Hello, everyone. Our annual football preview series, The Final Cockdown, has undergone a little bit of a reboot. Sure, we’ll take a look at every player on the roster, but instead of going by jersey number, we’re going to focus on a position a week this year - and from there work our way from the starters on to backups, reserves, and walk-ons. Enjoy!
#19 Jake Bentley
Sophomore / 6’4” / 223 / Opelika (Ala.)
It’s symbolic in a way that this year’s edition starts with a look at the quarterbacks, because the success of this program this coming season could, at least in part, very well begin with #19 under center.
I wrote a 90-days-out profile of Jake Bentley toward the beginning of the month so I won’t rehash everything I said back then. But here’s the Cliffs Notes version:
—There’s a lot of hype surrounding the kid, and he’ll need to work with Kurt Roper and the coaching staff to tune that out and take a step up from last year. A failure to improve could not only sink the Gamecocks’ hopes for working toward a bowl (or better), but could serve as a harsh indictment of Will Muschamp, who hasn’t had that strong of a track record in quarterback development. (That could also open the door to another quarterback controversy when Dakereon Joyner is on campus this spring for camp.)
—How he performs is going to correlate significantly with how the offensive line under Eric Wolford performs. More on that down the road when we look at the o-line.
Bentley’s 2016 stats
Recruitment: Four star recruit out of Opelika, AL. Had 22 offers in high school but committed to South Carolina over Auburn. (Yeah, there’s that whole thing with his dad and all)
Did you know:
Bentley would have been a senior in high school last year if he had graduated on schedule? ah, forget it.
Next: Your possible backup?