TAMPA – Former Penn State quarterback Steven Bench is transferring to the University of South Florida, head coach Willie Taggart confirmed on Thursday. Bench is allowed to play in 2013 due to the Nittany Lions’ NCAA sanctions and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

“We’re definitely excited that Steven decided to join the USF family,” Taggart said. “He is a coach’s son, who brings a lot of toughness to the game. His addition will also elevate the competition at quarterback, which will be good for all the players at the position. We’re looking forward to his arrival on campus so he can start working out with the guys, while getting acclimated to the way we do things.”

Bench became just the third Penn State true freshman signal-caller to play in the previous eight years and was one of just six true freshmen to play during the 2012 season. He made his Penn State debut in the second quarter at Virginia and completed his first career pass attempt. Bench completed two passes for 12 yards versus the Cavaliers and also gained 18 yards on three rushing attempts. He also played at Purdue.

A Bainbridge, Ga. native, Bench was selected the Region 1-AAA Offensive Player of the Year during his senior season at Cairo High School. He threw for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdown passes, while running for nine scores as a senior.  Bench led the Syrupmakers to the 2011 Region I-AAA championship and a berth in the state semifinals. A four-year football letterman, Bench also was a prep All-America baseball player and played one year of basketball. He was an honors graduate with a 3.86 grade-point average at Cairo.