Fred Bennett: Nothing But Respect For MSU

Senior Fred Bennett is projected to be one of the top cornerbacks in the nation this season, and he has established himself as the clear leader of the young Gamecock defense. recently caught up with Bennett, and he shared his thoughts on the season opening match up with Mississippi State and much more.

Interview was performed by Rich Taylor.

Question: With the South Carolina pipeline of defensive backs going to the NFL, do you feel you know what you've got to do to become the next great DB from USC?

Answer: Yeah, I know what I've got to do. I'm just working at it. I'm just trying to get where they're at right now.

Question: From an experience and talent standpoint, you are the clear leader of the defense this year. What kind of responsibility is that for you?

Answer: It puts a little pressure on me. I have to step my level of play up to get these young guys confident, and I'm the type of person that leads by example, but I kind of have to take on more of a vocal leadership role. Some of these young guys, I've got to help them out with their confidence and get their confidence level as high as possible, so they can go out and just perform. We've got a lot of great young talent, and I'm really excited about this young team. I don't see it as being a young team, I just see it as a team full of talent.

Question: After having co-defensive coordinators last season, how big of a difference has it made working under solely Tyrone Nix this year?

Answer: It's a big difference. Coach (Tyrone) Nix is very demanding, and I think he brings the very best out of our players. He wants you to be great, and the way he goes about doing things, that just brings the best out of you.

Question: The Mississippi State offense certainly did not put up great numbers last season, but this is a new season. There's no way there will be a letdown from this defense against the Bulldogs, right?

Answer: No, I have the most respect for any team we play. I respect Mississippi State. I know they made some changes during the offseason from last year, and we have film from last year, so I don't know if they're going to be the same team this year. All I know is I've got a lot of respect for them. I have respect for every team we play. I have no knock on nobody. I think if you're in the SEC, you can do something, so I'm sure they've got a lot of talent over there. I'm pretty sure they're going to come out thinking they can win this game.

Question: Are you excited about kicking the season off on Thursday night?

Answer: Man, I'm hyped now, but I know I can't play until Thursday. It's going to be real exciting.

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