeling the report from ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad as being “very accurate,” Bench told Matt Stevens of the Starkville Dispatch that there is “mutual interest” between himself and the Bulldogs. Bench is also considering USF as a transfer destination as well as an unnamed school or schools from the ACC.
Based on Bench’s comments to Stevens, it appears that the rising sophomore could make a decision on a transfer destination as early as next weekend.
“I want to feel comfortable at my new school and academics will play a part into it, atmosphere will play a part in the decision because obviously I got to live for the next three or four years,” the Cairo, Ga., product told the Dispatch. “I want to feel at home and I want to have fun and I want to get a good education.”
As previously noted, Bench would be eligible to play immediately in 2013 at the FBS level due to the sanctions slapped on the Nittany Lions football program last year.
It’s likely that Bench would have a better opportunity to start this upcoming season with the Bulls than the Bulldogs, although Tyler Russell, MSU’s starter in 2012, is not exactly firmly entrenched at the position.
Bench, who announced he was leaving Penn State late last month, added that he would be willing to use his redshirt season — he played in two games as a true freshman last season — at whichever school he lands, which would still leave him with three years of eligibility beginning in 2014.