In wake of transfer, O' Brien addresses PSU quarterback race

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READING, Pa. -- For the first time since Penn State quarterback Steven Bench's transfer last week, coach Bill O'Brien publicly discussed the situation and clarified the quarterback race for the Nittany Lions.

"I told him what I felt was the truth and what he needed to do to get better," O'Brien said. "I told him no starter has been named but going in you probably won't get as many reps as the other guys."

After the Blue-White game, O'Brien had said the competition between Bench and junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson had yet to produce a true leader. He reiterated that point this afternoon.

"I didn't see there was this huge separation," O'Brien said. "Again, I don't want anybody to transfer."

Bench played in two games last season as a true freshman. He threw for 12 yards and rushed for 18 yards against Virginia and was 0-for-1 passing against Purdue.

With Bench gone, the quarterback race will obviously be down to two players: Ferguson and incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg, who is scheduled to enroll in June. O'Brien said the two of them would get similar repetitions at practices for preseason camp, with Ferguson likely receiving a few more.

Another roster change: O'Brien announced on Tuesday that sophomore offensive guard Anthony Stanko had quit the team but would continue to attend Penn State on scholarship. He joins Luke Graham and Dakota Royer as Penn State players to leave the team but remain at the school on scholarship, as is allowed under the NCAA sanctions. Stanko did not play as a freshman last season.

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Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, Twitter @mdent05


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