"I just picked up an offer from Akron," Bender told JCFootball.com. "They just said they liked me and they wanted to go ahead and offer."
The offer from the Zips is the first for the talented passer who has completed 105 of his 164 attempts (64%) for 1,372 yards with five touchdowns and one interception while helping to lead the Indians to a 3-2 record.
As a prep in Florida, Bender signed with Washington State and he started one game last season while playing in several more.
He looked poised to spend one more season as Luke Falk's backup and then possibly take over the reigns of the Cougar offense, but instead, he was unable to stay academically eligible so he decided to leave and start fresh.
"I could have stayed and they wanted me to stay, but I thought it was better to leave and get a fresh start," Bender noted. "A big thing for me was I didn't want to sit a year. I wanted to get game reps. Those were what was going to help me get better and I just felt like coming here to Itawamba was the best option for me.
"I didn't know much about the JUCO process or what were the best programs, but my high school coach knew some of the coaches here and he said they were looking to bring in a quarterback and so I contacted them and it worked out."
Bender is a classic drop-back passer who prides himself on his anticipation and his ability to put the ball on the mark.
"I get the ball out quickly. I think that's the biggest thing about me that sets me apart from the rest," Bender said. "I can also anticipate the windows that I will have to throw into and then I can put the ball where it needs to be for my receiver to have the best chance to bring it in.
"The biggest thing I worked on was my game prep. I was already studying a lot of film, but I felt like I could improve as a starter and getting ready for each game every week. I also wanted to be more decisive and not force things, so that was a lot of what I worked on."
Bender is on pace to finish up his two-year degree in December and he will have two years to play two following the 2016 football season.