Redshirt sophomore receiver Michael Bennett blossoms for Dogs

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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia redshirt sophomore receiver Michael Bennett plays each day with a chip on his shoulder.

Lightly-recruited Michael Bennett enters Saturday's game against Vanderbilt as the leading receiver  for fifth-ranked Georgia.  AJ REYNOLDS/ MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
AJ REYNOLDS/ MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
Lightly-recruited Michael Bennett enters Saturday's game against Vanderbilt as the leading receiver for fifth-ranked Georgia.

The Alpharetta High graduate garnered some Division I offers out of high school, but none met the standards that matched programs he grew up a fan of – Penn State and Michigan State. Barring an outstanding performance at a Mark Richt off-season camp, he might not have earned one at Georgia.

Richt played host to the camp to assess secondary recruits and felt those in attendance were some of the better cover corners from around the Southeast. Bennett caught the Bulldogs’ coach off guard when he “showed up and started whooping them.”

Richt said the camp was comparable to most he plays host to, which divides the day’s activities into separate segments. His said he believed that if Bennett continued to impress through the second half the way he did the first, then he would make an offer.

“He just showed great ability to run routes and had a toughness about him,” Richt said of Bennett. “He seemed to be in great condition, had great hands, very competitive nature, had good size. Of course, since that time, he’s really muscled up and has even gotten better at what he does.”

When quarterback Aaron Murray was told that Bennett’s lone Southeastern Conference offer came from Georgia, he was taken aback.

“I’m happy we offered him, that’s for sure,” Murray said.

After his first 100-yard outing last weekend against Florida Atlantic, Bennett will take the field on Saturday night as the leading receiver for the No. 5 team in the nation. He has hauled in 17 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

With Richt claiming that Georgia’s offense is as productive as it’s been since the Matthew Stafford era, he plans to employ the aerial attack often against Vanderbilt this weekend –– a delight to Bennett’s ears.

“It’s real exciting,” Bennett said. “We’ve been getting a lot of four-receiver sets and throwing the ball downfield wide. It’s a receiver’s dream, really. I’m just excited about what we’re going to do this whole year.”


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