Highly regard quarterback Jake Bentley of Opelika, Ala., announced his commitment to South Carolina on Thursday morning.
With the Gamecocks he will join his father, Bobby Bentley, who is USC’s running backs coach.
“Just excited that I can come back home to the place I grew up watching, and excited to be a Gamecock,” Bentley said. “It’s going to be a unique situation. It wasn’t the reason why I committed, but it’s going to be fun. And I feel like I fit great into their offense, I’ve run many plays that coach (Kurt) Roper is running now.”
Bentley (6-4, 220) will be an early graduate. He chose the Gamecocks over LSU, Alabama and Miami. He also strongly considered Stanford until the Cardinal received a QB commitment for 2017.
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It’s going to be a unique situation. It’s going to be fun. And I feel like I fit great into their offense.
Quarterback Jake Bentley
Head coach Will Muschamp offered Bentley in December, the first quarterback he offered after taking the job, and he personally recruited him to make sure his father’s presence on his staff was not an influence one way or another. Bentley said then that he appreciated Muschamp’s approach and Thursday added that it’s a perfect opportunity for him.
“Thank you to every coach that has recruited me and invested their time to build a relationship with me,” Bentley wrote on his Twitter page. “After many prayers and talks with my family, I have decided that I am coming back home and committing to the University of South Carolina. I am ready to be a part of the new era of Gamecock football.”
Bentley grew up in Duncan while his dad was coaching at Byrnes High School and later at Presbyterian College. The family moved to Auburn in 2014 when Bobby Bentley joined Gus Malzahn’s staff.
Last season Bentley passed for 2,834 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was a finalist in the Elite 11 regional competition in Atlanta last Sunday.
Bentley is one of two quarterbacks Muschamp plans to take in this class, and he’s the seventh commitment for the Gamecocks’ 2017 group.
USC 2017 CLASS COMMITMENTS
▪ Jake Bentley, QB, Opelika, Ala.
▪ Summie Carlay, OL, Laurens
▪ Dennis Daley, OL, Georgia Military/Columbia
▪ Stephen Guidry, WR, Hinds Community College (Miss.)
▪ Will Register, TE, Chapin
▪ Damani Staley, LB, Columbia
▪ Javon Kinlaw, DE, Jones County JC (Miss.)/Goose Creek