Bennett eyes Louisville closely

Rajaan Bennett, a three-star running back from McEachern High in Powder Springs, Ga., is eyeing Louisville and Kentucky closely. Bennett plans to make a decision after the season and is a key target for both Bluegrass schools.

Rajaan Bennett, the 5-foot-10, 202-pound, three-star running back from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga., has helped lead his team to a perfect 8-0 record with over 1,200 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns.

"I can be a power-back or a scat-back," Bennett said. "I can also catch and block and do whatever is needed from me. I'm very versatile."

He says he can also bench 325-pounds, squat 545 and claims a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I want to improve my breakaway speed," he said. "I think I'm pretty fast but I'm trying to lower my 40 time."

Bennett, ranked as the No. 63 running back in the country by, now favors Kentucky and Louisville slightly over Vanderbilt and East Carolina. He says all of his favorites have offered as well as Minnesota, Marshall, Boston College, Troy and Western Carolina.

He says that Kentucky is recruiting him the hardest. "I get a lot more communication from them," he said. "I talk with them once a week and give them updates on my stats and stuff."

The Wildcats were Bennett's first scholarship offer at the end of his junior year.

Although he's never been to Lexington, Ky., Bennett says he likes that they are only within five hours driving.

"My main focus is basically to stay in the south and play close to home," he said. "I'd like to be around my mom - she's a single parent, and have her be able to come to my games without having to fly to see me."

The two schools that Bennett has already visited (unofficially) are Louisville and Vanderbilt and he says that both are about a four hour drive.

"Louisville has a very nice campus," he said. "I also really like my position coach (Greg Nord). He really understands the running back position.

"Plus my (high school) coaches speak highly of Louisville and the staff," he said. "It seems like a program that is getting better."

Bennett says he also like the Commodores running back coach (Des Kitchings) but admits he doesn't know as well as he would like yet. "I'm trying to develop a better relationship with him," he said.

"So far I've mostly just been talking to my recruiting coach (didn't remember name)," he said. "And I think it's important to get to know your position coach too."

He says he was also impressed with Vanderbilt's academics. "They're a good academic school," he said. "It also has a pretty nice campus."

Bennett doesn't have any official visits scheduled yet but admits he'd like to take all four. "I want to visit all of these schools," he said. "I'll take them after my season is over because I want to be able to focus on recruiting and right now I'm just focusing on my team and winning a state title.

"First, I want to get a good education and make sure that they have my major (construction management)," he said. "I also want to play where I have a chance to get on the field as a freshman."

One school where Bennett feels he'd be able to see some early playing time is East Carolina. "I feel like I'd have a good chance to play early there," he said. "I like the way they run the ball and how they like to pound it."

Bennett says he doesn't have any time frame for making a decision.

While slightly favoring the Wildcats and Cardinals, Bennett admits he's still very open. "It's pretty even," he said. "I'm still open and I may be getting even more offers, so I'll look at those schools too. I'm just taking it day-by-day."

Growing up Bennett says he never followed a specific school. "I didn't start playing football until the eighth grade," he said.

He plans to major in construction management and reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 850 SAT and 19 ACT.

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