Steven Bench sounds destined to hold a clipboard.
Who will start at QB for Penn State next season?
But don’t let his last name fool you—he’ll be just fine as Penn State’s starting quarterback. In fact, Bench has too much talent around him to fail.
Audrey Snyder of The Patriot-News reported that Nittany Lions QB Coach Charlie Fisher is confident in Bench’s ability to fill the shoes of the graduating Matthew McGloin. He said:
Right off the bat he showed a high football IQ. He probably hit a little bit of a freshman wall as the season went on but we're pleased with Steven's progress. Obviously there's a lot of work to be done and he needs a lot more reps. … Steven is doing fine and he's where we need him to be but certainly there's a lot of work that needs to be done.
Rivals only rated Bench as a three-star prospect. Penn State was also the only prestigious program to offer him a scholarship—those competing for his services included the likes of Rice, Samford and Southern Alabama. But despite the fact that Bench wasn’t highly touted, his transition to the starting lineup will be smooth thanks to the Nittany Lions’ young offensive stars.
Zach Zwinak and Allen Robinson, their leading rusher and receiver, are set to return as just juniors. This season, Zwinak racked up 1,000 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 4.9 yards a pop. Robinson reeled in 77 receptions for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Not only will Bench have two stud weapons to work with from Day 1, but those weapons will likely be even more powerful in 2013 given that they consistently produced excellent numbers as mere sophomores this season.
Bench has huge shoes to fill after McGloin, a three-year starter, just led the Nittany Lions to a solid 8-4 season despite tremendous adversity, but he’ll pull it off.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.