Stetson Bennett
refer to caption
Bennett at the post-game press conference after the 2023 CFP title game
No. 13 – Los Angeles Rams
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1997-10-28) October 28, 1997 (age 25)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Pierce County (Blackshear, Georgia)
College:
NFL Draft:2023 / Round: 4 / Pick: 128
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Stetson Fleming Bennett IV (born October 28, 1997) is an American football quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Jones College and Georgia. Nicknamed "the Mailman",[1] he started his career as a walk-on at Georgia before transferring to Jones College. Bennett transferred back to Georgia where he won consecutive national championships in 2021 and 2022, joining A. J. McCarron and Tommie Frazier as the only quarterbacks to win consecutive NCAA national championships.

Early life and high school

Bennett was born on October 28, 1997, in Atlanta, Georgia.[2][3] In first grade, his family moved from Atlanta to Nahunta, Georgia. In eighth grade, his family moved to Blackshear, Georgia, where he played high school football at Pierce County High School.[4][5] There, he led the school to three consecutive state playoff appearances, throwing for 3,724 yards, running for 500 more and scoring 40 total touchdowns as a senior. Bennett was a two-star quarterback coming out of high school and his only FBS scholarship offer came from Middle Tennessee State as coaches thought he was too short and too light—he was 5 feet 9.5 inches (1.765 m) and 185 pounds (84 kg) at the time.[6][7]

College career

Bennett with Georgia in 2021

Georgia

Bennett was a walk-on at Georgia his freshman season in 2017.[8]

He did not take a snap the whole season. After five-star high school quarterback Justin Fields committed to Georgia in 2018, Bennett decided to transfer to Jones College.[9][10][11]

Jones College

After his transfer, Bennett played in 12 games and threw for 16 touchdowns and 1,840 yards in his sophomore season.[12] He was a three-star prospect heading into his transfer. He was about to join the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns,[13] but he ended up returning to Georgia.[14] The Bulldogs were in need of a backup quarterback after Fields transferred to Ohio State.[15] Georgia offered Bennett a scholarship. He accepted and became Georgia's second-string quarterback.[16]

Georgia (second stint)

As Jake Fromm's backup, Bennett had two touchdowns and one interception on the season as a junior. He also had one rushing touchdown.[17] He most notably appeared in the SEC Championship Game when Fromm went down with an injury.[18]

Heading into his senior season (2020), Bennett started the season as a backup quarterback to D'Wan Mathis.[19] Mathis was named the starter after Jamie Newman, the planned starter, opted out of the season.[20] Bennett became the starter after poor play from Mathis.[21] A few months later, USC transfer JT Daniels took the starting job.[22] Bennett appeared in eight games, of which he played significant time in six of them. He finished with 1,179 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, and six interceptions to go along with two rushing touchdowns.[23]

2021

Bennett began his 5th-year senior season as the backup to JT Daniels.[24] He made his first appearance and first start of the 2021 season against the UAB Blazers after Daniels went down with an oblique injury.[25] In that game, Bennett tied the record for most touchdowns in a game by a Georgia quarterback, with five.[26] Bennett was trusted with the starting job for the rest of the season, and he led the Bulldogs to a 12–0 record.[27] He finished the season with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.[28]

On December 4, 2021, Bennett threw for three touchdowns and two interceptions in the 41–24 loss in the SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.[29] He was criticized for the loss, leading many to believe that JT Daniels should get the start against Michigan in the Orange Bowl.[30] Bennett remained the starter and helped lead the Bulldogs to a victory over Michigan. In the 34–11 victory, Bennett passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns.[31] Bennett led the Bulldogs to a victory in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship game in a rematch against Alabama to give Georgia their first national title since 1980.[32][33] Bennett passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns in the 33–18 victory.[34]

2022

Bennett celebrates with a cigar after the Bulldogs win in the 2023 CFP title game.
Bennett hoists the CFP Trophy after the 2023 title game.

On January 20, 2022, just ten days after winning the National Championship and amid speculation that he would transfer, Bennett announced his return to Georgia.[35][36][37] In the preseason, Adam Rittenberg named Bennett a Heisman Trophy candidate.[38]

Bennett entered his 6th-year senior season as the starter, and in the season opener against Oregon, he threw for a then career-high 368 yards while throwing and rushing for three total touchdowns in a 49–3 rout.[39]After his performance, he was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week and the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.[40] [41] The following week, Bennett threw for 300 yards, before being replaced in the third-quarter by backup Carson Beck, in a 33–0 victory.[42]

During the 2022 regular season, Bennett led Georgia to a 13–0 record, including an SEC Championship.[43] During the 2022 SEC Championship Game, he passed for four touchdowns and 274 yards and was named the game's MVP in a 50–30 victory.[44] Bennett finished the year with 20 passing touchdowns, 3,425 passing yards, six interceptions, and seven rushing touchdowns.[45] On December 5, 2022, Bennett was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Bennett and the Bulldogs remained #1 and faced up against C. J. Stroud and the #4 ranked Ohio State in the 2022 Peach Bowl. Bennett and the Bulldogs beat Ohio State with a score of 42–41 to advance to the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship for the second consecutive year.[46]

On January 9, 2023, Bennett and the Bulldogs defeated the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship, with a score of 65–7.[47] He was named the offensive MVP of the game after combining for six total touchdowns.[48] This tied him with Joe Burrow, for the most total touchdowns in a College Football Playoff National Championship Game.[49] With the victory, Bennett led Georgia to the largest margin of victory in any bowl game at the FBS level and becoming just the third team in college football history to finish the season with a record of 15–0.[50]

Bennett finished the season passing for 4,127 yards. With this mark, he surpassed the previous program record for passing yards in a single season, set by Aaron Murray in 2012.[51][52][53]

Statistics

Season Games Passing Rushing
GP Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
Georgia Bulldogs
2017 0 DNP
Jones College Bobcats
2018 12 10–2 145 259 56.0 1,840 7.1 16 14 125.2 69 148 2.1 4
Georgia Bulldogs
2019 5 20 27 74.1 260 9.6 2 1 172.0 3 12 4.0 1
2020 8 3–2 86 155 55.5 1,179 7.6 8 6 128.7 24 54 2.3 2
2021 14 11–1 185 287 64.5 2,859 10.0 29 7 176.6 56 259 4.6 1
2022 15 15–0 310 454 68.3 4,127 9.1 27 7 161.2 57 205 3.6 10
NJCAA Career 12 10–2 145 259 56.0 1,840 7.1 16 14 125.2 69 148 2.1 4
Career 42 29–3 601 924 65.0 8,429 9.1 66 21 160.7 141 530 3.8 14

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump
5 ft 11+38 in
(1.81 m)
192 lb
(87 kg)
28+78 in
(0.73 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.67 s 1.59 s 2.65 s 4.20 s 33.5 in
(0.85 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
All values from the NFL Combine[54][55]
Bennett under center at the Rams training camp

Bennett was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round, 128th overall, in the 2023 NFL Draft.[56]

Personal life

Stetson Bennett IV is the son of Denise and Stetson Bennett III. His parents met at and graduated from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. Bennett is the grandson of Buddy Bennett, who played quarterback for the South Carolina Gamecocks from 1958 to 1960 and later was a coach.[57]

On January 28, 2023, Bennett was arrested in Dallas, Texas on public intoxication charges after banging on doors in a residential area at 6 a.m.[58][59]

References

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  2. ^ Smart, Kirby [@KirbySmartUGA] (October 28, 2021). "Happy birthday @StetsonIV! #GoDawgs t.co/hXDYJeD4dW" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 16, 2021 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ NeSmith, Dink (January 6, 2022). "Stetson scores one for dreamers". The Press Sentinel. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  4. ^ Burns, Gabriel (January 9, 2022). "Stetson Bennett's story a testament to community that nurtured him". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  5. ^ Weiszer, Marc (October 10, 2020). "'We love him, the crowd loves him.' How Stetson Bennett's upbringing and college journey resulted in UGA football glory". Online Athens. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
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  49. ^ Nettuno, Tyler (January 10, 2023). "Stetson Bennett IV matches Joe Burrow's CFP Championship touchdown mark". Yahoo!. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  50. ^ Patterson, Chip (January 9, 2023). "2023 national championship: Georgia, Stetson Bennett overpower TCU for most dominant victory of title game era". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
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  53. ^ Uggetti, Paolo (December 5, 2022). "Heisman finalists include 3 CFP QBs and Williams". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  54. ^ "Stetson Bennett Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  55. ^ "2023 NFL Draft Scout Stetson Bennett College Football Profile". DraftScout.com. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  56. ^ Jackson, Stu (April 29, 2023). "READ: Rams select Georgia QB Stetson Bennett with 128th pick in 2023 NFL Draft". TheRams.com.
  57. ^ Weiszer, Marc (October 10, 2020). "'We love him, the crowd loves him.' How Stetson Bennett's upbringing and college journey resulted in UGA football glory". Online Athens. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  58. ^ Lopez, Rebecca (January 29, 2023). "Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett arrested on public intoxication charge in Dallas, police say". WFAA. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  59. ^ Chavkin, Daniel (January 29, 2023). "Report: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett Arrested in Texas". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 29, 2023.