Just 24 hours after Mark Helfrich was named as Oregon’s new head coach, reports have surfaced sophomore quarterback Bryan Bennett will leave the program and enroll at Southeastern Lousiana University.
According to a report by Duck Territory and CBS Sports.com, Bennett visited the school in Hammond, Louisiana over the weekend and plans to enroll in classes tomorrow ( Tuesday ).
By transferring to an FCS school, Bennett will keep his remaining two years of eligibility and have the ability to play next fall.
After last springs tightly contested quarterback battle between Bennett and redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota, Bennett came close to transferring when former coach Chip Kelly confirmed Mariota would be named the starter.
Bennett though, after a lengthy discussion with Kelly, decided to remain at Oregon to back-up Mariota and actually saw playing time not only at quarterback, but at wide receiver and running back.
On the season, Bennett a 6’3 – 199 pound redshirt sophomore, was 20 of 37 for 211 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. On the ground, Bennett carried the ball 39 times for 165 yards and 6 touchdowns.
With Bennett’s departure, Oregon returns next season with inexperienced quarterbacks Jeff Lockie ( 6’2-180 lb freshman ) from Danville, California and Jake Rodrigues ( 6’3-205 – Freshman ) from Rocklin, California.
Both Lockie and Rodrigues will enter the 2013 season as true sophomores with a full season of practice experience in the current offensive system under their belts. When the team convenes in April for spring football, Lockie and Rodrigues will now compete for the number two slot behind Mariota.
While Bennett remained at Oregon for the 2012 season, it was speculated he might make a move to the defensive side of the ball in 2013 to gain playing time.
From the moment he arrived at Oregon, Bennett ( Crespi High School – Encino, CA. ) always considered himself a starting quarterback and will now have the opportunity to compete for the starting spot at Southeastern Lousiana.
Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond Louisiana and is a member of the Southland Conference.
The Lions record in 2012 was 5-6.