Brent Benedict, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Jacksonville who abruptly left UGA last month, plans to transfer to Virginia Tech.
That’s according to a report by the Florida Times-Union. Benedict has not returned phone calls and messages from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since he quit the team for “personal reasons” on June 26.
Benedict told Times-Union’s Hays Carlyon he chose the Hokies over Florida, Clemson and Marshall.
“I liked Virginia Tech the first time around,” he said. “It’s a great program with a coaching staff that’s been there awhile. They win games and do well in the ACC. I’m really excited to get up there.”
Benedict (6-5, 312), a former four-star prospect and Under Armour All-American, is being hailed in Virginia as the fifth commitment of the Hokies’ 2012 recruiting class. Even though he was released from his scholarship by the Bulldogs, Benedict will have to sit out one year per NCAA transfer rules. He will be a third-year sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining when he’s activated for the 2012 season in Blacksburg.
Benedict was recruited to Georgia as a left tackle before he was sidelined with a devastating knee injury in October of his senior year. The injury, which included nerve damage, required a complete reconstruction and extensive rehabilitiation. The Bulldogs, who had accepted Benedict’s commitment the previous summer, never wavered on their scholarship offer.
Benedict was medically cleared by UGA in March, though was held out of some drills during spring practice. He was listed as the No. 2 right guard on the preseason depth chart.
Benedict has never disclosed his reasons for leaving but indications are he had disagreements with the Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning staff over training methods during off-season conditioning. He was released from his scholarship at UGA following a meeting with head coach Mark Richt on June 26.
The Times-Union asked Benedict if he chose Virginia Tech over Florida and Clemson because the Bulldogs will play those teams in coming seasons.
“Maybe that was in the back of my mind a little bit,” he said. “It could still happen with a bowl game. My main focus was choosing the place where I felt I fit the best. Virginia Tech was the best fit for me.”