Report: Quarterback Bryan Bennett to transfer to Southeast Louisiana

Sophomore quarterback Bryan Bennett (2) attempts to avoid defenders as the Oregon Ducks take on the Arizona Wildcats at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

Sophomore quarterback Bryan Bennett (2) attempts to avoid defenders as the Oregon Ducks take on the Arizona Wildcats at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

Posted by Matt Walks on Monday, Jan. 21 at 5:44 pm.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Bryan Bennett has decided to transfer schools, according to a report from Duck Territory.

Bennett, used sparingly this year after losing a quarterback competition to breakout freshman Marcus Mariota, has reportedly chosen Southeast Louisiana, an FCS school that would allow him another year of eligibility. The Lions went 5-6 last year in the Southland Conference.

Despite his role as a reserve, Bennett still found his way onto the field in unconventional ways this year. Former head coach Chip Kelly notably used Bennett in a package with bruising tight end Colt Lyerla near the beginning of conference play, and the Encino, Calif., native was occasionally called in as another wrinkle in the Ducks’ offense.

Bennett’s highlight of the year — an athletic, unusual touchdown pass to fellow quarterback Mariota against Arizona State — showcased his improvisation and knack for extending plays, perhaps his biggest strengths as a Duck:

Entering the year, many thought the starting quarterback job in 2012 was Bennett’s to lose after backing up Darron Thomas during Oregon’s run to the Rose Bowl. But after a brilliant spring game and what coaches called a “gradual separation in decision-making,” Mariota was given the nod over Bennett before the team’s week one matchup with Arkansas State.

Many thought Bennett would transfer then, but after meeting with head coach Chip Kelly, he stayed on.

With his departure, redshirt freshmen Jake Rodrigues and Jeff Lockie ostensibly move up the depth chart behind Mariota.