September 1, 2009

Bennett grateful for opportunity

Bryon Bennett isn't planning to make a decision regarding his college home until after his senior season. However, that doesn't mean the Madison, Miss., defensive tackle will be able to forget about recruiting the rest of the year.

Starting today, college coaches will see to that.

With the dead period over, recruiters can begin calling prospect September 1, so Bennett's concentration may not be 100 percent on the No. 1 Jaguars' 2-0 start and expected deep playoff run. The Rivals.com three-star prospect understands the attention is necessary, thus he is thankful for the opportunity to be wanted.

"My mind is on my season and our team, but I get it, I really do," Bennett said. "We're talking about a great chance I have by a lot of schools. I'm interested in what they all have to say and are offering. I just can't lose focus on the job at hand."

Madison Central is coming off an impressive win over No. 12 Hattiesburg (28-16) in the season opener and toppled Memphis Melrose (43-28) last week. However, the Bluff City opponent didn't put up the fight the final score suggests. The Jaguars were up 30 points in the second quarter.

Bennett, the No. 28 defensive tackle nationally by Rivals, has 12 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble so far this season.

"It's kind of crazy (against Melrose)," Bennett said. "We were told it's Mississippi against Memphis, and there was definitely some talking, but you can't pay attention. I just try to stay on my game."

A game that provided 72 tackles last season and has allowed Bennett (6-foot-2, 250) to accumulate a plethora of offers. Texas Tech and Kentucky recently offered, and Michigan State has reportedly put offers in the mail for Bennett and teammate Carlton Martin. Those are the newest names to join Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Baylor.

"Ole Miss, Baylor and Texas Tech have shown me a lot of attention, so those three although I don't really have a strong favorite this early," Bennett said. "The SEC is big for me and probably bigger than it once was. I don't mind leaving the state, but that doesn't mean I will."

Bennett and Martin are planning to attend the Mississippi State - Jackson State contest Saturday.

"I want to make the rounds and see how everyone does record-wise and also as far as playing freshmen," Bennett said. "I'm going to see Ole Miss a couple times for sure, and I'll use official visits on some of the schools farther away."

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