Penn State backup quarterback Ferguson to transfer

Penn State sophomore quarterback Tyler Ferguson, the backup this past season to Christian Hackenberg, has requested and received a release from his scholarship and will transfer, an athletic department spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Ferguson, who came to Penn State after one season at the College of the Sequoias near his hometown of Bakersfiield, Calif., saw action in only five games in 2013, completing 10 of 15 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown – a 65-yard strike to Allen Robinson against Ohio State.

The spokesman said Ferguson has been granted permission to speak with other schools, and that his release is effective at the conclusion of the fall semester.

“I’m just wanting to play somewhere,” Ferguson told “I really don’t have any preference where that is. … I don’t think I could’ve possibly learned more football from any school than I did from (Penn State). I’m very grateful.”

Ferguson competed for the starting job against Steven Bench during spring practice and emerged with enough of an advantage that Bench transferred to South Florida. He then vied with Hackenberg in the pre-season before coach Bill O’Brien gave the starting job to the true freshman.

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Ferguson will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out a season if he transfers to an FBS school.

The move by Ferguson leaves Hackenberg, named Big Ten freshman of the year earlier this week, as the only scholarship quarterback on the current roster. Freshman D.J. Crook emerged from a three-way battle of walk-on quarterbacks to become the No. 3 quarterback during the season.

Quarterback Michael O’Connor, a four-star recruit from the IMG Academy in Florida, has given O’Brien a verbal commitment and is scheduled to enroll at Penn State in January.

--Joe Juliano