The Bennetts are a die-hard football family. There is SEC training blood at their roots and they are powerful. Stetson Bennett III said Thursday morning he can’t remember the last time he saw his son cry.
Watch it on national television at the conclusion of Georgia’s 33-18 win over defending champion Alabama. Then he saw her again when he was finally able to spend time with his son at the team hotel early Tuesday morning after that ball game.
Then he saw the replay again.
“I turned on SportsCenter and saw Ringo block that pass and saw Stet collapse,” his father said. “Then I broke down and then turned off the TV again and praised the Lord again. That’s about what I’ve done since then.”
“Two interviews were done but other than that, that’s all there is to it.”
Bennett III told DawgNation that he was unable to confirm a report that Stetson had injured his wrist in the first Alabama sack. Published reports have sidelined reporters who noted that Bennett was working, massaging and bending his wrist in the game.
There was one account that Bennett required the use of a Theragun massager on his wrist.
“I haven’t heard anything about that,” said Bennett III. “We met after the match and spent about 20 or 30 minutes with him. It was all just a very long cuddle. Only tears. He said he collapsed during the match or there after. I didn’t see him at that time. I told him I did too. But when I saw him, He didn’t expect it. He said a lot. I didn’t expect it either, but I could see all the pain, all the pain, all the miles, all the tears, all the sweat, all the rags wrist. Everything. I could see it all coming out at once. A very special moment.”
The Georgia midfielder wouldn’t think of a decision like that until he had to.
His father said, “I think he would handle everything if you watched him whether it was an interview or something else.” “On the field, he processes the data very quickly. But in life, he will take everything into account and evaluate it and whether it’s a nothing deal or you have another year. Whether you play or where you play? Or whatever? He will take it all and then make the decision.”
The final minutes of the Alabama game looked more like a relief than excitement.
It wasn’t, at times, the fans’ choice to start in quarterback for Georgia.
Or choose a coaching staff.
It appears to have the permanent label of favorite walk. No matter how many plays he’s made in the top 20 this fall. Bennett is already back on scholarship to add numbers to the QB room after leaving Justin Fields in January of 2019.
It doesn’t matter how many high-quality SEC wins and gains on the road. Everyone pointed to the defense. not him. The future professional midfielder didn’t have a 5-star resume.
Give JT Daniels the season and numbers that Bennett has written. Everyone will be happy. The season for short stories was great, but people stopped writing them on Attack on the Field.
The noisy minority demands him to go into the sunset. He will never have to worry about gainful employment or income in the state of Georgia for the rest of his life.
Is it a matter of play at all? Or is it a matter of playing for Georgia?
His father said, “He loves to play football.” “Obviously he loves the University of Georgia. I think the general public has accepted that by now. I guess they didn’t realize the love he had for Georgia.”
The Bennett family still hears that negativity. Even in Indianapolis. Even a day after winning the national championship.
People said Bennett needed to step down from Georgia. Let some of those really talented players on the roster lead the team now. Although hard to believe after a Monday night.
“What I’ve learned in the past few months is that with so many opinions there will be many posts,” his father said. “No one respects anyone. Anyone’s feelings. It’s not their journey, so it doesn’t really matter. It really is a sad state that we have all come to here.”
But he knows there are better people out there than the people on message boards. or social media. They are better than poison and cash though, as his son led the UGA to the second-largest win of 15 or more points in the AP poll era.
“I know there is a silent majority,” said his father. “They are silent. But I know the verbal minority is something else.”
How could he deal with that outside noise? How much did he let that bother him? When he answered that, he opened a window on his personal faith.
Bennett said he underwent a process of spiritual renewal. He is transparent in his testimony. He listens especially as he describes the painful divorce and division in his family.
He said he was living a life as a Christian according to his faith, but he called it “the salvation of the head” and not the “salvation of the heart.”
“In March of 2019, the Lord radically saved my soul,” said Stetson Bennett III. “So where football was, my family and my children my God. When I became the real Lord of my life and then everything else after that, that’s what changed my life drastically. Everything changed. Since then, it wasn’t about football.”
He said he put many things above his faith.
His father said, “When you got this piece of the puzzle right, I tell you it fell into place.” “The Lord gave me everything I wanted. Everything I was looking for with all my heart. Now that I seek Him with all my heart, He has given me everything. This heroism was the last piece of it all. It’s devotion. I tell you I cried so many tears just because Thanks [God] For this.”
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Georgia QB Stetson Bennett has been named the Offensive Player of the 2021 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
These data points were left for processing for Stetson Bennett IV with Georgia
What is Bennett left to see? Perhaps celebrating the championship on Saturday has something to do with that.
How will that day be? How will it be received? It will be an opportunity for the silent majority to allow their voices to be heard.
They can drown out those who feel Stetson was lucky to be the Georgia quarterback. Not the opposite.
“Seeing Stitt crying the next morning and hugging his neck that night were really special moments,” his father said. “He never cries. The first time in years and years and years. But I knew the hurt and the pain and the path he took. Just all of that.”
Will it take two weeks to make a decision?
His father said, “I don’t know.” “He’s supposed to call me this evening. We’ll talk, but maybe we don’t. Obviously I’ll see him this weekend. I don’t know what. He knows more about the situation than I clearly do.”
Could the ‘Another Year’ rally cry help? Is not having one painful?
“He will take everything in it,” said his father. “There is a great deal of harm.”
This is the same stubborn player who kept going to every Elite 11 QB camp. Just to get attention. He was always two or three midfielders away from being the best in every camp.
However, it is now the best team in the history of football in Georgia.
There has always been a firm belief in steel will. He is betting on himself. But now he has won everything too.
NIL money will not be a factor here.
His father said, “No, not at all.” “Steit will do whatever he wants to do. He has turned down no more money than many people earn in one year. It was never about money before.”
How could his son succeed despite all this?
“Just pure design,” said Stetson Bennett III. “You won’t tell him he can’t when he can clearly see that he can do something.”
His father ranked toughness, willpower, and a desire to prove people wrong as his son’s greatest blessing.
“Maybe it’s a combination of all of those,” he said. “Whether it’s the ability to stick or the design. It’s not like he goes ‘I told you so’ when he does something big. That’s just not who he is.”
Did he think Monday night was his son’s best match?
The answer was no. According to his father, the best game Stetson Bennett played was in 2013.
His father said, “The best game he ever played was in the ninth grade.” “We were playing in a junior football game against Camden County.”
Camden County is a much larger school than Pierce County. Maybe three times bigger. at most.
He threw 455 yards in the JV game,” Stetson Bennett III said. “I think there were eight minutes in that match. Probably 10 minutes.”
The opponent coach approached him after the match.
His father said, “He told me I had never seen anything like this in my life.” “It exploded.”
Bennett’s top receiver couldn’t break five seconds into the 40 that day.
“When I tell you he could do more than put him in the window that day,” he said. “He could do more than that. He could put it in the mailbox that day.”
The reason for this choice was very primitive. At least for him.
“We were no better than Camden County that day,” his father said. “We won the last game of the match. It was 50-50 thing. We won. He threw for 455 yards. It was really something really special.”
This is his best game.
“We were better than Michigan,” he said. “We were better than Alabama. But we were no better than Camden County that day. He still brings us victory.”
This family loves long odds. and challenges. He said that his son loves football and most likely still wants to play.
Maybe he wants one more trip in Georgia. No ride to that sunset.
Mailman may be looking outside and not seeing the sunset at all. not yet.
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