The Oregon Ducks are busy thanking their lucky swooshes that backup quarterback Bryan Bennett decided not to transfer. But the sophomore should have left when he had the chance.
Not every kid goes to college with dreams of being a starter for a big-time college program. Bennett is a part of that small fraternity.
Obviously, he'll still receive the benefit of a scholarship-provided education. This will open up doors for him in the future, just not the ones he was envisioning as a 4-star recruit.
The decision to stay or go is never an easy one to make. Yet had he made a cons list, these five reasons would have been at the top.
Marcus Mariota is Only a Redshirt Freshman
By far the most prevalent of points, the competition for the position is younger than Bennett. I'd have to double-check my math, but that almost certainly means that Bennett will graduate before Mariota does.
Bennett wasn't able to beat out the hyper-talented Mariota in a head-to-head matchup, and his odds of doing so only decrease in the future. Common sense tells us that Mariota will get better with the game experience that only one of them can enjoy.
In addition, there's little doubt that Chip Kelly will continue to rake in plenty of talent that could result in Bennett finding himself further down the depth chart in the future.
Plenty of Other Teams Run A Similar System
The spread-option attack is all the rage in college football. With seemingly 95 percent of the NCAA employing some version of the system, there are plenty of schools in need of a capable offensive engineer.
Bennett isn't a slouch. He arrived on campus as a highly touted dual-threat quarterback, and he remains the same today. There are undoubtedly plenty of teams that would have lined up for his services if given the chance.
There's even one inside the Pac-12 that now employs a spread pioneer as their head coach.
The NFL is a Tough Business
What are the odds of a career college backup being drafted by a NFL team?
The answer is: slim to none.
Yes, there are a few that have gone on to have decent professional careers. But they are few and far between. It's dangerous to assume you'll be given a shot based on your status as a stud high school recruit.
The best remedy is to put together game film, which requires a presence on the field. That isn't likely to happen for Bennett at Oregon.
Bennett is Still Just a Sophomore
Much ado is made about having to sit out a year. There isn't much difference when compared to spending the season sitting behind Mariota.
Since he is only a sophomore, Bennett could transfer to another Division I program and still have two years of eligibility left after serving the mandatory one-year moratorium. Plus, he would be given time to learn the ins and outs of the new system, so he'd be primed to challenge for a starting position the following year.
Mariota and Oregon Would Actually Benefit from the Transfer as Well
Competition can help drive players to new heights, but so can having complete ownership of a team.
If Mariota struggles to begin the season, the fans and media will begin casting doubt on Kelly's choice. Additionally, whether consciously or not, players will wonder if the team isn't being sacrificed in favor of one player.
So the next thought would be that this is exactly why Oregon needs to keep Bennett. You can just insert him into the game when Mariota isn't capable of moving the offense.
However, we see it every year and we all know the saying verbatim. If you have more than one quarterback, you really have none.
To be fair, putting 20-year-olds in this position is never easy. You just have to hope he made the right selection.
In this instance, I'm not sold.
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