ATLANTA – Stetson Bennett IV, decided to come back and play for the Bulldogs for another season, is continuing to prove why he deserves to be the starting quarterback.
Bennett drew a lot of criticism from the fanbase and from portions of the media regarding his playmaking ability and his leadership of the Georgia offense. After the 41-24 loss in the SEC Championship to Alabama, the criticism came to a boil for Bennett. Even after leading the Bulldogs to their first national title since 1980, Bennett has been unable to shake his haters off of his shoulders.
When it comes to decision making and trust from coaches, Bennett explained how trust has been built overtime with coaches, in particular Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken.
“When you’re three years in the system and coaching everyday, you start to develop a sense of trust,” said Bennett. “You start to know why, what he is thinking in situations and (it’s) developed overtime.”
Bennett was questioned regarding when he knew he had gained the trust of the Georgia coaching staff, he pointed out last season but particularly the national championship game.
“I don’t know if there was a specific moment, I would say last year during the season,” Bennett said.
After quarterback J.T. Daniels got injured during practice, Bennett started in their second game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Daniels started the next game but played only one quarter. Bennett started every game for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Coming into the 2022 season, Bennett is confident in part due to the trust his coaches had in him in the national championship game.
“I would say (it was gained) foreshore after I fumbled that ball in the national championship because he ripped it,” said Bennett. “To call those (passing) plays in that situation after what had just happened (told me). The first play, you put yourself on the table and second it shows we’re not going to bow down, we’re going to win the game.”
The rest is history. Now, the Bulldogs will start Bennett heading into a sold out showdown in week one against the Oregon Ducks at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“Look, Stetson is one of the least respected good players there is in this country,” said Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart. “Guess what, we get to see it every day. The kid is a tremendous athlete, he’s got good arm strength. People keep doubting him, and that’s fine with me.