Yet, the player most essential to the Bulldogs’ two championships was someone not even Georgia wanted.
Bennett, who grew up in speck-on-the-map Blackshear, Ga., didn’t have a scholarship from a Football Bowl Subdivision school, so he headed as much as Athens in 2017 as a walk-on, intent on working his way into the starting quarterback job.
A yr later, Justin Fields, the highest quarterback prospect within the country, showed up and people fealties to the varsity he grew up rooting for didn’t mean much. Bennett desired to play. So off he went to a Mississippi junior college.
“After I left, I assumed it was deuces out endlessly from U.G.A.; I didn’t think I used to be coming back,” Bennett, who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 190 kilos, said on Saturday. “I sort of knew once I pulled the trigger that, hey, I’m not here at Georgia just to hang around and be on the team and have some footballs in 30 years. I would like to play ball. I would like to do what I believe I can do.”
When Bennett returned a yr later, he did so only when Georgia offered him a scholarship on signing day to maintain him from going to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Georgia still didn’t know what it had.
The offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who arrived just because the coronavirus pandemic hit, was attempting to parse through a crowded quarterbacks room, looking for reps for Jamie Newman, a transfer from Wake Forest, J.T. Daniels, a transfer from Southern California, and a pair of prized freshmen, D’Wan Mathis and Carson Beck.