Terps Growing on Va. Offensive Tackle Bennett

After his first trip to Maryland, Jimmy Bennett nearly crossed the Terps off of his list. The 6-foot-8, 280-pound offensive lineman from West Potomac, Va., wasn't sure how he felt about the campus or the coaches and had a long list of schools he still hadn't seen, so there was no basis for comparison. Then he took another visit to College Park for the WVU game, and everything changed dramatically.

Bennett now ranks the Terps in his top four, along with Connecticut, Boston College and Penn State.

"It's kind of a renewed interest," said Bennett, the No. 29 offensive tackle in the nation. "Just, I guess, when I visited the campus and met with the coaches the second time, it felt different. It felt a lot better, just meeting with the coaches and players."

Bennett is a unique case in that he isn't worried about the same things most recruits look for – he's not concerned about being able to play early or playing styles as much as he is finding a student body, a group of players and coaches and a campus that match his tastes.

"Just the campus, not what it looks like but are the people nice, or is the place iffy or kind of shady? Is it a nice place to be? Are all of the students there for the same reason and doing the same things?" he said.

College Park "really did stand out. You would think being [a metropolitan area] it would be kind of run down, but it was surprisingly nice. It's kind of amazing how that works," he said.

He got a similarly positive vibe from the staff and players.

"The type of players they look for, you're not going to find criminals, you're not going to find people with bad records, you're not going to find delinquents on the team," he said. "They're all disciplined, they all do well in school and they're all good people."

He's being recruited by assistant Al Seamonson, who has been in touch on a weekly basis. He's also spoken once face-to-face with Ralph Friedgen, in addition to a few emails.

"He's great," Bennett said of Seamonson. "He's family focused. He focuses on his players, too, but he just knows how to deal with kids. He's not the type of coach just to yell and scream for no reason, he knows how to coach."

Bennett won't take any official visits until after the season is over. He'll fit them in during basketball season; he averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game last year on the hardwood. At this point, he says all four schools are on equal footing. He plans to visit each this winter and then decide which feels most natural to him. There's no timetable on making a decision, and he's not concerned with how the respective teams are faring this year.

Stay tuned to Scout.com and TurtleSportsReport.com for the latest on Bennett…

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