Bennett Does Pushups for Notre Dame

Pushups are a big thing in the Notre Dame student section when the Irish football team puts points on the board. Scattered all over the northwest corner of the stadium, students do pushups for how ever many points the Irish have. On an unofficial visit, 6-foot-8, 280-pound Jimmy Bennett didn't miss out on this experience.

Recruits sit in front of the Notre Dame student section, and Jimmy Bennett, one of the top offensive tackles in the 2008 class, was coaxed into going up for some pushups following an Irish score against Purdue.

"It was really cool," the Alexandria, Va., product said. "My Dad has pictures. It took like 10 people to pick me up.

"The campus is beautiful, the fans are wild. I got to talk to a couple players and a couple coaches."

Bennett's father is from Fort Wayne, Ind., and grew up a Notre Dame fan. He used to come up for the Navy game when he was a kid, "because nobody wanted to go to the Navy game." It was quite a day when a letter from the University of Notre Dame came in the mail for the first time.

"My Dad was real excited, I was in shock," Bennett said. "I knew I was ok, but I didn't know I was that good. A school of that caliber actually looking at me, I was like alright."

After two standout years at West Potomac High, Bennett has been attracting a lot of colleges. Notre Dame has sent a ton of mail. Maryland has already offered, and Bennett said Virginia's offer is coming in the mail.

Bennett is a two-year starter, and this past season he was named to the Washington Post's prestigious All-Met team. Also named to that team was Irish commit Andrew Nuss and receiver Arrelious Benn.

West Potomac does not keep track of pancake blocks.

"I've been trying to get them to do it," Bennett said. "I've led the team the past two years. They guesstimated I had over 100 pancakes this year, and 75 the year before.

Bennett's strengths and weaknesses: "I pull a lot every game. I'm very physical when it comes to run blocking, but I'm better at pass blocking. I don't think I've given up a sack in two years. When I pass block, my guy is always in front of me. I can keep distance between us because, I have such long arms. It's hard for me to get lower because I'm taller when I run block."

Bennett, who has a 3.1 GPA, listed Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut as his favorite schools. When asked why he left Notre Dame out, it was because there is no offer.

"I really do want to go to Notre Dame," Bennett said. "It's a big school and I like it, but they haven't really sent me anything in terms of an offer. (Irish assistant) coach (Peter) Vaas told me they were going to watch my tapes. He came down in mid-December and picked up some tapes."

Though communication has died down a bit, only two letters since the holiday, Bennett was keeping in touch with Vaas.

"Just hey, how you doings," Bennett said. "He'd ask me about football and basketball, just keeping up on me as a person. He'd also ask me about my grades."

Bennett is also getting interest for his basketball talents. He is currently averaging 12 points and three blocks per game. George Mason and Mount Saint Mary's has contacted him.

"I've been getting mail from a bunch of Division II schools and Division III schools," Bennett said. "I don't care what division, I just want to play a sport at the next level."

Bennett will get his chance.

Bennett also had the chance to come in for Notre Dame's summer camp. He ran a 5.4 40-yard dash in South Bend. He plans to attend quite a few camps this summer, including a possible return trip to ND.

"I'm getting a lot of letters from various colleges, and everyone is like oooh you're so good, but I'm not trying to hear that. I'm just trying to play how I play, and do my best." Top Stories