2013 Penn State spring football: Breaking down the QB battle

Hunter Martin

Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson will be at the center of the Nittany Lions' quarterback competition this spring.

Matt McGloin had a fine season under center for Penn State in 2012, but now that he has graduated, the Nittany Lions have a big question mark as they prepare for the 2013 season. Who will become the new starter at quarterback? Spring workouts could go a long way toward finding an answer.

Steven Bench, who played sparingly as a freshman last season, and Tyler Ferguson, a junior college transfer who enrolled early, are expected to share reps during spring practice. This is something that the folks at SB Nation's Black Shoe Diaries will be watching closely. Here is one response from a site author about what to keep an eye on this spring:

I don't think there is any answer other than what is going to happen at quarterback. [Christian Hackenberg] won't be at spring practice, but I really don't think he's a thought for 2013 anyway. He'll take his redshirt and learn from [Bill O'Brien] and the other guys. I want to see if Stephen Bench's experience with the playbook will be enough to put him ahead of Tyler Ferguson, who could have played almost anywhere coming out of high school if he hadn't gotten injured.

Bench does have an edge in his familiarity with the playbook, but he and Ferguson are essentially on the same level in terms of on-field experience -- Bench appeared in just two games last season, attempting a total of eight passes.

Coming out of high school in Georgia, Bench was a consensus three-star recruit, and he exhibited above-average mobility. Ferguson is in the mold of a more traditional pro-style quarterback, and he was a consensus three-star junior college recruit. At College of the Sequoias last year, he threw for 2,614 yards with 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

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