untung99.biz: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett to face doubters ahead of NFL draft

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Stetson Bennett IV had barely finished smoking his victory cigar after Georgia’s 65-7 victory over TCU in the College Football Playoff national championship before questions turned to his future.

An uncertain future when it comes to football.

Sure, Georgia’s quarterback led the Bulldogs to back-to-back championships for the first time since Alabama did it in 2011-12. 

He was named offensive MVP for the game for the second year in a row. 

And he smoked that cigar like a seasoned pro as confetti fell from the roof and Georgia backers yelled their approval. But it won’t be enough to quell the doubters and answer the question.

In short, is Stetson Bennett good enough to play – much less thrive – in the NFL?

Georgia coach Kirby Smart did some lobbying after the title game, saying, “people have slept on Stetson Bennett for too long. He needs an opportunity to play for a long time at the next level.”

Bennett is about to exit the college ranks and prepare for the NFL draft. It’s uncertain how early his name will be called – assuming it will be called sometime during the three-day draft April 27-29 – but more predictable is what his doubters will say.

Average arm.

Slender build.


Bennett, 25, will also face questions about his NFL viability due to his age. By comparison, playoff quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence and Brock Purdy all are younger.

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And yet what Bennett delivered Monday night was undeniable. 

“Probably had his best game of his career, in my opinion, with some of the checks he made, some of the decisions he made, just really elite,” Smart said. 

It was spellbinding.  

He threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing without an interception. He rushed for two more touchdowns. 

What scouts might not be able to measure is Bennett’s resilience.

Remember, Bennett joined Georgia in 2017 as a walk-on. Because the doubters, including Georgia’s coaching staff, didn’t think he warranted a scholarship. 

He had his own doubts after redshirting as a freshman and transferred to Jones County (Miss.) Junior College. A year later he was back in Athens, Georgia, and resumed waiting for his chance with the Bulldogs.

Ultimately he waited four long years. Then won the starting job – something doubters figured he’d never do. 

And what did he do with it? Guide Georgia to its first national championship since 1980 and light that first national title victory cigar. 

And for an encore? One more title, while obliterating TCU’s defense on Monday. 

“His mental makeup is such of a quarterback that believes he can make every throw and what he did tonight was truly amazing,” Smart said. 

The doubters might focus on his slender build and insist he lacks the brawn to make it in the NFL. But what he lacks in brawn he appears to make up for elsewhere. 

For example, there are things most people might not have seen Monday night. 

“He saw the max blitz and he beat the max blitz, and ran for a first down in one of the biggest plays of the game which takes a phenomenal athlete,” Smart said. “He knew what was coming and he set the guy up. 

“He did a change of protection and made an elite throw. He schemed up a run, ran a mid-line run which nobody runs. He ran for a touchdown because he’s got a tackle that’s like a tight end out there in Broderick. 

“And when you have a quarterback that can do the protections and check things and know what the defense is doing, yet still beat you with your feet, you’ve got a high-level quarterback.” 

What would Bennett like the NFL to know about him? 

“I’ve been here long enough. I’m sure there’s some game tape,” he deadpanned. “I don’t know – hard worker, pretty good at football, smart. But they’ll see that. I don’t know. That will take care of itself. Today we’re national champs.” 

But will there be more victory cigars?

After the game, former Georgia star quarterback Matthew Stafford embraced Bennett and they posed for a photo that captured the situation. 

A national championship eluded Stafford at Georgia, but he was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft and now has a Super Bowl ring. Bennett has two national titles, but can that transfer to career in the NFL?

The doubters linger. 

It’ll be Bennett’s chance to prove them wrong again.