Senior quarterback Jake Bentley has announced he plans to transfer from South Carolina. Bentley made the announcement on his Twitter account. The news comes following the conclusion of the Gamecocks' 4-8 season that ended with a 38-3 loss to Clemson.
"Coach Muschamp, thank you for believing in a 17-year-old kid that skipped his senior season of high school to come to college," Bentley said in his tweet. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime that I will never forget. Thank you for giving me the ability to live out my childhood dream of playing college football at the University of South Carolina."
He also thanked his teammates, coaches and former Gamecocks great Marcus Lattimore, who had his own bad luck with injuries while in college.
Bentley was the established starter for South Carolina with a 19-13 record coming into 2019. However, he sustained a foot injury in the season-opening loss to North Carolina. That injury required surgery and ended up costing him the season. It also cost him a shot at a number of possible passing records. Per Josh Kendall at The Athletic, Bentley ranks second in school history in completion percentage (62.5), fourth in passing yards (7,527), third in passing touchdowns (55) and third in completions (626). Now, as a grad transfer, he will be able to play next season with one year of eligibility remaining.
The longtime starter was replaced by freshman Ryan Hilinski, who, despite the team's overall lack of success, had a decent debut. Hilinski threw for 2,357 yards and 11 touchdowns to five interceptions while adding another touchdown on the ground. Had Bentley opted to return to South Carolina in 2020, there would have been a heated battle between the two in camp.