Even a quick chronicle can take a minute to get there, but the journey counts. That’s because Georgia has always given Bennett a chance to dream. He’s seen the Bulldogs play about 115 times now. At least.
The book on Bennett continues to find chapter after chapter. Even when all the doors seem to close for the 5-foot-11 quarterback. Those who know and love “Stet” probably doubt anyone wants to read a short QB.
They did it after Saturday night.
Bennett was the quarterback feel-good story no one thought they would read after a 37-10 second-half hogwash.
It was triggered by a young man who grew up dreaming of winning victories at Sanford Stadium. The Bennett family has occupied their season ticket seats since 1996.
We will remember how Richard LeCounte III sat in Kirby Smart’s office years ago. He was puzzled that Bennett would be added to the program in his class as well. He had fought with the Pierce County kid and knew what he could do.
“Stet” hung LeCounte for 369 yards in their final year.
“It would be huge for us to have it in Georgia,” LeCounte said in December 2016. “Huge. You know why? Because I wouldn’t want to play against him if he was the quarterback for the other team that will face Georgia.
It was fitting to see these two linked as the guys who got that victory in Fayetteville. These two were the players’ representatives for the media after this comeback victory.
But LeCounte’s story on Stet also lies three or four times away from the real satisfying “just feels good” nugget with Bennett.
It’s not Jamie Newman leaving. Or JT Daniels is always waiting for the right word with the knee. It’s not even D’Wan Mathis who looks like he’s playing (and starting) his first college game on the road in the SEC.
But there are little things that need to show up here.
Bennett left Georgia after the spring game in 2018. He was smart enough to know that his dream of wrestling the reins of the attack away from Jake Fromm and Justin Fields was not going to fly.
Walk-ons just don’t do that. Not even in a Disney script.
This quote from Bennett in May 2018 confirms why.
“The dream is to play,” Bennett said. “It was cool to be in Georgia. I loved sharing those moments in Georgia last year but the dream is to play. It just wasn’t the same growing up as a boy who wanted to play in Georgia if you’re not there. This is the thing. It was cool. I would love to be the starting quarterback at the University of Georgia. But just being there and being a part of the team isn’t good enough for me.
“I’m going to play somewhere,” Bennett said. “I think it evolved into more of a dream than just being somewhere in a place because you grew up loving it. I think now the dream is to go play and win championships somewhere. That’s what I feel. I will be chasing this dream now.
He was older than Fromm and Fields at the time. But it was a lawsuit for another zip code. It doesn’t matter how many beautiful things LeCounte and Kirby Smart and Roquan Smith and Mel Tucker have said.
Rerouted: this dream led “The Mailman” to a college
We’ll ask you if you’ve made it this far to hang on a little longer. Three chapters must be grouped into one. Most of us have heard at least one story about a healed South Georgia boy by now.
Even if he is the son of two pharmacists and no longer a poor farmer. He was nicknamed “The MailMan” in high school because he traveled over 4,000 miles to prospecting camps in hopes of being seen.
He wore a US Postal Service cap, but that name stuck because he always released the ball on time.
But these are the stories of “MailMan” for those who have not known him before all these “opening” camps.
His Pierce County High School center gave him this hat. Her father was the mayor of a small town in South Georgia.
He wore it to camp and former Georgia member and current Seattle Seahawk Deejay Dallas took this image flush left on Instagram and called it “The MailMan” or “The Postman” the first. time.
He stayed after that.
Its strengths have always been precision, timing and mobility. Bennett was rated a 2-star high school rookie. He missed some scholarship opportunities to enter the UGA. He had full rides to go play Mercer, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, and The Ivy League, too.
Bennett was a star on the Georgia scout squad during the 2017 season, but knew he didn’t get along with Fromm and Fields.
He tried his hand at a junior college in Mississippi. It was a bit hit and miss.
Bennett finished the 2018 season at Jones, leading the program to a 10-2 record. He completed 145 of his 259 passes for 1,840 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. It was good for a 56% completion rate.
These junior colleges in Mississippi have an excellent reputation as stepping stones for careers. But most may not be aware that these schools are allowed so many out-of-state signatories. Those who exhaust these limits on offensive linemen end up looking the wrong side of the scoreboard. This knowledge adds a bit to the JUCO line of statistics often put in place.
These scholarships are awarded to players who harass quarterbacks or make them look good. Not the ones that will give them time to think in a not-so-clean pocket.
But he still found scholarship offers to play Georgia and Louisana-Lafayette from Jones County Community College.
When Fields left Georgia, it created a quarterback vacuum. More precisely in the short term. Ole Miss sophomore John Rhys Plumlee was still engaged, but couldn’t enroll early. Smart needed someone who could join Mathis behind Fromm for spring training in 2019. Bennett already knew about the offense.
It was too hard to resist the chance to come home. He came back. With the belief that he could push Fromm as a clear backup. It looked like Fromm would only have one more season. Bennett got a 30 on his ACT in high school. He has a decision made perhaps with equal head and heart.
But things have changed a lot since December 2018.
Fromm is in the NFL. Newman is gone. Daniels is waiting for clearance. Mathis needs more playing reps who can be hard to come by on a viable title contender amid perhaps the most difficult schedule in UGA history.
That brings us to the real good thing about a 27 point win created by an out of town bandit named Bennett in Fayetteville.
Richard “Buddy” Bennett and a Trusted Story
When the name Stetson Bennett IV appears, it creates a false impression. The thought of a Southern farmhouse and property lines that go beyond the eye can see.
The story here is about poor dirt farm boys and a clear “you didn’t say” connection to Georgia’s victory over the University of Arkansas.
His grandfather coached Frank Broyles’ defensive backs at Arkansas in 1971 and 1972. Of all things.
He was also the secondary staff coach of Bill Battle in Tennessee in 1970. Google. “Bennett’s Bandits” was a thing in its day.
It made taking a victory away from Arkansas a very special place to do it.
“I am just grateful that the Lord gave him the opportunity to show the world how much heart and hard work count,” his father Stetson Bennett III said on Saturday evening. “If you had to measure his heart, it would be over six feet.
But there is another very good part. Probably the best part.
Her grandfather is the late Richard “Buddy” Bennett. That’s what the Arkansas and Tennessee football media guides say. Not Stetson Bennett Jr.
Vi Bennett explained why on Facebook on Saturday night. Because so many people had asked.
Her father was Stetson Bennett Jr, but she was the youngest of his three daughters. She wrote that when it was clear that “mom and dad” would have no more children, her uncle asked her father if his next son could be called Stetson Bennett III.
Because that’s what the South Georgia salt-land people do. Especially when they want a name to pass to the next generation.
“The Bennett family owe so much to the opportunities football has given us,” wrote Vi Bennett. “During the last 1940s and 1950s, poor boys on the land farm had very little chance of advancing their education beyond high school (if they did) unless they could play football.”
“Today, one of the descendants of those poor land farmers gave back to this game that gave so much to the Bennett family. Stetson Bennett IV, you made us proud and I am honored to call you my cousin.
“Come on Dawgs!”
It wasn’t the Hollywood script for the return of brain surgery, but this Bennett chapter still feels good in its own way.
Rebobinage Georgia 37, Arkansas 10
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