ATLANTA — Luke Bennett had narrowed his options to 3 choices: Florida State, Georgia and New Hampshire.
The archetypal 2 possibilities came arsenic a preferred walk-on and the 3rd was connected scholarship. Only 1 of those schools, however, could connection the 5-foot-11 wide receiver 1 play helium would genuinely ne'er forget.
A accidental to play with his older brother, Stetson.
“One twelvemonth playing with ‘Stet,’ I couldn’t springiness that up for anything,” Luke told The Post connected Thursday from the College Football Hall of Fame astatine Peach Bowl media day. “I was fixed the opportunity, and I ran with it.”
Due to their six-year property spread — Stetson is 25 and Luke is 19 — the Bennett brothers had ne'er played connected the aforesaid team, making this play adjacent much memorable. After helping Georgia triumph its archetypal nationalist title since 1980 past January, Stetson has added to his hard-to-believe underdog communicative this year. The one-time walk-on, Georgia’s mentation of “Rudy,” has acceptable career-highs successful completion percent (68.1) and yards (3,425) portion producing 27 full touchdowns (20 done the air) and finishing 4th successful the Heisman Trophy voting. And Luke has been on for the ride.
Before each practice, the brothers from Blackshear, a municipality of 3,500 successful confederate Georgia, springiness each different a high-five arsenic they walk 1 different astatine the 50-yard-line earlier joining their respective presumption groups. On occasion, Luke volition drawback a walk from Stetson. Most important, they are experiencing this undefeated play together, Stetson’s last twelvemonth astatine Georgia and Luke’s first.
“It’s awesome,” Luke said. “We played plentifulness of shot successful the backyard together, but ne'er a existent crippled oregon adjacent practiced together. It conscionable reminds you of aged times.”
Added Stetson: “I wouldn’t accidental a miracle, but it astir is. It’s super-lucky.”
Some would picture Stetson’s journey, to wrong 2 wins of becoming the uncommon two-time nationalist championship-winning quarterback, successful akin fashion. He started his Georgia vocation arsenic a walk-on, went to inferior assemblage and returned to the SEC schoolhouse aft astir signing with Louisiana-Lafayette. He was the backup past twelvemonth to J.T. Daniels astatine the outset, but aft Daniels suffered an oblique wounded that kept him retired a fewer weeks, Stetson Wally Pipp’d him, taking implicit for good.
Stetson, nicknamed “The Mailman’’ due to the fact that helium erstwhile wore a U.S. Postal Service chapeau to a showcase campy portion successful precocious school, took clip to bespeak connected it this week. If helium had to acquisition it each astatine once, helium astir apt wouldn’t beryllium sane, Stetson joked. He admitted to disliking immoderate of his coaches astatine times, believing they were intentionally holding him back, an sentiment Kirby Smart didn’t needfully disagree with.
“He overcame truthful much,” Smart, the Georgia coach, said. “He overcame us. We didn’t enactment the feline retired there. He came and met with me, and helium wanted much reps. We tried to springiness him much reps. Every outpouring crippled helium went with the 3s, helium had success. It’s similar what much tin the feline do?”
Even without a 2nd title, Stetson volition spell down successful Georgia lore arsenic the backmost who was capable to get the Bulldogs implicit the hump aft 41 years. Who defied the likelihood arsenic an under-recruited and undersized imaginable cipher gave overmuch of a chance. It’s a relation Luke present finds himself in, trying to enactment his mode up the ladder successful a oversea of elite recruits. He doesn’t judge determination is immoderate added unit pursuing successful his brother’s footsteps astatine Georgia. There is inspiration, though.
“He’s a large idiosyncratic to look up to,” Luke said. “It’s motivating, it’s humbling. You larn a batch from him.”