Q&A: Brent Benedict confirms dispute with Georgia’s new strength coach

Q&A WITH BRENT BENEDICT

Benedict

Benedict

Brent Benedict has packed up all his things and left Athens. The big offensive lineman has taken up temporary residence at a friend’s house in Roswell. But he won’t be there long. He’ll relocate to Blacksburg, Va., the first week of August. Benedict, who was granted an unconditional release by the University of Georgia after he abruptly quit the team on June 26th, settled on the Virginia Tech Hokies as his transfer destination on Monday. He chose it over Florida, Clemson and a few others. Benedict talked with the AJC on Tuesday in his first extensive interview about the circumstances that led to his decision to leave a program to which he’d been committed since the summer of 2009. He confirmed that it stemmed mainly from a disagreement with new strength and conditioning coordinator Joe Tereshinski over training methods and philosophies. At the same time, Benedict also allowed that what the Bulldogs are doing may work. He also expressed appreciation and gratitude to Georgia for getting him past a severe knee injury and insisted he genuinely wishes for success for the Bulldogs this season and from now on. Following is my conversation with Benedict in Q&A form. . . .

Q: So it’s official then. You’re going to be a Hokie?

A: “Yep, I’m headed up to Virginia Tech. Camp will be starting in August and I’ll be up there then. I talked to Coach [Frank] Beamer and he said that this year I’ll be able to practice but I won’t be allowed to travel or to play. So it’ll be another year and then I’ll have three years after that.”

Q: Did you visit Blacksburg before you committed?

A: “I was up there for visit this past weekend. I got to walk around and check it out a little bit. I actually visited there initially the first time I was recruited.”

Q: So what are your feelings as you leave the University of Georgia?

A: “The University of Georgia was very good to me and my family, Coach [Mark] Richt was good to me and my family and, obviously, Mr. [Greg] McGarity was also. I really appreciate how they handled my release and Coach Richt sticking with me after the knee injury. I’m very grateful for that.”

Q: It seemed abrupt. It seemed like things were fine, your knee was recovering, you were moving up the depth chart. What happened?

A: “It’s just like Coach Richt said and like I said, it was personal issues. And, you know, it just seemed like it was something we weren’t able to resolve. I talked to Coach Richt about it and we both felt it was best for us to go our separate ways.”

Q: Didn’t you actually make the decision first and then wait to talk to Coach Richt when he came back from his mission trip to Honduras?

A: “Yes. I wanted to talk to Coach Richt to see if things could be resolved before I decided to leave. I really felt that was the last-case scenario. That was the last thing I wanted to do was to leave the program. So I talked to Coach Richt and we weren’t able to work things out. So, unfortunately, that’s the way it ended up. But Coach Richt was very gracious and granted me an unconditional release and I’m very grateful for that.”

Q: I understand this mainly had to do with not seeing eye-to-eye with new strength and conditioning coach Joe Tereshinki about training techniques with respect to your injury. I know he’s employing some old-school philosophies with a lot of lower-body work. Is that what this was about?

A: “Coach Tereshinski came in and he has his own philosophy and he and the coaching staff believe that it’s going to work and there’s no reason not to believe that. So,  there were a few things going on and I wasn’t able to resolve that. Of course I hope Georgia does well, extremely well. I’ve told all my buddies back there I wish them the best of luck and I really believe it will be successful.”

Q: Before your knee injury you projected as an elite-level left tackle. You were a backup at right guard before you left Georgia. Is your goal to get back to playing tackle at Virginia Tech?

A: “I will do my best to contribute anywhere I can for Virginia Tech when I head up there. If that’s guard, if that’s tackle, it’s fine with me. I think I’ll definitely be in position to [play either]. I’m just hoping they’ll need me to help and allow me to contribute as much as I can.”

Q: Florida was one of the schools to court you this time around. Was it difficult for you to consider the Gators given the intensity of the rivalry between them and the Bulldogs?

A: “The University of Georgia was an awesome place for me coming out of high school. I love the school, I love the people there, I love my teammates. It was very difficult for me to leave. You know, Florida was one of the schools that offered me a scholarship the second time. They’re a big-time SEC school and they’re as strong as anybody is. But, you know, the ultimate decision came down to I felt like Virginia Tech was the best place for me and that’s why I ended up there.”

Q: I know you’re close friends with a lot of your fellow linemen at UGA. How’d they take this news?

A: “I’ll still stay in touch with them. I’ll be lifelong friends with a lot of those guys. I hope they do well this year and I’m sorry I can’t be a part of it with them.”

Q: You know Georgia’s depth situation on the offensive line. Any part of you feel like you left them in a pinch?

A: “It is a little bit thin up there right now and that’s unfortunate. But I think those guys are strong enough that they’ll be able to get through it together.”

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306 comments Add your comment

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah

July 13th, 2011
2:15 am

What a baby.

P. Bull Terrier

July 13th, 2011
2:36 am

It sounds like Richt and Benedict are handling things with as much class as possible, given the situation. I’ll give Benedict credit that he didn’t get into the details of whatever personal issues he had with Coach T. I do take issue with the timing of his decision to leave UGA, but I’m glad he’s not headed somewhere in the SEC. Time to close the book on this one.

[...] mentioned the disagreement in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying, Q: I understand this mainly had to do with not seeing eye-to-eye with new strength and [...]

JackInCoke

July 13th, 2011
2:49 am

Well said, PBT.

Ralston Dawg

July 13th, 2011
3:49 am

I’m glad he didn’t end up at UF—they have oline issues tool

Lasso

July 13th, 2011
3:52 am

Good luck, Brent. Guess you still get to beat up Nerds, afterall.

Stinger2

July 13th, 2011
3:59 am

He handled the questions in the interview well. At least he did not go to Florida. If he turns out to be as good as first advertised, could be bad for GT.

Honolulu Dawg

July 13th, 2011
3:59 am

Goodbye… Now lets get ready for Boise

GATA

Tdawg

July 13th, 2011
4:16 am

Chip what are you doing working until 2, and there is a silver lining here. We may lose a few players but the rest are going to be completely in shape.

VinnyD

July 13th, 2011
5:19 am

I just hope Joe T’s S & C program is not based solely on “when I was playin ball, we did _________”. As a S & C guy, I see this a lot with “old school” coaches. Chances are they will be better conditioned because they won’t be training for a weightlifting meet like they did in the past. Bench pressing 500 lbs is great and all but when in a football game are you lying on your back and pushing something 1 time? Train them to be quick, agile, fast, explosive for a full football game. Not 1 rep.

NOBODYYOUKNOW

July 13th, 2011
6:12 am

He’s moved on so lets move on. No more drama please. Just go to practice all you guys get ready for the ‘Boise Blues”. And I hope its Boise St. that has the blues after that first game.

Paddy

July 13th, 2011
6:32 am

VinnyD…you are right. Last few years we looked great in the hotel lobby. Not so much after that. If Coach T is trying to get them “country” strong, I am all for it. That is the strength that matters on the field. Ask any player that has had to play the U Iowa. Strongest team in college football 4 out of the last 5 years. They are country strong.

Top Dawg

July 13th, 2011
6:34 am

What do we have, two or three offensive line players left?

[...] Brant Benedict says he left Georgia because of Coach Tereshinski, but has no hard feelings about it. [...]

Dawgman 52

July 13th, 2011
6:36 am

whatababy

July 13th, 2011
6:44 am

Sounds like he couldn’t hack it. He was cleared medically to 100% participate and he wanted to still use his previous injury as a crutch to not 100% participate. I think he was given the ultimatum of “you are either all in or you’re not on the team” and he chose to walk. Sad because he was a great recruit on paper, but when push came to shove he crumbled… not what you would want in an offensive lineman.

Dunwoody Joe

July 13th, 2011
6:52 am

VinnyD is spot on. I’ll bet that is the real deal.
Benedict seems like a mature young man who decided that his future would be better elsewhere. Coaches and ADs do it all the time…now a kid has too. No crime in that.

We’ll see over time how it works out for all parties. But for now, this young man has handled himself well.

Something is not right inside this Bulldog program.

Dawg Consultant

July 13th, 2011
6:52 am

I am truly saddened to see Benedict leave UGA. He was a great “get” as a recruit, and appears to be a solid young man. His leaving will not help our offensive line depth whatsoever. His leaving, is not however, a great loss. To date, he has really never done a thing at UGA. The relationship has been completely one sided from a football standpoint. Richt is a great man for honoring the scholarship, and as the young man concedes UGA really assisted greatly in his rehab. It’s just unfortunate that things did not work out.

If he feels strongly that he has a pro career ahead of him and this is the way to pursue it, then good luck to him. On the other hand I applaud UGA for not letting one student’s feeling about how he should be coached upset what appears to be a new mindset with training.

No party is at fault here. Both should move on. I think many fans are a little put off, because this seems to be the story with so many of the highly recruited linemen we have had over the past 5 years. Great in high school, injured in college, and non-contributors to the program.

Ah well…..bring on Boise St.

Jimmy Crack

July 13th, 2011
6:56 am

Good luck Brent. Break a leg.

dogforlife

July 13th, 2011
7:02 am

Dunwoody Joe, you lost me. A 19 year old kid leaves and suddenly ’something is not right inside this Bulldog program? Tell us, please, what makes you say that based on this article?

Dawgbreath

July 13th, 2011
7:04 am

Arrests, academics, transfers. Seems Richt has more than his share. Perhaps this is the underlying problem with the football team. Richt can’t seem to hold it together.

Jeff

July 13th, 2011
7:07 am

Sounds like he needs to grow up. Coaches run the program- thankfully we did not give into this brat. I am sorry- his reasons just dont get it- what happens at VT when he decides he doesnt agree with something coach Beamer does??????? Good for CMR on this one- we need to get rid of players that think they can run the show.

Beast from the East

July 13th, 2011
7:07 am

All parties (McGarity, Richt and Benedict) handled this about as well as possible. Sometimes folks just don’t see to eye to eye. I applaud Richt and McGarity for standing firm behind their S&C coach while also ensuring Benedict will be able to try and further his dream.

[...] Former Georgia lineman confirms dispute with new strength coach [AJC] [...]

bitter "OLE" School Dogs-fan

July 13th, 2011
7:12 am

mr. arnold—-wont some cheese with your wine!!!!!!!!!!!!————big pu——-fill in the blank

—————————-OLE SCHOOL——-5star spoiled brats———

——–dont let the door hit you in the as—-

Matthew

July 13th, 2011
7:13 am

I am very tired of hearing about this kid. He has nerve damage that is not going to heal well enough for him to contribute and he is a huge ‘me guy’ that is only concerned about himself. His dad is even worse. Kids like this (and Dowtin, Caleb King, Ealey, etc.) are the reason UGA has been so bad the last few years. Good luck to him at Va. Tech and good riddance.

JB

July 13th, 2011
7:23 am

WE NOW have about 10 spots left for signing next year. Let’s hope 6 are OL and two are RB. The other two can be for any position surprises. Go Dawgs

DawginLex

July 13th, 2011
7:24 am

Good luck to the young man.

Ben

July 13th, 2011
7:31 am

Wow, I knew a successful coach that used the philosophy, if you do not do it in a game do not do it in training nor warmups. Bench presses build strength but how many times does a player bench press from the 45 yardline on his back? Talk about efficient use of practice time and preparation time. Two state championships a runner up year and several 12-1, 11-1 seasons was the results. Hopefully that is the kind of program UGA has going for them now.

AltamahaDawg

July 13th, 2011
7:33 am

I wish I had a job like the ALC headline writer.

wins-by-a-link

July 13th, 2011
7:38 am

Seems like Brent had a misunderstanding when he signed on with UGA, He must have thought he was going to be running the Strength and Conditioning Program, Sorry it didn’t work out Brent, Maybe the folks at Va Tech will be more understanding.

JB

July 13th, 2011
7:39 am

I hope we are expanding the offense a little as to add some formations and plays to utilize some of the other athletes on this roster. I know Richt won’t stray far, but with limited PROVEN RB’s, it might give the other D something to prepare for and keep them a little off balance.

AltamahaDawg

July 13th, 2011
7:41 am

I would think O-linemen do push things with thier upper body, and I doubt all they ever do in training is bench press. I suspect that has something to do with isolating the upper body portion while putting as little stress on the back as possible. Not an expert. perhaps somebody from the National Football League could answer why they would ever use the bench press to train. So oyu are saying that your high school coach buddy, never has his boys on the bench press? Ever?

Whiskey Breath

July 13th, 2011
7:41 am

He sounds like he consulted with a lawyer before he made this interview. He didn’t say anything that could be held against him down the road. It looks like he protected everybody. The kid is very bright.
Not buying the idea he wants to play at VT. He probably wants to play in the SEC and close to home.
Good luck to the kid and hope we hear from him in the NFL. Probably shouldn’t have ran this guy off.

mgdawg

July 13th, 2011
7:44 am

I really have my doubts about the character of the kid, I’ve seen kids like this in high school coming off an injury still trying to use that injury as an excuse not to push themself. UGA’s sports medicine staff is extremely conservative, mainly because if an athlete gets hurt and they bring them back too early and they get hurt worse that athlete could lose millions of dollars if not a whole career in the NFL. So my guess is like I stated earlier, the kid was 100 percent but the training was very difficult and he felt he could bypass certain parts of it because of his previous injury.

I don’t see this as a loss because judging from what has been going on, he won’t amount to anything on the field. I’m shocked that another D1 program took a chance on him. I hope for his sake I’m wrong.

JB

July 13th, 2011
7:45 am

I’m all for the changes coach T has made, even with no real knowledge of them. I just know I’ve heard it’s totally changed and it’s more intense. I’ve seen all I want to see of our Dawgs huffing and puffing in the second half and being physically pushed around by the likes of Kentucky!

AltamahaDawg

July 13th, 2011
7:46 am

I remember our S&C staff visited VaTEch in the offseason 2010. So I would think our guys would have been able to tell Benedict how they trained up there to see if that fits his ideas better.

MattDawg

July 13th, 2011
7:46 am

Guess he doesn’t like working out like the big boys do.

Hines Ward

July 13th, 2011
7:48 am

A…

B…

C…

D…

….

….

FENCE….

U…

G…

A…

….

T…

L…

jerry

July 13th, 2011
7:51 am

Mr.Benedict, you should know to never butt heads with someone who has the influence to have a relative start at quarterback against the Florida Gators, whose previous job was “punt protector.”

mike

July 13th, 2011
7:51 am

Don’t you just love all the hate comments from the football wannabee’s.The kid and Richt were big enough to handle with class this moving on. Why do people who have no sayso one way or the other have so much negativity to put forth. Get a life people.

WorriedDawg

July 13th, 2011
7:52 am

I’m torn. Aparently the kid is a spoiled sissy and dont let the door hit you etc. But there are also aparently BIG problems in Athens. Too close to call on this one.

JB

July 13th, 2011
7:53 am

George O’Leary……………..Hell, I just added a few degree’s. What’s the big deal and what’s it got to do with coaching football?

how2fish

July 13th, 2011
7:54 am

Seems like this was handled about as well as it could be by all parties. Coaches did the right thing, school did the right thing and the young man handled it with maturity. Sorry it didn’t work out but it happens. Wish him luck at VT.

Trojan

July 13th, 2011
7:55 am

Unimpressive, very unimpressive. UGA honored his scholarship when he was hurt and useless and he gets mad when someone tells him what to do.
Wow!

JB

July 13th, 2011
7:56 am

mike @ 7:51……….Blog…. Defined as putting out a story or topic and have the readers of said story comment and give opinions of said story……………….Just for your information.

Hines Ward

July 13th, 2011
7:58 am

When I found myself in jail the other night with all those other men drooling over me, I suddenly wish I had not worked out so hard while at UGA and then made a living while wearing tight pants followed by dancing in even more tight pants.

Do Your Own Thing, Brent!

RedandBlackDAWG

July 13th, 2011
7:58 am

I applaud the UGA coaching staff for sticking by their guns. The kid will probably be better off someplace else. I just wonder though if he will leave VT if he doesn’t like some aspect of the training program? I think his father influenced his decision a little as well. No matter where he goes, he will have to work hard to earn a starting spot. Good luck to him though. Both parties gained in this I think.

Dawg Fan

July 13th, 2011
7:59 am

If Benedict is too wimpy to do Tereshenski’s weight program he obviously doesn’t have the guts and heart to be a winner or champion. Good Riddance!

JB

July 13th, 2011
8:00 am

Good move. IF he reacted soft ( to coach T)….he would of played soft. Good luck to him and VT