Bennie Coney leaving Cincy, interested in USF (UPDATED)
Shortly after announcing via Twitter on Wednesday that he's transferring from Cincinnati, former Plant City all-state QB Bennie Coney said he'd be interested in USF if the feeling's mutual.
American Athletic Conference transfer policies, however, would leave him with a maximum two years' eligibility were he ultimately to become a Bull.
"If they have room for me that's a big possibility," Coney, who just completed his redshirt freshman season, said in a text message Wednesday afternoon to the Tampa Bay Times.
A 2,300-yard passer and honorable mention Class 7A all-state pick in 2011, Coney (6-foot-3, 216 pounds) said he's leaving Cincinnati with the hopes of finding more playing time elsewhere.
Redshirted in 2012 despite enrolling in January of that year, Coney attempted only seven passes last fall, completing six for 84 yards, a touchdown and interception.
Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel and junior college transfer Jarrod Evans are projected to be atop the Bearcats depth chart entering spring drills. Additionally, senior Munchie Legaux reportedly has been granted a sixth season after suffering a gruesome knee injury early in 2013.
"Nothing against Cincinnati, I love this school to death," said Coney, rated the nation's No. 13 dual-threat QB by Rivals coming out of Plant City. "I just need to get on the football field again. I'm losing years so I had to make a decision."
Coney said Bearcats coach Tommy Tuberville would release him to transfer to another American school. Conference rules, however, require players who transfer within the league to not only sit out a season but surrender an additional year of eligibility.
If he transferred directly to, say, USF or UCF, Coney would have only a year of eligibility remaining. However, a loophole exists for indirect transfers who start at one American school, go to junior college and earn an Associate of Arts degree, then move to another conference school.
In that scenario, Coney would have two years' eligibility if he were to land at USF.