Pack Next To Host Bench

One visit is in the books for Penn State quarterback transfer Steven Bench. Earlier this week he was in Tampa checking out the University of South Florida.

One visit is in the books for Penn State quarterback transfer Steven Bench. Earlier this week he was in Tampa checking out the University of South Florida.

"Monday and Tuesday I was at South Florida," said Bench. "It went really, really well. I got down there and talked with the offensive coaches a lot... was able to meet most of the staff.

"I was around coach Taggart a lot, and we talked football... just hung out. I got a tour of the facilities and the campus. It was a really good visit."

Bench said South Florida's recruiting pitch was very simple.

"The coaches said it's a place where you have an opportunity to make an impact. They have an open quarterback battle coming in to the fall semester, and I could be a part of that if I go there."

Bench inked with Penn State in 2012 out of Bainbridge, Georgia after picking up an offer late in the process. Bench, who was committed to Rice when Penn State offered, worked his way into the mix as a true freshman, where he played in two games, completing 2-of-8 passes for 12 yards.

"I believe my recruiting was hurt in high school because I basically played in the veer my first three years," he said. "Throwing it four or five times a game won't attract a lot of coaches because they want to see all these different throws.

"That's something I didn't do my first three years. I was running it 20 times a game and throwing it four or five times. I transferred my senior year and played in an offense that allowed me to do more throwing the ball. That led to the offer from Penn State."

Bench elected to leave the program in the spring after failing to win the starting quarterback job and quickly cut his list to NC State, South Florida, and Mississippi State.

Next up... the NC State Wolfpack.

"I fly out to NC State Friday morning,"said Bench. "I'm excited about it. I'm looking to see how I get along with the coaches and how I get along with the players.

"I want to see what my level of comfort will be. I'm sure the facilities will be top notch so it's about how I feel about the school and how much I like Raleigh."

Bench, who says there was no prior connection to NC State that led to the Wolfpack being involved in his recruitment, maintains he has had constant communication with the coaching staff.

"I talk to coach Doeren a lot, and coach Canada a few times," he stated. "I've also been talking with coach Kitchings.

"Pretty much, it's the same as South Florida. From what I understand, they have a quarterback competition going on."

Bench is intrigued by NC State's offense and believes he would be a good fit in the spread-option attack.

"I think they see that I can run the football and carry the football and take hits... take a beating," said Bench. "Playing the veer in high school, it taught me how to run the football... I was a glorified running back for three years.

"Because I can run the football and throw the football, I do think I'm a good fit for the spread-option offense."

Bench will visit Mississippi State on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and he says he will then start to focus on making a quick decision.

"[My decision] will be fairly soon after that visit," he said. "I'll be making a quick decision. I'm done with school now and my bags are basically still picked. I'm going to try and get on campus as soon as I can so I can start working in the weight room and start learning the offense."

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