Ten things you might not know about South Carolina freshman quarterback Jake Bentley, who is expected to get his first playing time this season against UMass on Saturday.
1. His role model
He views former Byrnes High and USC running back Marcus Lattimore as his idol. He patterns his work ethic after Lattimore and wants to leave a legacy like Lattimore’s.
2. His brothers
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Chas Dodd and Shuler Bentley were star quarterbacks at Byrnes and then played at Division I college teams – Dodd at Rutgers and Bentley at Old Dominion.
3. His dad
Bobby Bentley was a legendary high school coach at Byrnes, winning four consecutive state championship from 2002-05 and going 57-2. He is now the running backs coach at USC.
4. His legend
He was viewed as a future star quarterback and top recruit from the time he was in middle school. Observers could see he was going to have the frame and skill to be a big-time QB.
5. His winding road
In the offseason after his freshman year, Bobby moved his family after accepting a coaching position at Auburn. Jake played his sophomore and junior seasons at Opelika High in Alabama.
6. His decision
With his family moving to Columbia, he decided to skip his senior year of high school and enroll a year early at USC instead of staying at Opelika High or enrolling at a Midlands high school.
7. His age
He would have been old for his grade as a high school senior. He will turn 19 on Nov. 23. Fellow freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain will turn 19 on May 31, 2017.
8. His size
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, with a strong arm and good speed, he has everything you want in a quarterback from a physical standpoint. He has prototypical size for a future NFL QB.
9. His stats
He was the second-ranked quarterback in the nation in the ESPN Junior 300 after passing for 2,834 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a junior at Opelika.
10. His potential
“He is one of the smarter, more well-schooled pocket guys we have seen come out in quite a few years. He has a real feel for the game.” – ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill