Bennett Favors One, Looks Around

Encinio (Calif.) Crespi's quarterback Bryan Bennett said that he's favoring one school from the Pac-10, but there are other programs that are showing him more interest...

Bryan Bennett, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound three-star quarterback from Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., finished his junior season with 1,700 yards passing for 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for an additional 200 yards and three touchdowns.

Bennett, ranked as the No. 26 quarterback in the country by, was even more impressive statistically his sophomore season as he threw for 2,133 yards with 18 touchdowns.

"I'd say I'm a good mover," Bennett said. "I have good agility and can run. I have a strong arm too and just have quarterback smarts.

"I like to run, but I'm a good pocket-passer," he said. "I'm right in between."

Bennett says he can bench 230-pounds, squat 275 and has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I still want to bulk up and get stronger," he said. "I also want to work on reading defenses better."

Bennett doesn't have any scholarship offers yet, but said he now favors UCLA slightly over California, Oregon, Arizona and Washington State.

The only junior day that Bennett has attended was UCLA's. "UCLA is a really nice environment," he said. "I like the coaches there a lot. I went to their camp last summer and got to talk with coach Rick Neuheisel and he's really cool.

"Coach Neuheisel is the kind of coach I could see myself playing for," he said.

Although Bennett favors the Bruins, he admits they aren't recruiting him as much as some of the other programs. "I'm really hearing the most from Washington State," he said. "(Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) Coach Todd Sturdy seems to really like me. They have a young team that is rebuilding. I think they'll end up offering me."

Bennett says he's also getting a lot of attention from Boise State and Colorado State. He grew up following USC, but says the Trojans are not recruiting him. "My aunt went to USC and she got me into them," Bennett said.

"Schools like Cal, Oregon and Arizona all said they'll be evaluating me more this spring," he said. "Hopefully I'll know where I stand more next month.

"I like Cal because it's a good academic program and it's not too far away either," Bennett said. "I know a few guys there already who really like it.

"I also really like Oregon," he said. "The offense they run would fit me well because we run the spread at Crespi too. I've also heard the facilities up there were amazing and you can't really go wrong with all the Nike stuff they get.

"Arizona seems to like me too," he said. "They are recruiting a teammate of mine (linebacker Cole Midkiff) too and will be coming by the school next month."

UCLA is the only camp that Bennett currently has planned for the summer, but he hopes to attend others as well.

He also attended Nike camp at USC on Sunday, April 19. "It went really well," he said. "I did very well, but the MVP went to Jesse Scroggins. I heard that I was definitely up for the MVP award.

"I want to make sure I'm gonna be happy with my decision, so even if I had offers I still probably wouldn't rush things," he said. "I'll be playing it by ear and see what happens."

Bennett also competes in the triple jump (45'7" personal best) but plans to focus only on football in college.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to major in, but I've always said that if I didn't make it to the NFL that I'd be a firefighter," he said.

Bennett reports a 2.9 core GPA and is taking the SAT on May 2.

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