Jake Bentley talks about his final spring practices, updates his progress
He is on track to set several of the Gamecocks’ all-time records. He stepped into a tough spot early and led the team to three bowls. And he’s got the size and build NFL teams often look for. But he’s also been inconsistent, especially when it comes to throwing interceptions.
But that hasn’t deterred legendary NFL personnel man and analyst Gil Brandt from thinking highly of him.
Brandt listed Bentley as his No. 4 quarterback in the 2019 draft behind Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Michigan’s Shea Patterson and Iowa’s Nate Stanley. Bentley chose not to enter the 2018 draft with the goal of hitting a few more milestones in his career.
Brandt was the Dallas Cowboys’ top scout from the time the franchise started in 1960 until 1988. He built the 1970s dynasty that won a pair of Super Bowls and drafted a slew of future hall of famers.
Herbert might will have been the top pick in the 2019 draft, but he chose to come back for another season.
Bentley is coming off a season where the ups and downs of his career were on full display. He struggled for South Carolina’s first six games, at one point leading the SEC in interceptions. But he caught fire down the stretch, at least until the second half of a rainy Dec. 1 game against Akron and the bowl against Virginia.
For the season, Bentley threw for 3,171 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, two coming in that disastrous bowl performance. For his career, he has 7,385 yards, 54 scores and 30 picks.
Bentley stepped into the starting lineup halfway through his freshman season and has held the top role ever since. His career opened with the promise of a young quarterback, but at times he’s had trouble living up to all those expectations.
He’ll have to adapt next season to life without top target Deebo Samuel. He’ll still have Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith as targets, plus a slew of veteran running backs.