Former USF quarterback Matt Floyd has found a landing spot for a transfer. South Alabama announced Thursday the program welcomes the transfer quarterback, with two years of eligibility remaining.
“We recruited Matt out of high school, he was the No. 1 guy on our board at quarterback,” said South Alabama head coach Joey Jones in a released statement. “He ended up going to South Florida, so having this opportunity to get him will be great for our program not only at quarterback but because of his character and leadership skills — he is a high-quality young man. Matt is a dual-threat quarterback; he fits what we do because he can run and throw, he has a strong arm and good size. We feel like we’ve got a guy who can fit into our scheme offensively.”
It was reported in late February Flolyd was looking to transfer. Because he will have already graduated, Floyd will be eligible to play right away at South Alabama instead of having to sit out a season under typical NCAA transfer rules.
Floyd appeared in just one game last fall for the Bulls, and that game did not go so well. After winning the starting job to open the season, Floyd was placed on the bench in the middle of a disappointing season opening loss at home to McNeese State, an FCS program.
This is a nice addition for South Alabama. Floyd may have had a rough go at USF, but a clean slate at a program looking to build could be a good combination for him. It is expected he will compete right away for the starting job. The Jaguars already have four quarterbacks on the roster, but just one upperclassman (junior Brandon Bridge).
The spring practices are getting underway for Willie Taggart‘s USF Bulls, but quarterback Matt Floyd is nowhere to be seen. Floyd is not expected to be around in the fall either.
According to Joey Knight of Tampa Bay Times, Floyd plans to graduate this spring and will transfer to another school. Where he will transfer remains unknown.
Floyd appeared in just one game last season for the Bulls. He won the starting job for South Florida to start the 2013 season but was benched midway through the third quarter of a demoralizing season opening loss to McNeese State. While nobody played well that night, Floyd completed nine of 20 pass attempts for 72 yards, and he was intercepted twice by the FCS program. USF had a bit of a quarterback carousel throughout the season, but Floyd never got another opportunity.
According to NCAA rules, Floyd will be eligible to play this fall at any FBS schools with a roster spot available. Because he is scheduled to graduate this spring, he will not have to wait out a season before playing again.
With the Penn State quarterback direction heading down a different path, Steven Bench opted to transfer to South Florida in hopes of getting a better chance to start this season. This weekend that opportunity will finally come. South Florida will start Bench at quarterback as the 0-3 Bulls host the undefeated Miami Hurricanes in Tampa.
“He’s still not there where he knows our offense completely, so we’ve got to be smart with what ask him to do,” USF coach Willie Taggart said according to an ESPN.com report. “We don’t need him to be Tom Brady. We want him to be Steven Bench.”
So who is Steven Bench?
Bench is a Georgia native who was not heavily recruited, but accepted a scholarship offer from Bill O’Brien at Penn State, a good first step for O’Brien’s recruiting plan to move south. Bench backed up Matt McGloin and played only s a last resort last season. In a week two game against Virginia Bench filled in for an injured McGloin and completed two of eight pass attempts. That was Bench’s only football action in 2012, his freshman year. Bench practiced with the Nittany Lions in the spring but O’Brien chose to move in a different direction with the quarterback position with the addition of junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson and incoming blue chip quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Bench transferred to South Florida after learning he would be the odd man out in State College. His transfer came under the NCAA sanctions allowing all Penn State scholarship players to transfer to another program without having to sit out a season, a sanction that has now expired.
Bench’s first college start will come against a tough Miami defense. Miami is ranked 11th in the nation against the pass with opposing quarterbacks completing just 51.1 percent of their pass attempts. Miami has intercepted six passes and allowed just one passing touchdown. That includes two red zone interceptions and the Hurricanes have not allowed a red zone touchdown pass.
Bench will be the third starting quarterback for South Florida early in the season. Matt Floyd lost the starting job very early in the year in a season opening loss to McNeese State and Bobby Eveld was yanked last weekend against Florida Atlantic. The Bulls are ranked 113rd in the country in passing offense, averaging 135 yards per game through the air.