LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers to transfer

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGQuarterback Stephen Rivers throws during LSU's Spring Game on April 20 at Tiger Stadium. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGQuarterback Stephen Rivers throws during LSU's Spring Game on April 20 at Tiger Stadium.

LSU reserve quarterback Stephen Rivers has decided to transfer, he and father said Wednesday night.

News of Rivers’ decision came after his brother, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, told ESPN.com of Stephen’s decision.

Stephen, working as a student assistant in the LSU Sports Information Department, was passing out stat sheets at Wednesday’s LSU-Mississippi State men’s basketball game when the news broke. He gave an impromptu news conference at halftime.

“There’s an opportunity for me to hopefully play somewhere else,” Rivers said. “I’ve had a great three years here, maybe not necessarily gotten on the field as much as I wanted to, but I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”

The Athens, Ala., native said he is on track to graduate in May, meaning he is allowed to transfer immediately and play at another school this fall.

He said he likely won’t decide on a school until May. Rivers has two years of eligibility remaining.

Rivers went into the 2013 season as senior Zach Mettenberger’s backup but fell behind freshman Anthony Jennings on the depth chart.

A pocket passer like Mettenberger, the 6-foot-7 Rivers was expected to be behind Jennings and incoming freshman Brandon Harris going into this season. Both Jennings and Harris are dual-threat quarterbacks.

LSU’s offense is “going in a different direction,” said Steve Rivers, Stephen’s father.

Both father and son said Rivers is leaving LSU on good terms.

“They’ve been really cooperative,” Stephen Rivers said of LSU’s coaching staff. “Everything’s good. There’s no bad blood. I really love this place. The hard part about it is there’s really nothing bad I can say. I hate to be leaving, but sometimes you’ve just got to do what’s best for you.”

“Everything is on the up and up,” Steve Rivers said. “We love LSU.”

Stephen Rivers played in four games during his career at LSU and attempted two passes.

LSU begins spring practice March 7 and the spring game is set for April 5. Rivers said he will continue to weight train at LSU but will not take part in spring practice.