EUGENE – University of Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett has informed the football staff of his intentions to transfer to another school, Head Coach Mark Helfrich confirmed Tuesday.
The Encino, Calif., standout played in 10 games as a reserve as a sophomore in 2012, completing 20 of 37 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns after successfully connecting on 25 of 46 aerials for 369 yards and six scoring tosses as a redshirt freshman in 2011. Bennett also completed his Oregon career rushing for 365 yards, with all six of his rushing TDs occurring this year.
He ran for three scores in this season’s 70-14 win over Colorado and a single-game best 73 yards.
In 2011, his play was crucial in coming off the bench in the third quarter against Arizona State for an injured Darron Thomas and the Ducks trailing, 24-21, to quarterback Oregon to a 41-27 win. He guided Oregon to a 45-2 victory the following week in his lone collegiate start at Colorado, completing 11 of 20 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns in addition to 69 yards on the ground.
“Bryan is an outstanding young man who certainly contributed to our success on and off the field in the three years he was a part of our program,” Helfrich said. “He would have played a role in our fortunes in the coming years but in the end, I think it was his desire to play quarterback that led to him to seek an opportunity for more playing time elsewhere. We wish him nothing but success in the future and he will be missed.”
Bennett will have two years of eligibility remaining.
SE Louisiana Release
HAMMOND – Looking to fill a void created by the loss of his team's top two quarterbacks to graduation, Southeastern Louisiana University football coach Ron Roberts announced Tuesday the addition of University of Oregon transfer Bryan Bennett to the 2013 roster.
Bennett, a 6-foot-3, 204-pound junior, will have two years of eligibility remaining at Southeastern, a Division I FCS school and member of the Southland Conference. The Encino, Calif., native is immediately eligible to play in the 2013 season and will participate in spring practice which begins Feb. 25.
“The biggest thing Bryan's going to bring to the table is that he's a dual threat,” Roberts said. “Bryan has played in some big-time games and has a great ability to run the football. He's got a great arm and has played at the highest level of college football. We're excited about what he's going to bring, both athletically and leadership wise, to the football team.”
In two seasons with the Ducks, Bennett played in 18 career games where he served as the backup quarterback to Darron Thomas in 2011 and Marcus Mariota in 2012. At Southeastern, Bennett will compete with returning players Jordan Barnett and Brian Ensminger to fill the void left by graduated starter Nathan Stanley (a former Ole Miss transfer) and backup Brian Young, who started in 2011.
“That (quarterback) was one area we needed to address in the off-season and we wanted to get some more depth in here,” Roberts said. “I'm looking forward to see how the guys compete this spring. That's the one position that makes this team go around. If you have competition at the quarterback spot, it brings out the best in everybody.”
Bennett played in 10 games for Oregon in 2012, finishing as the team's fifth-leading rusher (165 yards) while scoring six touchdowns and helping the Ducks to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State and No. 2 ranking in the final national polls. He rushed for 79 yards on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns in a win over Colorado while rushing for a pair of TDs against Tennessee Tech and a TD against Arizona. Through the air, Bennett completed 20 of 37 passes for 211 yards on the season with three TDs – against Arkansas State, Arizona State and California.
As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Bennett finished as the Ducks' sixth-leading rusher averaging a team-best 8.7 yards per carry in eight games that included a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. Bennett tossed six touchdown passes on the season, including two against Washington State and two in his first collegiate start against Colorado. He engineered a comeback win against Arizona State, filling in for an injured Thomas and helping the Ducks to a 41-27 victory.
“Bryan is an outstanding young man who certainly contributed to our success on and off the field in the three years he was a part of our program,” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said. “He would have played a role in our fortunes in the coming years but in the end, I think it was his desire to play quarterback that led to him to seek an opportunity for more playing time elsewhere. We wish him nothing but success in the future and he will be missed.”
A three-year starter at Encino's Crespi High School, Bennett was a four-star recruit and the No. 10 quarterback in the country in 2009 by Scout.com. He was rated a four-star recruit and the No. 15 quarterback by Rivals.com and a three-star recruit by ESPN.com. He took over the starting quarterback job as a sophomore, replacing injured starter Kevin Prince (a former starter at UCLA) and helped to the Celts to an 11-3 record and state runner-up finish.