Benedict Just Gets It

You have all types of personalities in high school football. There are those that play for themselves only worried about personal gain. There are those that want to help the team but are not sure of themselves enough to really make a difference. There are prospects like Brent Benedict. The 6-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Jacksonville Bolles wants his team to ride him to back-to-back titles.

The Bolles School has won a few state championships in it's time. Head Coach Corky Rogers is a legend in Jacksonville and always has his program playing well. One thing Bolles has never done is win two state titles in a row. It isn't going to be easy, but 2010 offensive lineman Brent Benedict plans to lead the way for the Bulldogs to repeat in 2009.

"We are going to be missing a tight end and another guy that played guard for us," Benedict told about the offensive front that will be the backbone of the 2009 offense. "They contributed a lot last year on the state championship team. They will be hard to replace, but that is what spring is all about."

Benedict is a very cerebral prospect that understands roles on a team. He knows there is a time to follow and a time to lead. This is his year to lead.

"As a junior, you kind of look to the seniors being leaders," he said. "I think that is very important. This year it is my time to step up I feel. I did it a little last year, but it is time to step up the intensity and do something we have never done at Bolles — win back-to-back state championships."

"Last year I considered myself a leader on the field...(but) not as verbal. I think this year I am going to have to get more into it as far as talking to the guys...not trash talking, just getting everybody motivated and make my presence felt on the field. I think that is important for the entire senior class at Bolles to do that. I am excited to be a senior and be one of the top guys this year. In the next academic year I will be a freshman in college and be back on that bottom rung again."

Benedict has more college suitors than he knows what to do with, but he isn't ready to crunch the numbers down just yet. This spring is his time to help make his team better. Afterward he will resume looking around at schools and participating in a process he actually enjoys.

"I am wide open and have my mind open to everything," he said. "That is the best part of the process. I want to look around a little more and collect some more information and get to some campuses before I make any decisions. I find that to be very important in the decision."

That process has led him to Gainesville and the University of Florida several times. The coaches from Gainesville have also been by to see Benedict over time and Scot Loeffler, the Florida coach that recruits Gainesville has had many conversations with the big time lineman. So far, the Gators have done a lot to impress Benedict.

"I sat with (coach Loeffler) several times and have been to Florida more than any school I have visited," he said. "It's close and I know it's a great school academically and athletically. Ive been to that program more than any others. Went to several games and a basketball game. Toured around with the coaches on junior day. I am excited about Florida I know it's a great program. It would be hard to say no and I know it will be high on my list. It may be the school I end up at although I have no clue at this point. " he has also gotten to know Florida's offensive line coach Steve Addazio. Addazio also happens to be the offensive coordinator and in Benedict's mind, a disciplinarian that takes care of his players.

"Coach Addazio and Coach Loeffler were here," he said about a recent visit to his campus. "I have talked to them several times. (Addazio) just seems like a tough guy and a tough love kind of guy. I know he will look after me and that is important as anything."

Florida has approached Benedict's recruitment different than any other staff recruiting the monster lineman. So far, it seems to have paid off.

"Florida has been one of the more aggressive schools in recruiting," he said. "I think that may have to do with me being in state. I know they are a great program with their national championships and to a certain extent that is how they market their program.

"That's not all they play on. They also say they have a great academic school. I know how hard it is as a student trying to get into that school. I am at a prestigious private school and I have a lot of friends that are finding it hard to get into Florida. They have a great coaching staff and the facilities at Florida are phenomenal. They have a cool atmosphere at the Swamp and a lot of big time players there. That is a pretty cool package when you look at it."

It appears the Gators have made about as favorable of an impression as can be expected on Brent Benedict. After talking to him a few times, Benedict seems like a prospect that is not going to be swayed at all by emotion in this world recruiting unlike most who talk about education as being big in his choice of schools, Benedict means it. In the end, with his college decision, you can expect a well thought out decision not based on emotion or any recruiting sales pitch.

College recruiters have their work cut out for them, but all that work isn't likely to mean much. He will do his homework and sign with a program that satisfies his criteria for school and football. This will be one we will watch extensively as the process continues.

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