Junior Day changes South Jersey LB's outlook

Willingboro (N.J.) High linebacker Brandon Bennett thought he wanted to play football in the south (Miami, specifically), but then he learned some unexpected things during Rutgers' Junior Day. Bennett talks about what he learned, where the Scarlet Knights now sit in his recruitment, and where he would play if he attended Rutgers.

Willingboro (N.J.) High linebacker Brandon Bennett had his sights set on going to school in the south. Miami intrigued him, as did a number of other schools.

That was before the talented 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bennett attended Rutgers' Junior Day, which did wonders in altering his mindset regarding his home-state school.

"I wanted to go down south and play. Before (Saturday), I wanted to go to Miami,'' Bennett said. "Now, I'm really liking Rutgers. I like the coaching staff there. It really did a lot to change my thinking.''

Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Iowa and Syracuse are also recruiting Bennett, but he said he is hearing the most from Rutgers, which is sending him mail on a daily basis. He is looking for his first offer.

Prior to his drive north to check out Rutgers' campus and get a closer look at the academics of the school, Bennett said he knew very little about the New Jersey school.

"I learned a lot,'' Bennett said. "I don't really keep up with college football. I didn't know they were going to bowl games since '05, and that they won four straight. I like the coaching staff. I like them a lot.''

Rutgers special teams coach Robb Smith is recruiting Bennett, and apparently doing a fine job.

And during Junior Day, Bennett had the opportunity to meet other members of the coaching staff, as well as converse with some current players.

"(The whole day) went well,'' Bennett said. "We ate and toured the campus, toured the weight room, the locker room, the trainer's office. We saw where the freshmen are, and where the classes would be the first two years.''

"We also talked to some of the players and got to ask them some questions.''

One of the things needed to be worked out is where Bennett will play in college.

Rutgers envisions him playing outside linebacker while Syracuse's early discussions center on him playing either defensive end of linebacker.

"It really doesn't matter to me,'' he said, "as long as I'm playing.''


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