Huge Northern Va. OL Bennett Talks Recruiting

Northern Virginia's Jimmy Bennett is atop the recruiting wishlist of many schools. Several schools, Maryland included, have offered the enormous offensive lineman an opportunity to play for them.

At 6-foot-8 and 270 pounds, Bennett earned All-Met honors while gathering several offers from big-time football programs such as Florida, Boston College, Clemson, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Like many football prospects, Bennett plans to visit several schools and go to football camps over the summer. He will also spend his free time visiting relatives.

"I'm not going to do many workouts," he said. "Most of the schools said they don't need to see me work out."

Bennett is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I don't want to miss out on something. I want to check everything out that I can," he said.

He emphasized that he is examining the academic support that the student-athletes receive at each university, including progress reports, motivation for good grades, tutoring and other factors that go into being both an athlete and an academically-focused student.

"I'm not a bad student," Bennett said, "I just do a lot better with someone motivating me."

"I know [Maryland] has a lot of academic support for their student-athletes," Bennett said. "It's a great program with great coaches."

Bennett's top six schools, unfortunately for Terps fans, does not include Maryland. "I would definitely go with UCONN, West Virginia, Penn State, then it's a toss-up between Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Clemson," he said.

Unlike many big-shot recruits his age, Bennett is focused on getting a degree rather than using school as a pit-stop before the professional level.

"I want to know where people go after school with their degrees, and does one degree work more than another? If I got [a degree] from Michigan State, would it be better than one from Clemson?"

Bennett has made it clear that whichever school he picks, he will take it seriously and stay the four years to earn his degree.

The ACC schools, Bennett said, are the ones that are most heavily recruiting him. "I don't mind that, but Clemson, Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech have been on me. UNC came here today, so I guess they are the latest school to come into the picture for me," Bennett said.

He plans to spend the summer working on technical lineman mechanics. "My footwork and my hands," Bennett said, are the two areas he will try to improve before football starts up in the fall. "Sometimes I overextend when I'm blocking. I'd like to keep my hands closer to my body so I don't lose my power."

His planned visits for the summer include West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Michigan State for a one-day camp, and possibly UNC and Virginia Tech. Though Maryland is not out of the running, Bennett said, the Terps just might not be the right fit.

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