COLUMBIA, S.C. – There was a time when South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley thought his son Jake would make basketball his sport.
“He was really, really elite as a sixth- and seventh-grader,” Bobby said, remembering a run of success in AAU basketball.
Jake, now a quarterback at South Carolina, played on a team that included South Carolina defensive back Jaylin Foster and Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts.
“They went and played in a national championship (tournament), and they got third. We really thought Jake would be a basketball guy,” Bobby said.
Instead, Bobby’s working under the same roof as his third-oldest son. The oldest one’s there, too.
Chas Dodd, who played quarterback at Rutgers before playing professionally in Italy, is a graduate assistant on the South Carolina strength and conditioning staff.
“It’s awesome, and it’s awesome to see the development of Chas,” Bobby said. “He didn’t know what he was going to do. He’s been around coach [Jeff] Dillman. He went from an intern, a volunteer, to where he’s now a G.A.
“He has a passion for this strength training. He wants to be the best strength coach in the country. He’s already changed his body, in relationship to strength training. It’s great to see that.”
Jake’s not the only one who’s a college quarterback now. Shuler, the second oldest of the four boys, recently transferred from Old Dominion to Murray State.
“It’s great to see Jake on a daily basis,” Bobby said. “What’s even more interesting is to see Jake have a throwing session on Wednesday night on a volunteer basis, then my other son Shuler call from Murray State and they just had a volunteer throwing session. He’s talking about, ‘I throw the out route this way and I was throwing the post a little behind the receiver, what can I do?’
“And I just had the talk with Jake. … He wants to talk about the throwing session, because I coach at South Carolina, so he’s talking about South Carolina’s throwing session, Shuler is telling me about the Murray State throwing session and then Chas is telling me about how the weight room went today.”
Bobby also has a set of twins, Brooks and Emily, who are middle schoolers. Brooks plays basketball and football. Emily’s a volleyball player.
“Probably the best thing is my daughter having a volleyball game here in town and Jake walks in to see the volleyball game,” Bobby said. “That’s probably the neatest thing, to see her face light up when big brother walks in to see her play volleyball or Brooks sees big brother walk in to see him play basketball. That’s probably the coolest thing for us, from a family standpoint.”
Shuler, who’s a redshirt junior at Murray State, will get into the family business after his playing days are over. Bobby said he’s already received offers for graduate assistant coaching jobs.
“He’ll be a good coach. He can see things really well and can grasp the concepts good, too,” Bobby said.