Stetson Bennett
Stetson Bennett.png
Bennett with Georgia in 2021
Georgia Bulldogs – No. 13
PositionQuarterback
ClassSenior
MajorEconomics
Personal information
Born: (1997-10-28) October 28, 1997 (age 25)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career history
College
Bowl games
High schoolPierce County High School
Career highlights and awards

Stetson Fleming Bennett IV (born October 28, 1997) is an American football quarterback who played for the Georgia Bulldogs and Jones County Junior College Bobcats. Nicknamed "the Mailman",[1] he started his career as a walk-on at Georgia before transferring to Jones County Junior College. Bennett transferred back to Georgia, which won consecutive national championships in 2022 and 2023.

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

Georgia (first stint)

2017

Bennett was a walk-on at Georgia his freshman season.

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 County Junior College.

Jones County Junior College

2018

After his transfer, Bennett played in 12 games and threw for 16 touchdowns and 1,840 yards. After his lone season at Jones County he entered the transfer portal for a second time. He was a three-star prospect heading into his transfer. He was about to join the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns,[8] but he ended up returning to Georgia. The Bulldogs were in need of a backup quarterback after Fields transferred to Ohio State. Georgia offered Bennett a scholarship. He accepted and became Georgia's second-string quarterback.

Georgia (second stint)

2019

As Jake Fromm's backup, Bennett had two touchdowns and one interception on the season. He also had one rushing touchdown. He most notably appeared in the SEC Championship Game when Fromm went down with an injury.[9]

2020

Heading into his junior season, Bennett started the season as a backup quarterback to D'Wan Mathis. Mathis was named the starter after Jamie Newman, the planned starter, opted out of the season. Bennett became the starter after poor play from Mathis.[10] A few months later, USC transfer JT Daniels took the starting job.[11]

2021

Bennett began the season as the backup to JT Daniels. He made his first appearance and first start of the 2021 season against the UAB Blazers after Daniels went down with an oblique injury. In that game, Bennett tied the record for most touchdowns in a game by a Georgia quarterback, with five.[12] Bennett was trusted with the starting job for the rest of the season, and he led the Bulldogs to a 12–0 record. He finished the season with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.[13]

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.[14] He was criticized for the loss, leading many to believe that JT Daniels should get the start against Michigan in the Orange Bowl.[15] Despite the loss, Bennett led the Bulldogs to a victory in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship game in a rematch against Alabama.[16] It was Georgia's first national title since 1980.

2022

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.[17][18][19] In the preseason, Adam Rittenberg named Bennett a Heisman Trophy candidate.[20]

Bennett entered the 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.[21]After his performance, he was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week and the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.[22] [23] The following week, Bennett threw for 300 yards, before being replaced in the third-quarter by backup Carson Beck, in a 33−0 victory.[24]

During the 2022 regular season, Bennett led Georgia to a 13−0 record, including an SEC Championship. 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.[25] Bennett finished the year with 20 touchdowns, 3,425 passing yards, 6 interceptions, and 7 rushing touchdowns. 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.

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. He was named the offensive MVP of the game after combining for six total touchdowns.[26] This tied him with Joe Burrow, for the most total touchdowns in a College Football Playoff National Championship Game.[27] 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.[28]

Bennett finished the season passing for 4,127 yards. With this mark, he surpassed the previous record for passing yards in a single season, set by Aaron Murray in 2012.[29]


[30][31]

Statistics

Georgia Bulldogs
Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2019 5 0 20 27 74.1 260 9.6 2 1 172.0 4 12 3.0 1
2020 8 5 3−2 86 155 55.5 1,179 7.6 8 6 128.7 24 54 2.3 2
2021 14 12 11−1 185 287 64.5 2,862 10.0 29 7 176.7 56 259 4.6 1
2022 15 15 15−0 310 454 68.3 4,127 9.1 27 7 161.2 57 205 3.6 10
Career[13] 42 32 29−3 601 923 65.1 8,428 9.1 66 21 160.9 141 530 3.8 14

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.[32] On January 29, 2023, Bennett was arrested in Dallas, Texas on public intoxication charges.[33][34]

References

  1. ^ "Why is Stetson Bennett called the Mailman? The story behind Georgia's LEGENDARY QB's nickname". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  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.
  4. ^ Burns, Gabriel. "Stetson Bennett's story a testament to community that nurtured him". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  5. ^ Weiszer, Marc. "'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.
  6. ^ "Stetson Bennett, 2017 Pro-style quarterback – Rivals.com". n.rivals.com. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Schlabach, Mark (January 8, 2022). "How Stetson Bennett went from walk-on to College Football Playoff National Championship". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  8. ^ "How Stetson Bennett IV went from walk-on to Georgia's best chance to take down Alabama". ESPN.com. October 14, 2020. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  9. ^ "Georgia QB Jake Fromm re-enters SEC Championship Game after suffering apparent ankle injury". DawgNation. December 7, 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  10. ^ "Who is Stetson Bennett? Former Georgia walk-on now Bulldogs' undisputed leader at quarterback". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "JT Daniels to start against Mississippi State". 247Sports. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  12. ^ Media, Field Level. "No. 2 Georgia throttles UAB behind Stetson Bennett's 5 TDs". Rockdale Citizen & Newton Citizen. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Stetson Bennett College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  14. ^ "SEC Football: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide - Box Score - Dec 4, 2021". www.secsports.com. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  15. ^ Forde, Pat. "Doubt Stetson Bennett at Your Own Risk". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  16. ^ "Stetson Bennett completes journey from overlooked walk-on to Georgia hero". New York Post. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  17. ^ "Stetson Bennett announces he will return for one more season at Georgia". OutKick. January 20, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  18. ^ Corp, Eddie. "Stetson Bennett returns to Georgia: What the move means for the Bulldogs' quarterback room". Digis Mak. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  19. ^ "Stetson Bennett hints at potential transfer after winning Georgia a national championship". FanSided. January 11, 2022. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  20. ^ "Georgia football: Stetson Bennett named Heisman Trophy Candidate by ESPN writer". Dawgs247. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  21. ^ Blinder, Alan (September 3, 2022). "Looking Like a Title Defender, Georgia Thrashes Oregon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  22. ^ "Stetson Bennett Named Walter Camp National Player Of The Week". University of Georgia Athletics. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  23. ^ "Georgia's Stetson Bennett Named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week". Sugar Bowl. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  24. ^ "Samford Bulldogs vs. Georgia Bulldogs Live Score and Stats - September 10, 2022 Gametracker". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  25. ^ "Robert Griffin III praises Stetson Bennett for 'Heisman-like' outing against LSU". Saturday Down South. December 4, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  26. ^ "Stetson Bennett becomes an instant Georgia legend in historic national title win". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  27. ^ "Stetson Bennett IV matches Joe Burrow's CFP Championship touchdown mark". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  28. ^ "2023 national championship: Georgia, Stetson Bennett overpower TCU for most dominant victory of title game era". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  29. ^ "Stetson Bennett sets Georgia football single-season passing record with hot start in 2023 National Championship Game". DawgNation. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  30. ^ "2022 Heisman Trophy finalists revealed: Ranking the four contenders". NFL.com. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  31. ^ "Heisman finalists include 3 CFP QBs and Williams". ESPN.com. December 5, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  32. ^ Weiszer, Marc. "'We love him, the crowd loves him.' How Stetson Bennett's upbringing and college journey resulted in UGA football glory". Online Athens.
  33. ^ "Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett arrested on public intoxication charge in Dallas, police say". wfaa.com. January 29, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  34. ^ Chavkin, Daniel. "Report: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett Arrested in Texas". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 29, 2023.