Manvel (Texas) wide receiver Austin Bennett already had a pretty good idea where he wanted to play his college football, but a Saturday visit to Arkansas sealed the deal.
Bennett (6-0, 170, 4.42) decided to go ahead and commit after attending the Razorbacks' Junior Day in Fayetteville on Saturday.
"I just went up there and I knew they had a great program, but I was just blown away by the facilities they have, the ones they are going to have and just the coaches and players," Bennett said. "I want to be a part of that and there was really no reason to wait around when I know Arkansas is the place for me."
Bennett, who had 44 catches for 785 yards and seven touchdowns – one of them a 95-yard dash - last season, is a teammate of 2012 Razorback signee Taiwan Johnson (6-3, 238).
Those two helped lead Manvel to a 15-1 mark last season and to the Class 4A Division II state title game before suffering their first loss of the season.
"He had already told me great things about what he had seen from Arkansas and about the coaches and players," Bennett said. "Then when you are a wide receiver like I am, I mean who wouldn't want to play in that offense. They throw the ball a lot, but it is a very balanced offense."
The talented wideout chose Arkansas over offers from Ole Miss, TCU, SMU and Utah and he joins Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch tailback Jamel James as 2013 pledges to the Razorbacks.
Bennett's chief recruiter is Arkansas offensive line coach Chris Klenakis.
"Coach K is a great guy and we have a great relationship," Bennett said. "I know that he has my best interest at heart and I can count on him to guide me the right way.
"Arkansas told me that they loved watching tape on me and that I am just the type or wide receiver they want to add," Bennett added. "They have always had great receivers and just had three wide receivers go to the NFL combine recently so you know they can develop guys."
Bennett also knows current Razorback star tailback Knile Davis, who shined as a sophomore in 2010 before suffering a season-ending injury in August of 2011.
"I have known him since about the eighth grade because my dad (Gregory Bennett) used to be his coach at Thurgood Marshall," Bennett said. "I'm excited to get to see him play again this season."
Bennett believes having a dad as a coach – he is currently an assistant at Manvel – has aided his development as a player.
"He has helped me out in so many ways as a dad and as a coach, guiding me as a person and a player down the right path," Bennett said. "I can't thank him enough."
Ashton Bennett (5-10, 160), Austin's older brother, will walk on next season at Arkansas.
Bennett plans to be back in Fayetteville for Arkansas' Red-White game on April 21.
"I'll be up there for the Red-White game and probably a lot during the summer," Bennett said. "Now that I know where I am headed, I am all in."
Arkansas lands Bennett
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