Stetson Bennett IV, the winning quarterback for the University of Georgia’s Bulldogs this past Monday night in college’s national championship game, may become known for more than his achievements on the football field.
Bennett’s Georgia Bulldogs beat out Alabama’s Crimson Tide on Monday night 33-18 in the CFP National Championship in front of nearly 70,000 fans — and millions more watching on television.
That final score, though, hardly tells the whole story.
Bennett, from Blackshear, Georgia, had an unlikely path to his role as winning quarterback.
Namely, he was a walk-on who ultimately defeated Alabama’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young in college football’s biggest face-off.
Bennett also transferred briefly from Georgia to Jones County Junior College — then came back to the Bulldogs.
This past Monday’s game was the biggest “of Bennett’s life and the critical point of a journey that reached countless crossroads and endured untold obstacles,” as sports columnist Martin Rogers for Fox Sports put it.
“At every stage, every time there was a decision to be made, he made the choice that kept the dream alive, even when it looked like the opposite would happen.”
Bennett, nicknamed The Mailman (because of a hat he wore years ago), reportedly had long wanted to lead the University of Georgia football team as quarterback.
After beating Alabama on Monday night, Bennett was asked during an interview what his success means for the “little guy” who tries to buck the biggest odds.
Stetson Bennett, #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs, looks to pass the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Bennett said he hopes his own success encourages that person.
Then Bennett said, “Keep your mouth shut. Work hard. Life is tough. Work through it.”
Words to live by, indeed.
Bennett, 23, also shared this gem after his victory: “I knew that those guys beside me had my back. And I had their back, too.”
What winning team doesn’t have that winning attitude? Every player matters; every role counts.
AND — to top it all off — Bennett gave a shoutout to his family: “They’re the ones who have been in my corner the entire time, always supported me.” (Bennett’s parents met as students at the University of Georgia.)
Bennett’s team finished its season this year with a 14-1 record — and finally secured that championship win over Alabama. (The last time Georgia won this championship was in 1980, with Herschel Walker.)
“Sometimes in life you see a story that is almost too hard to believe, and you wonder what kind of dedication it would take to lead someone to that reality.”
— Trey Wallace of Outkick about winning quarterback Stetson Bennett
As Outkick’s Trey Wallace put in, “Sometimes in life you see a story that is almost too hard to believe, and you wonder what kind of dedication it would take to lead someone to that reality. Well, look no further than Georgia starting quarterback Stetson Bennett, who wrote the final chapter of his own story on Monday night.”
How rarely does someone accomplish what Bennett did?
“In college football, a walk-on rarely touches the field during the regular season, much less become[s] the starting quarterback of his team.”
“But sometimes, if you work hard enough, those practices and hard work pay off down the line. This was the case of Stetson Bennett, who can now call himself a National Champion,” Outkick’s Wallace also noted.