Quarterback leaving Penn State

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Penn State backup quarterback Steven Bench plans to transfer, a move that at least temporarily lessens the field for the starting job this fall.

Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien said Wednesday that Bench was granted a release to leave the program. He will finish the spring semester at Penn State.

Bench's departure likely puts sophomore and junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson atop the depth chart. Bench and Ferguson split first-team reps in spring practice, which wrapped up Saturday.

O'Brien had said that he wouldn't decide on a starter until August preseason camp, when prized freshman recruit Christian Hackenberg joins the competition.

Bench didn't see much playing time as a freshman in 2012 backing up record-setting senior Matt McGloin.

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