By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
One “monster pickup” a week and Georgia could redefine the meaning of great recruiting class.
The Bulldogs, and especially assistant Stacy Searels, have reason to bask in the afterglow today after landing a commitment from Bolles School offensive tackle Brent Benedict of Jacksonville. They snatched him away from notable adversaries Florida, Alabama, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Clemson. Last week, Bulldogs fans rejoiced over beating the Gators to top receiver Da’Rick Rogers.
Here’s what the experts are saying about the Benedict coup:
“This is a monster pickup for Georgia,” said Jamie Newberg of Rivals. “To go down to the Sunshine State and pull one of the top linemen in the nation is huge. They beat Florida in their own backyard, USC and others. Benedict is an exceptional offensive line prospect that’s nasty, has great size, feet and athleticism. The Dawgs have really picked it up in Florida.”
According to Scout.com South Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons, “Benedict is an aggressive offensive linemen that finishes his blocks, that understands blocking schemes, that can run block, that can pass protect, and that has a high level of intelligence. There are not many faults in his game, but his arm length is a minor concern at tackle. He is one of the best in the country.”
Rivals’ Barry Evrey, one of the sharper analysts in the game, raved about Benedict, who is rated the No. 5 offensive tackle by his organization and the ninth-best by scout.com.
“He’s one of the most athletic big men that I’ve ever seen. Period,” Evrey said. “He’s got a 30-inch vertical jump and off the line of scrimmage he is a legitimate 5.0 or faster. He can fly. Georgia does not have anyone [among the linemen] on the team who is this athletic.”
Benedict told the Sporting News what he learned by playing at Bolles in Jacksonville, what has made him one of the great pickups from the Class of 2010.
“I think I have worked hard and I’ve had the coaching in this program to develop myself,” Benedict said. “I’m pretty well-rounded as a player and as a person in general. A lot of coaches have told me that, that I’m the complete package, that I’m not going to be in trouble off the field. That’s one of my selling points. I’m a straight-forward guy who is looking forward to going to school somewhere, and then I’ll get out there and play a little football on the weekends.”