Mobile, Ala.--Many times an injury will keep a player flying under the radar until he has a breakout performance. Fullback Brian Bennett from McGill-Toolen High is hoping that's just the case for him as a productive summer has him on the radar for several programs heading into his senior season.
Expected to be one of the main offensive weapons for Coach Steve Savarese, the 5-10, 202 Bennett suffered an injury in the second game of the 2006 season and didn't play again the rest of the year. He said that while the injury has healed and he's full speed once again, the setback cost him more than just playing time because colleges are just now getting a chance to evaluate what he can do on the field.
"I only played two games my junior year," Bennett said. "I had a little problem with my neck that they weren't sure about. The doctors were fidgety about it at first but it's completely well now. I have been to several doctors and they've all cleared me.
"I have been hearing from some schools," Bennett added. "Since I didn't play very much last year it has kind of been slow but after the spring game it has picked up a little bit. I have heard from Memphis, South Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Army, Navy and several other schools."
Last weekend Bennett was among a large group of prospects on hand for Auburn's final summer camp of the year. Showing good hands and cutting ability, Bennett quickly showed he belonged in the first group of backs alongside players such as Jonathan Dwyer and Xavier Stinson.
Bennett works in a drill during a recent camp at Auburn.
While his 40-yard dash time of 4.9 seconds was well off his personal-best time of 4.7 with the slow artificial surface at Auburn, Bennett had a vertical leap of 28 inches and a shuttle time of 4.73 seconds. Both of those show his athleticism and explosiveness. He said the camp was important for him to get a chance to play against the top guys in the South.
"The camp was real good," Bennett said. "They taught us a lot. It was good to go up against other people the same caliber as you instead of going up against people at your own school who maybe aren't quite as good. It was fun.
"It helped me a lot," Bennett added. "It makes you think you can play with anybody."