Jake Bentley‘s time in Columbia wasn’t supposed to end like this. The son of South Carolina position coach and a former successful high school coach in the Palmetto State, Bentley skipped his senior year of high school to enroll early at Carolina.
After sitting the first six games of his college career, Bentley started the final seven, was named a team captain as a sophomore and won a leadership award during his sophomore and junior campaigns, all while improving each season. As a junior in 2018, he ranked among the top five in the SEC in passing yards (3,171) and touchdowns (27).
Then he got injured his foot in the opening game of his senior year, and his career turned into the prologue of someone else’s fairy tale. With true freshman Ryan Hilinski set to become the Lou Gehrig to his Wally Pipp, Bentley announced Monday he is leaving South Carolina.
“The past 3 1/2 years have been incredible,” Bentley said in a statement posted to social media. “I have met lifelong friends and made memories that I will never forget. However at this time, I believe that it is in my best interest to graduate on December 16th and transfer to play my final year of eligibility. This is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Leaving this incredible university is extremely difficult. I will forever be grateful to the coaches, professors, administrators and teammates of this great school.”
Bentley is eligible to enter the NFL draft, but instead will play his fifth season of college football. He’ll join ex-Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks at the top of the wish list for any school looking for a rent-a-QB.