Ala. athlete still favors Kentucky, but...

<B>Earl Bennett</b> made a December commitment to Kentucky, but the speedy wide receiver / defensive back prospect from Birmingham, Ala. has re-opened his recruitment.

Earl Bennett made a December commitment to Kentucky, but the speedy wide receiver / defensive prospect from Birmingham, Ala. has re-opened up his recruitment. Bennett says he is still favoring the Wildcats, but has also visited UAB and will be taking visits to Southern Miss (Jan. 14) and Vanderbilt (Jan. 21) with an open mind. All four schools are still in the chase, although at this point Bennett still considers Kentucky his leader.

"Vanderbilt is known for its great academics," Bennett said. "I feel like I would have a shot at playing early there. I think I would also have a great shot at starting my first year at Kentucky at defensive back. I liked the campus there, and got along well with the coaches. I'll be at Southern Miss this weekend, and we'll see how the visit goes. Then, UAB would be close to home, and they have one of the top medical schools in the nation, and that's what I plan on majoring in."

Kentucky is the only one of the four schools that wants Bennett as a cornerback; the others see him as a wide receiver. The 6-1, 205-pounder says he could be happy playing either side of the ball. Twice this past summer, he was clocked at 4.41 in the 40.

Put Bennett just about anywhere on a football field, and he can hurt you with his combination of size and blinding speed. His senior year at West End, he played quarterback and running back in a spread offense, rushing for over 1,600 yards, with over 600 passing yards and over 600 receiving yards. On defense? Ten interceptions, over 40 tackles.

What will be the biggest factor in his final decision? "Academics are top priority with me," he says. "And I want to be somewhere close, where my family can come and see me play." His final pronouncement probably won't come until after his Jan. 21 visit to Vanderbilt.

Earl Bennett ranks No. 17 among's Postseason Alabama Top 30.

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