Longtime South Carolina starting QB Jake Bentley to pursue graduate transfer

The graduate transfer quarterback market is already taking shape. 

A day after Florida’s Feleipe Franks announced he was leaving Gainesville, another SEC quarterback — South Carolina’s Jake Bentley — is also leaving his school. 

Bentley, who started parts of four seasons for the Gamecocks, announced he will graduate on Dec. 16 and be immediately eligible at another school in 2020. 

Bentley opened the season as South Carolina’s starting quarterback, but went down with a season-ending foot injury in a Week 1 loss at North Carolina. The foot injury allowed Bentley to redshirt the season, opening the door for a final year elsewhere. 

In Bentley’s absence, true freshman Ryan Hilinski took over as the team’s starting QB and showed some glimpses of a bright future despite a disappointing 4-8 season. And with Hilinski seemingly entrenched in Columbia for the next few years, the option of a graduate transfer entered the equation for Bentley. 

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley looks to pass against North Carolina on Aug. 31. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Bentley became South Carolina’s starting quarterback midway through his true freshman season and didn’t give up the job until he was injured. Over that 34-game span, Bentley threw for 7,527 yards, 55 touchdowns and 32 interceptions while completing 62.5 percent of his passes.

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