QB Stetson Bennett announced on Instagram Wednesday that he’ll be skipping this year’s NFL Draft and returning to the University of Georgia for the 2022 college football season. It’s big news for the Bulldogs, who won their first College Football Playoff National Championship this year under head coach Kirby Smart.
Constantly given short shrift by the college football intelligentsia, Bennett redshirted for the Dawgs in 2017 before transferring to Jones College in Ellisville, Mississippi. He came back to the program where he is a family legacy, and while plenty of other quarterbacks such as Justin Fields and Jake Fromm left Athens, he remained and ended up replacing JT Daniels after an injury early in the 2021 season.
From there he ended up a part of lore that will last forever in his home state by winning the first national championship in 41 years for Georgia. And with limited prospects at the NFL level, the NIL opportunities for him will be massive entering the 2022 season.
Bennett’s eventual backup Daniels officially entered the transfer portal today, freeing up the position for the sixth-year player in Bennett. While he’ll be the incumbent most likely, UGA already has talent waiting in the wings in the QB room. Class of 2021 five-star prospect Brock Vandagriff spent his true freshman season backing up Bennett and Daniels while Class of 2022 high-four star prospect Gunner Stockton has already enrolled on campus.
It’s fair to say there’s some skepticism among UGA fans as well.
Stetson Bennett finished the season No. 3 nationally in yards per attempt (10.0) and No. 4 in passer rating (176.7).— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 19, 2022
In the 4th qtr. of the national title game, he threw a go-ahead 40-yard TD and a 15-yard TD go up by 8.
Some initial UGA fan reactions to him coming back. pic.twitter.com/mN9qHcjBqX
Some may view Bennett’s return as a road block to one of these elite QB prospects playing but this may also be a situation where Smart convinced his super senior quarterback to return in an effort to give those guys some time to develop. It’ll be extremely difficult for them to replicate what they did this past year and if they’re going to take somewhat of a step back, might as well do it with the beloved veteran QB.