Stetson Bennett transfer update: the Georgia preferred walk-on is officially leaving Athens. Bennett, a lifelong Georgia fan, found himself behind incumbent starter Jake Fromm, who led the team to the national championship game last season, and No. 2 recruit Justin Fields on the depth chart. He believes he is good enough to start for an FBS club.
Kirby Smart revealed that the redshirt freshman was considering a transfer earlier in the week. Bennett served as scout team quarterback last season, and really impressed the coaching staff, and was set to be the third-stringer for the Bulldogs this season. There was also a chance that he’d be placed on scholarship.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, whose unit had to face Bennett every week in practice, was effusive in his praise of the young quarterback. From The Telegraph:
During the postseason, Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was complimentary of Bennett’s ability to challenge his unit on a daily basis.
“Stetson Bennett is a beast, man,” Tucker said. “Stetson Bennett puts a lot of pressure on our defense because he is extremely quick, he’s fast and he can throw. He can throw in the pocket and he can throw on the run, and he’s very, very competitive.”
Now, the Stetson Bennett transfer is official.
Bennett reportedly called the decision “the toughest of his life.” DawgNation spoke to him about the transfer:
“The dream is to play,” Bennett said. “It was cool being at Georgia. I loved sharing those moments at Georgia last year but the dream is to play. It just wasn’t the same growing up a boy who wanted to play at Georgia if you are not out there. That’s the thing. It was cool. I would love to be the starting quarterback at the University of Georgia. But just being there and being on the team. That’s not good enough for me.”
“I’m going to go play somewhere,” Bennett said. “I think that’s evolved to more of the dream than just being somewhere at a place because you grew up loving it. I think now the dream is to go play and go win championships somewhere. That’s what I feel like. I am going to go chase that dream now.”
Bennett was a relatively unheralded high school recruit, but did have offers from schools like Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss, as well as some Ivy League options. Instead of looking at programs like that, he will go the junior college route, and hope to expand his options.
He says head coach Kirby Smart has even assisted him in finding some good junior college options.
“It was really nice,” Bennett said. “That just showed me more of what I already knew about Coach Smart. That showed me even if I wasn’t going to be here that he still cares about me and whatever I’m going to turn out to be.”
“I’m thinking somewhere in Mississippi,” he said. “I am going to take some visits out there. Or I already have visited them. I’m thinking it might be Jones Community College or Gulf Coast Community College.”
This Stetson Bennett transfer has a much bigger impact than your average walk-on leaving a program. It leaves a very big hole in the depth chart behind Fromm and Fields, the program’s only two scholarship players at the quarterback position.