- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State backup quarterback Tyler Ferguson was granted a release from his scholarship Monday and will seek a transfer elsewhere, he told ESPN.com.
The sophomore asked for his release prior to the departure of quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher and sent his release papers to about 50 schools, roughly 40 in the FBS and 10 in the FCS. He hopes to land somewhere in time for spring classes.
"I'm just wanting to play somewhere," Ferguson said. "I really don't have any preference where that is; I just want to play somewhere."
Ferguson enrolled at Penn State in January and overtook the lone returning quarterback, Steven Bench, during spring practice to become the No. 1 QB. Bench transferred to South Florida, but true freshman Christian Hackenberg then surpassed Ferguson on the depth chart in the preseason.
The former junior-college standout finished this season playing in five games. He went 10-of-15 for 155 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Rumors circulated before the season that Ferguson intended to transfer because he was homesick for Bakersfield, Calif. He left campus for several weeks in July for family reasons but told ESPN.com that the thought of transferring back then never entered his mind.
It was only in the past two or three weeks, during talks with his father, that he believed it might be best to seek an opportunity elsewhere.
"After the Wisconsin game, we sat down with [Bill] O'Brien and he agreed that I could play somewhere else," Ferguson said. "And we both agreed Christian is a hell of a player."
Ferguson said proximity to home was not a factor in his decision to leave Penn State, nor will it be in where he'll wind up next. He weighed getting a degree from Penn State as a backup quarterback but ultimately decided to finish his education as a potential starter elsewhere.
"I just want a school that says, 'You're going to come in and compete,'" Ferguson said. "And whether that's -- and I'm just throwing this school out there as an example -- Boston College or Fresno State. If that gives me the best chance to compete and they're a good team, one of the top four teams in their conference or something like that, that'd be great."
With Ferguson's departure, Hackenberg is currently the only scholarship quarterback on the roster. However, ESPN 300 quarterback Michael O'Connor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy), a four-star PSU commit, is set to enroll in January.
Ferguson will finish out the semester in State College before flying west to California. And he said his time at Penn State, however short, was memorable.
"I don't think I could've possibly learned more football from any school than I did from coaches O'Brien and Fisher," he said. "I'm very grateful."
18dMitch Sherman and Brian Bennett