No one expected Vanderbilt to be 5-1 at this stage of the season. Despite its lackluster performance in Starkville, the Commodores can still exceed even the highest expectations for the 2008 season. All it will take is going back to the drawing board.[details]
2006 (Sophomore): Named first team All-Southeastern Conference by coaches for second consecutive seasons... Recipient of team's postseason Most Valuable Receiver Award... Put together remarkable receiving campaign for second straight season - 82 receptions, good for 1,146 receiving yards and six touchdowns... Reception and receiving yardage totals are sophomore team marks; receptions total ranks seventh all-time in SEC history and second all-time among sophomores in the SEC... Sophomore receiving yardage total ranks second all-time on team.Through two years, has compiled 161 catches, more than any other SEC receiver in first two years of eligibility... Ranks as the only receiver in SEC history with two seasons of at least 75 catches or more... Enters 2007 campaign needing 48 catches to become SEC career leader in receptions; also needs 1,071 receiving yards to own SEC career mark... Posted at least four receptions in every game... Bennett's 2006 accomplishments include three games of at least 10 receptions and four games of at least 150 receiving yards... Set single game career highs in receiving yards (220) at Kentucky and longest receptions (77 yards) at Duke... Earned or shared team's Offensive Player of the Week honors after Tennessee State, Ole Miss and Florida games... At Ole Miss, caught 10 passes for 179 yards, then had eight receptions in road win at Georgia... During three-game stretch late in season (Duke, Florida and Kentucky), Bennett amassed 33 catches, 561 receiving yards and 3 TDs... Performances included 13 receptions and 157 yards against eventual national champion Florida... Also showed versatility, completing two pass attempts, including one that went for a 30-yard TD in opener at Michigan.
2005 (Freshman): Amassed the greatest receiving season ever by a Commodore freshman, and one of the finest ever by a first-year player in the Southeastern Conference… Earned team’s postseason Most Valuable Receiver Award… Named to Second Team All-SEC by both coaches and Associated Press writers… Named to first team All-SEC Freshman Team by coaches… Selected Second Team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News… Didn’t earn a starting role until the Richmond game, but saw action in every contest… Set a team and SEC freshman record with 79 receptions, tying for the second most ever by a Commodore in a single season… Receiving yardage total of 876 yards -– third highest in the SEC – marks eighth all-time by Commodore… Also amassed nine touchdown receptions, third best among SEC receivers and tied for third most ever by Commodore in a single season… Finished third in the SEC with 124.4 all-purpose yard average… Only Commodore receiver to post a reception in every game… Put together one of the most remarkable four-game stretches for receiving in SEC history in the final stages of season… Amassed 49 catches and 545 receiving yards against South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee… Became just the second player in SEC history to achieve five TD receptions in single game with performance versus Kentucky… Season highs in receptions (16) and receiving yards (204) came in narrow loss at South Carolina… In season finale, recorded 14 catches and 167 yards in victory at Tennessee… Responsible for every yard of game-deciding touchdown drive against Volunteers… After catches of 15 and 31 yards, sealed drive with five-yard TD from QB Jay Cutler… Showed big-play potential in opener, with key 28-yard reception on Commodores’ game-winning drive at Wake Forest… Named team’s Offensive Player of the Week after performances against Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Richmond… Ranked ninth in the SEC with 21.3-yard kickoff return average and eighth in the league with 6.3-yard punt return average.
Personal: Earl Bryan Bennett... Son of Sarah D. Bennett and Earl Frison... Has two brothers and two sisters... Mom works at bakery; dad works for Ford Motor Co... Ranks among top of class academically.. Has volunteered efforts with several efforts aimed at helping local children in inner-city Birmingham community.
High School: Team captain as senior... Started at wide receiver, running back and cornerback for 8-3 West End squad that advanced to 5A state playoffs... Rushed for 829 yards and 12 TDs and caught 45 passes for 729 yards during senior season... Intercepted 10 passes and totalled 52 tackles as cornerback... Named City of Birmingham's Most Valuable Football Player and Most Outstanding Athlete in April ceremony... Named First Team 5A All-State by Alabama Sports Writers Association... Received Birmingham City Player of the Year Award and All-Birmingham Metro recognition... Has started in offensive backfield since freshman season... Averages 11 points per game as guard on basketball squad.
The Good: Bennett separates well in coverage and has reliable hands. He has enough speed to go deep and gain extra yards after the catch. He was a consistent playmaker throughout his college career. Bennett has good cutting ability, which allows him to separate well from defenders.
The Bad: Bennett still needs to refine his route running and defense recognition. He must improve his overall strength to take the pounding he will receive in the NFL, especially when going across the middle of the field.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than...[Complete Bio]