QB Steven Bench flips to Penn State

Penn State-bound QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

Penn State-bound QB Steven Bench (247sports.com)

QB Steven Bench flipped his commitment from Rice to Penn State on Tuesday.

Penn State got involved very late with the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Cairo High School who committed to Rice about a month ago. Penn State invited Bench for an official visit last weekend and offered a football scholarship before he left campus on Sunday.

After a couple of sleepless nights, Bench committed to Penn State.

“It was a really tough decision, but I felt like Penn State was the right choice for me,” Bench said. “The school was amazing, the facilities were amazing, and the thing that really stood out there during my visit was the school pride. Everybody loves it there. It’s hard to find a place where 44,000 people like the school they go to.”

Penn State has been in the news for months for months because of the alleged child sex scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky and the firing of the late Joe Paterno. Bench said he considered those issues before committing to Penn State.

“I’ve done my homework on stuff like that,” Bench said. “I’d be shocked if there were some NCAA sanctions. I know the NCAA is investigating. I know they are. But I’d be shocked if there are any sanctions.

“But all of that has nothing to do with the current football program. There’s absolutely nothing that anyone on that staff or team can do about it. It’s unfortunate that it happened and it’s unfortunate that the consequences led to getting rid of Joe Paterno. It was just a bad situation. At the same time, it’s over. Everybody knows you can’t make up for it or do anything about it now. All you can do is move forward and work hard.”

Bench said Penn State’s coaches addressed the Sandusky scandal during his visit.

“It was something that I thought about and people said things to me about, but it didn’t play much of a part into my decision after the visit there,” Bench said. “Everybody there realizes that it was an unfortunate incident that occurred. There’s nothing any of the current coaches can do about it. They basically addressed it as an unfortunate incident that occurred, and said there was nothing we can do about it but move forward.”

Bench said a couple of people at his school made Penn State jokes after he committed on Tuesday but “everybody is congratulating me and they are generally excited for what my future holds at such a great school.”

Bench got a call from Mississippi State on Tuesday morning to gauge his interest but says his recruiting is over.

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121 comments Add your comment

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
2:42 pm

I probably would have taken the free Rice education over watching my back in the shower for the next four years.

HighTech

January 24th, 2012
2:43 pm

Good luck at Happy Valley. From Cairo to Penn State? Culture shock?

climax

January 24th, 2012
2:45 pm

a cairo boy in the northwest? kirby smart won’t like it.

juvenal

January 24th, 2012
2:45 pm

hotel business not that hot right now….

MiamiDawg

January 24th, 2012
2:46 pm

@George… too funny.

#SMH

January 24th, 2012
2:48 pm

since nobody else wants it, ill take it…FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO

January 24th, 2012
2:54 pm

I disagree. George’s comment wasn’t funny at all. It was tasteless.

As for Steven, seems like a really good kid. Good luck. I hope you do wonderful things at Penn State.

Lefty

January 24th, 2012
2:54 pm

The kid is pretty sharp to notice how much everyone seems to like it there. He has a good point that it’s unusual to find a whole community so united, and I’m sure he’s noticed if and how it’s different at PSU than the other schools he visited.

Pilfer Dawg

January 24th, 2012
2:54 pm

sad #SMH ….. very sad. For this kid’s sake, I hope he doesn’t sit the “Bench” for the Fighting Paternos.

Alabama morons

January 24th, 2012
2:55 pm

Hey climax – since when is Penn State in the northwest? I hope kirby smart is smarter than the alums from the school where he coaches. Moron.

Gerald

January 24th, 2012
2:58 pm

Ha ha ha! A Cairo boy at Penn State! As a product of southwest Georgia, I love it for the (soon to be) former Cairo Syrup Maker! Please young man Bench, represent south Georgia well up north! And speaking of the Cairo syrup makers, if I were running this state, I would create thousands of jobs in Cairo (and in the plantations and swamps near there) by putting them to work growing low-grade sugarcane for ethanol production, so Georgia could compete with the midwestern grain ethanol domestically and with the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol internationally (and our U.S. policy of dealing with Brazil ethanol is totally absurd by the way, but that’s globalism for you). And as syrup can also be made from soybeans and karo nuts, here’s betting that you can produce ethanol from that stuff – and do it in Georgia – also. But hey, that is proof that the political leadership in this state is clueless when it comes to economic development, and that includes both the tax-cut-and-spend family values Gingrich supporting Republicans, and the social welfare state “we want to grow the economy by building public transit to where no one wants to ride it and force kids to stay in bad public schools because their union employees need jobs” Democrats.

rusty

January 24th, 2012
2:58 pm

@ George, this Bench fellow is too old to be watching his back. They only like kids.

Too soon?

UGA Class of 86

January 24th, 2012
2:58 pm

I hope this young man has a helluva career at Penn State. I think it is a major step up from Rice, even with all the mess surrounding the program. And GO I agree with you 100%, George’s comment was totally tasteless and uncalled for.

Mark in ATL

January 24th, 2012
2:59 pm

Penn St in the northwest???? Have you ever looked at a map???

UGADawg

January 24th, 2012
3:00 pm

Good luck young man. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and expect you will do well.

Gerald

January 24th, 2012
3:01 pm

By the way: UGA and Georgia Tech need to start showing the same attention to south Georgia that out of state schools do. UGA and Georgia Tech used south Georgia players like Shawn Jones and Buck Belue to win national titles, and now all that great talent is getting ignored by both programs for Atlanta area players and out of state recruits, and it isn’t just mid-majors recruiting south Georgia but Big 10 and ACC powers. Now that Texas A&M and Missouri are joining the SEC, expect them to start recruiting south Georgia once they see the neglected talent down there. That proves that Vince Dooley and Bobby Ross were much better coaches than Mark Richt and Paul Johnson. Sorry, it does. Even George O’Leary relied on south Georgia talent heavily when he was at Georgia Tech, and still tries to get 4 or 5 prospects a year from south Georgia down to Orlando and UCF. Now that UCF is in the Big East, expect him to have even more success recruiting the south Georgia athletes that UGA and GT are too arrogant to go after like this kid.

DawginLex

January 24th, 2012
3:02 pm

George

You are better than that.

Penn state, despite the sins of commission and omission, is still a great school in a great conference that offers top notch academics.

Good luck to Mr Bench

Lefty

January 24th, 2012
3:02 pm

Perhaps he meant northwest of Philadelphia.

Not George

January 24th, 2012
3:04 pm

George is like school on Sunday.

No class.

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:13 pm

I wasn’t making fun of the kids, people. I was picking on Penn St. And to be perfectly candid, that school needs to hammered for providing shelter to a child rapist.

I agree, Lex, that it’s a fine school (not nearly as good as Rice, though). But it’ll take years for that mess not to be the first thing people think of when they think about Penn State.

St. Simon's Daddy

January 24th, 2012
3:16 pm

He will get a great education at either school. Penn St. is quite a step up on the football side. George that comment was classless. You are better than that. Wonder when the troll UOAD5150 will add his two cents to the blog?

Not George

January 24th, 2012
3:19 pm

George, how is PSU ‘not nearly as good as Rice’?

What are you smoking?

DawgINthehuddle

January 24th, 2012
3:22 pm

Hope the kid has a good career where ever he goes, god knows, anything will be an improvement over South Georgia where he’s from. There two types down that far south – good ole biguns and big ole goodens!

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:23 pm

Is that a serious question, Not George?

Rice is one one top 20 schools in the country. It’s about as elite as you can get without being Ivy League.

DawgSTILE

January 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

Good luck son -

Not George

January 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

… and their football program?

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:27 pm

And perhaps that’s where we differ, Not George. He’s picking a college. To me, football is a secondary concern.

Less than one tenth of one percent make it to the NFL. Anyone with a brain would go to best school they could.

G-Dawg

January 24th, 2012
3:34 pm

Penn St deserves all the wise-cracks they get…they allowed this nonsense for over 10 yrs.

Not George

January 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

PSU is a top tier institution with a larger variety of degree programs available. And 10x the amount of students…. and quite frankly State College is a lot more fun to hang out in (as a 18-22 year old) than Houston.

Obviously football was a major concern for where Mr. Bench chooses to play football (while getting a ‘free’ education).

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

Bingo, G-Dawg. And they wrecked countless lives in the process, G-Dawg. It angers me to no end.

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:40 pm

Penn State is a fine school, Not George. The fact that there are not as many Rice students is one of the appeals of the school.

As to football part, that’s where parents should provide some guidance. The likelihood is that this kid ain’t getting to the League, which means to pick the school that best gives you a chance at success. For him, if it’s Penn St, Rice, UGA, or the University of Phoenix, so be it. But if you read my original comment, I was speaking from my own perspective.

5150 UOAD

January 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

George but at least Sanders Commings want be in the showers with him.

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

Eh, 5150, Commings screwed up and I certainly don’t condone his behavior. But he’s 20 years old. I’m not gonna kill him for making a mistake. He just needs to learn from it and move on.

Not George

January 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

Under 4,000 undergrads = less choices in majors/course offerings.

Nick

January 24th, 2012
3:45 pm

@ Gerald

Malcolm Mitchell, Ray Drew, next year Brice Ramsey. I think CMR is one step ahead of you.

5150 UOAD

January 24th, 2012
3:45 pm

I hope he doesn’t get fat at the Creamery. I would be getting a scoop of 2 everyday in the non-winter months.

slydog

January 24th, 2012
3:46 pm

So George, who is being biased now?…lmao. Anyway, this is actually a good move for the kid. Apparently, he has some QB talent cause Rice runs an uptempo offense. O’Brien might be doing the same thing up at Penn State.

JB

January 24th, 2012
3:47 pm

I have looked over the Georgia walkon roster today. Richt has 18 players who were not recruited out of high school. How many of those will end up with 1 of the 9 spots left days before signing day. There has not been an article in days other than the big OL decommiting today. Maybe the power is out in Athens.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

January 24th, 2012
3:47 pm

Enter your comments here

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

January 24th, 2012
3:48 pm

Yes, he’ll have to be watchful in the showers.

slydog

January 24th, 2012
3:49 pm

Commins didn’t make a mistake, he made a decision. Personally, if I’m that drunk with a chick, I’m looking to punch something else.

JB

January 24th, 2012
3:50 pm

Giving scholarships to walkons=No depth.

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:50 pm

Guess the question is whether you’d have a lot of above average choices or fewer elite choices, Not George. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but I know which I’d choose.

5150 UOAD

January 24th, 2012
3:51 pm

I wonder if he knows who the OC is going to be? Maybe the Fridge is going to get the job and Goose Godsey is the QB coach. that would be some good teachers.

George Stein

January 24th, 2012
3:52 pm

C’mon, JB. Richt is throwing a bone to a few kids that have busted their tail for him. Nothing wrong with that.

You’re putting me in the unique position of defending a UGA player, slydog. This is not a game I like!

slydog

January 24th, 2012
3:56 pm

If the allegations against Commings are true, then that’s 10 scholly’s available. I think UGA will be fine. All this grey shirting, flipping, and de-commitments on behalf of the coaches will lead some players to start looking out for themselves more.

christophorm

January 24th, 2012
3:57 pm

Those of us who have been alive since the 70’s love what Joe pa. did at penn st. and how he had the program on top in the 70’s and 80’s… he is right there with Bear bryant ,vince dooley,pat dye or any other good football coach.One so-called monster, that has not even been convicted yet ain’t gonna change that.

slydog

January 24th, 2012
3:58 pm

@George Stein

lol. It’s just called being a voice of reason.

Not George

January 24th, 2012
4:00 pm

Good post, christophorm. It seems like there is a (ignorant) segment of the population trying to indict an entire university for the actions of one former assistant football coach.

Geoff

January 24th, 2012
4:00 pm

Not shocked be this at all… the kid gets a head coach who’s offense savvy and has coached Tom Brady. For once Penn State might have a formidable offense and QB’s won’t go there to rot under O’Brien… we shall see… good luck!