Bennett was ranked as one of the top 16 defensive ends in the nation by USAToday.com, he was considered an All-American by that service and one of the top 125 players in the nation regardless of position. He tallied 22 snaps in 2002, and 78 in 2003.
Charles Bennett has been viewed as an undersized defensive end throughout his Clemson career, but this past spring, he shed that label and emerged as one of the top defensive linemen on the team. After a stint playing as a linebacker, he's moved back to the defensive line and appears to be ready to make the first significant contribution of his career this fall.
Charles Bennett was named the Most Improved Defensive End of spring practice by the Clemson coaching staff and rightfully so. He finished the Orange & White game second on the team in tackles with 6, first in passes batted down with 3, and tied for first in sacks with 2.
"Charles Bennett has moved back to the first team," said head coach Tommy Bowden during spring practice. "He's played really good for us. Him and Mo Fountain are our two best ends right now."
Bennett is now close to 250 pounds and has claimed a starting spot on the defensive line. Backing him up will be Vontrell Jamison and Kwam Williams.
Last season, Bennett saw action on 78 total snaps in 12 games, recording 10 tackles and 1 sack. He saw increased playing time in the Peach Bowl win over Tennessee (18 snaps), and also recorded his only sack of the season during the second half of that same game.
Looking for 2004's version of LeRoy Hill? Look no further than Charles Bennett. Bennett has worked hard in the weight room the last two seasons, adding bulk while maintaining his quickness, and his improved play this spring was the most surprising of any player currently on the roster.
Charles Bennett takes on Tim DeBeer during the Orange & White game.