Jones College Bobcats an important chapter in Stetson Bennett’s story

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 3:36 PM CST
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ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - By now you’ve heard the story of Stetson Bennett.

Walk-on quarterback to national champion. Highly-doubted to Heisman Trophy Finalist.

“You could honestly write a movie script on his story,” said ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who will be calling Monday night’s National Championship. “Proving everybody, including his own coaches and his own fans wrong to the point of potentially winning back to back national titles.”

“You don’t see this much and it’s a story,” said Jones College head coach Steve Buckley. “It’s a story that will be on TV one day. And there’s a lot to the story that people don’t know.”

Stetson Bennett’s story begins and ends at the University of Georgia.

But his one year in Ellisville proves to be an important chapter.

Just a scout team quarterback at Georgia and desperate for some game action, Bennett transferred to Jones College for the 2018 season.

“When I left I thought it was deuces out forever from UGA,” Bennett said. “I didn’t think I was coming back. I kind’ve knew when I pulled the trigger that I’m not just here at Georgia to hang out and be on the team and have some footballs in 30 years. I want to play ball, I want to do what I think I can do. Went over there and figured out that I think I’m right. To go be in that position where you are the starter, it comes down to you in certain situations. That taught me a lot.”

He passing for 1,840 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading the Bobcats to a 10-2 season and Mississippi Bowl win.

It earned Bennett some looks from several Division I programs, namely Louisiana-Lafayette where he was set on going until a late call and scholarship offer from Kirby Smart came on National Signing Day.

Buckley suggested he stick with with the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“I told him he was crazy,” Buckley said. “I don’t mind saying it, I was wrong. Coach Smart said he was wrong too. Did he think Stet would come in there and this would be the end of the fairy tale? No I don’t think anybody can say that.”

Yet, here he is.

The former walk-on with a chance to join a short list of quarterbacks who’ve led their team to two national championships.

Bennett has inspired others throughout his journey. But what he’s drawn inspiration from is a simple idea.

“My dad used to tell me this story about Erk Russell,” Bennett said. “Daddy walked on at Georgia Southern when Erk was there. First team meeting of the year, coach Russell just walked in and wrote ‘Do right.’ Do right. As far as football goes I was just always trying to do right. Do the best that I can to get to where I wanted.”

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