Quarterback Bennett to transfer from Oregon

Bryan Bennett plans to transfer from Oregon, a team source confirmed to The Register-Guard.

The website DuckTerritory first reported the news Monday, and said Bennett will enroll this week at Southeastern Louisiana, a Football Championship Subdivision school in the Southland Conference.

Bennett, a redshirt sophomore during the 2012 season, appeared in 10 games after losing out to Marcus Mariota for Oregon's starting quarterback job. He completed 20-of-37 passes for 211 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions off the bench, and ran 39 times for 165 yards and six touchdowns.

Bennett's departure comes one day after the Ducks announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich was promoted to succeed Chip Kelly as head coach. Those developments seem to be unrelated, however; a UO team source said Monday that Bennett decided some time ago that he would leave the program.

Freshmen Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues remain on the UO roster behind Mariota after redshirting last season, along with walk-on senior-to-be Dustin Haines. The Ducks also are recruiting a junior college transfer at quarterback, Tanner McEvoy.

Southeastern Louisiana is an FCS program, making Bennett immediately eligible to play this fall as a junior. The Lions were 5-6 last season behind senior quarterback Nathan Stanley, an Ole Miss transfer who was invited to two postseason all-star games this month.

Bennett, a former four-star recruit, redshirted in 2010 and was Oregon's primary backup to Darron Thomas late in the season, after Nate Costa's career-ending knee injury. Bennett made seven appearances in 2011, starting at Colorado while Thomas nursed an injury and leading the Ducks to touchdowns on their first four possessions in a 45-2 victory.

But he never shined as brightly in 2012, his confidence seemingly shaken after Mariota won the starting job. Bennett came close to transferring after that decision was made but stuck with the Ducks after an 11th-hour meeting with then-coach Chip Kelly.

Bennett's most prominent role this past season was as the quarterback in a specialty package used several times at midseason, with tight end Colt Lyerla lined up at running back.

In the Fiesta Bowl, Bennett played on the Ducks' kickoff team for its final appearance of Oregon's win season-finale win over Kansas State.


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