Opinions continue to roll in on where Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett falls in the SEC and national rankings at his position continues as the 2022 season quickly approaches. Last month saw outlets place him No. 46, No. 34, and No. 25 overall in the country and No. 8, No. 9, and No. 9 in the conference. SEC Network experts all kept him out of their top five SEC quarterback lists during SEC Media Days broadcasts as well. Earlier this month SEC Network analyst Matt Stinchcomb ranked Bennett No. 2, behind Alabama’s Bryce Young. Now, Athlon Sports has released its national quarterback rankings, with Bennett coming in at No. 23 overall and No. 7 among SEC quarterbacks.
Despite leading Georgia to a national title and ranking first among SEC quarterbacks in yards per attempt (10.0) last year, Bennett probably won’t get the preseason credit he deserves in a deep crop of signal-callers in the conference. An injury to JT Daniels opened the door for Bennett to have more playing time, and the Georgia native took the opportunity to wrestle away the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. Bennett had a few uneven performances last year (161 yards and two picks against Florida and two interceptions against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game), but still finished with 2,862 yards and 29 touchdowns to just seven picks. He added 259 yards and a score on the ground, finished second in the conference in quarterback rating, and ranked third with 24 completions of 30-plus yards. Bennett also delivered a strong performance in the playoff win over Michigan and came up in clutch moments to lift the Bulldogs over Alabama for the national title. Georgia’s defense might not be as dominant as it was (but still very good) in ’21. If that’s the case, Bennett and the offense will have to play a bigger role in key matchups to help carry the team back to the playoff.
One of the most discussed storylines of Georgia’s run to a College Football Playoff National Championship was the play of Bennett. Stepping in following an injury to JT DanielsBennett would start in 12 of the 14 games he played in, including the last 10 games for Georgia. His 9.97 yards per attempt was good for No. 3 in the country and second in program history behind Aaron Murray in 2012. His 176.69 passer rating was No. 4 in the country and best in program history. His 86.7 QBR was No. 3 in the country and No. 2 in program history, behind Murray (2013 – 88.1). In the National Championship against Alabama in January, Bennett was named the Offensive Player of the Game after he completed 17-of-26 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bennett has completed 291-of-469 passes for 4,301 yards and 39 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions, while rushing for 325 yards and four touchdowns. He enters his final season to move up in the program record books before his career ends. Bennett is eighth in program history in passing yards, 2,031 yards behind Mike Bobo2,146 yards behind Quincy Carterand 3,430 yards behind Matthew Stafford. Bennett is sixth in program history in touchdown passes, 12 behind Matthew Stafford28 behind Eric Zeier, and 33 behind David Greene. His 160.6 career passer rating is the best all-time in program history among quarterbacks with 400 or more pass attempts. In touchdowns accounted for, Bennett is seventh at 43 touchdowns, three behind Carter, 14 behind Stafford, 28 behind Zeier, and 36 behind Greene.
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