Did trip firm up DT Bennett's crimson pledge?

MISSISSIPPI DEFENSIVE TACKLE Maurice Bennett tripped officially to Washington State this past weekend, and the 6-1, 295-pounder verbally committed to Paul Wulff back in July. But soon after his verbal he began talking about how he wasn't closing any doors on other potential suitors. So post-visit, where do things stand for him? CF.C talked to Bennett to find out.

Maurice Bennett, out of Madison, Miss., enjoyed everything about his Cougar weekend. But he's still leaving the door open.

After the visit, the verbal commit is stronger," said Bennett. "But I'm still open to other schools."

Asked which other schools he's hearing from, others he thinks might be close to offering, Bennett simply said he's interested in any school that is interested in him.

As for the visit experience, Bennett, who is also known as "Big Mo", quickly became enamored with the Cougars' defensive line and the defense as a whole.

"Their defense surprised me," said Bennett. "I didn't know their D was like that… I talked to coach (Todd) Howard and also watched some highlights. I saw some of the moves they did and I m going to try some of those games back in Mississippi. Coach Howard, we talked about a lot of things, and the top thing was that the visit was just right."

The South is known for its hospitality but Bennett said the welcoming nature on his trip to Washington State was overwhelming.

"I had a great time while ii was there, I loved how when I got there, it felt like I was already a part of the team. From the starters to the third and fourth string guys, they were all coming up and making me feel like I was part of the program already," he said.

Bennett ends many sentences with an "mm-hmm" or an "uh-huh" and OT/DL Fernando Villanueva, who also tripped to the Palouse at the same time and verballed on Sunday, said he couldn't get enough of Big Mo's accent during the weekend. Told of this, Bennett let out a laugh.

"He kind of had an accent too -- I couldn't understand him either! No, but I liked how everyone came from a different spot and we all came together. We developed a good relationship, me and the other guys there," said Bennett.

Maurice Bennett profile

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