Former Gamecock named quarterbacks coach at UNA

FLORENCE, Ala. — Having thrown for more than 10,000 yards in his collegiate career as a player, former South Carolina, Utah and South Alabama quarterback Jake Bentley has joined the University of North Alabama football coaching staff as quarterbacks coach. UNA head coach Brent Dearmon made the announcement Thursday.

Bentley served as an offensive graduate assistant at Florida Atlantic during the recently completed 2022 season.

As a player, Bentley started 45 career games on the FBS level and threw for 10,885 yards and 78 touchdowns from 2016-21.

“Jake Bentley is one of the rising stars in this business,” said Dearmon. “A former SEC quarterback, he is also a product of high school football in the state of Alabama. Jake knows how to play, and also coach quarterbacks at an elite level. We are blessed to have Jake Bentley at UNA.”

“I am extremely blessed and honored for this opportunity,” said Bentley. “I am excited to be part of something special at UNA. I can not wait to lead and serve UNA, the Shoals area and the players with a terrific group of men.”

At South Carolina, he was the 2016 team MVP, was voted team captain in 2017 and 2018, received a Southeastern Conference Sportsmanship Award, was MVP of the 2018 Outback Bowl and was a 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist.

In 2016 he completed 125-of-190 passes for 1,420 yards and nine touchdowns after starting the final seven contests of his freshman season. As a sophomore, Bentley threw for 2,794 yards and 18 scores — connecting on 245-of-394 attempts — highlighted by a performance against Kentucky that saw him go 24-of-36 passing for 304 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He ranked fourth in the SEC in passing yards per game and touchdown passes, finishing among the top five in the program’s season records in touchdowns passes (second), passing yards (third), and touchdowns responsible for (fourth, 29) as well, as a junior after going 240-of-388 for 3,171 yards and 27 touchdowns passing. That fall, he went 22-of-32 for 363 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for the game-winning score in a victory over Ole Miss and also threw for 510 yards and five touchdowns — setting a school game record in the former category and matching another in the latter — against eventual national champion Clemson.

In the Gamecocks’ career record books, he ranks second in completion percentage (62.5 percent), third in completions (626) and touchdowns passes (55), fourth in passing yards (7,527) and fifth in total offense (7,670).

At the University of Utah in 2020, he was selected team captain and was a leadership committee member. He started four of the Utes’ five games in the fall, completing 62.1 percent (77-of-124) of his passes for 882 yards and six touchdowns He was 20-of-32 for a season-best 240 yards and two scores in a victory at No. 21 Colorado, while also going 18-of-27 passing for 174 yards to help lead the Utes past Oregon State for its first win of the year. He added a 91-yard touchdown pass — the second-longest in program history — in a season-ending defeat by Washington State.

At South Alabama as a senior in 2021, he played in 10 games, throwing for 2,476 yards and 17 touchdowns. He completed 70.0 percent of his passes. He was selected honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference.

Born in Spartanburg, S.C., Bentley later played his final two seasons at the prep level at Opelika (Ala.) High, where he threw for 2,834 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior before graduating early in order to attend USC.  He was a first-team all-state selection in 2015 as the Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals of the state Class 6A playoffs.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Entertainment Management degree from South Carolina in 2019 and a Master of Business Administration  degree from South Alabama in 2021.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks