Michael Bennett showed up to the University of Georgia as one of the more unheralded recruits in the Bulldogs 2010 signing class.
But it didn’t take long for the former Alpharetta Raider to make his presence felt on the field.
As a redshirt freshman last fall, Bennett climbed what was a deep Georgia depth chart to earn significant playing time by season’s end as wide receiver— including action in all 14 games and being listed as a starter on four occasions.
Using his 6-foot-3 frame, Bennett became a go-to weapon for Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in short yardage and redzone situations, finishing the season with 32 catches for 320 yards and five touchdowns. At season’s end he was given the Newcomer of the Year Award on the Bulldog offense.
“I didn’t really expect a whole lot going into last year with so many experienced players in front of me, but we had some injuries that put me in a situation to see the field a lot. When opportunities present themselves you have to take advantage of them and that is what I tried to do,” said Bennett, who netted a season high seven catches and 89 yards in a win over Vanderbilt, while also making key touchdown grabs in wins over arch-rivals Georgia Tech and Florida.
“It was a productive year, but you can never be satisfied,” he said. “There are a lot of things I am working on now to be a better player and hopefully build off of my freshman season.”
Bennett went on to say fundamentals of the game are his focus going in to 2012 and he has spent much of the summer trying to improve his route running, footwork and ability to read defensive coverages.
The 2010 Alpharetta alum is currently listed as the third wide receiver on the Bulldogs depth chart — behind seniors Tavarres King and Marlon Brown — and should see plenty of action on a team ranked No. 6 in the nation heading into their season opener Sept. 1 against Buffalo.
“I’m not worried about starting or not starting at this point, I’m just looking to help the team in any way I can as we try to win an SEC Championship and hopefully compete for a National Championship. Those are lofty goals but with this team I think we can achieve them.”