Stetson Bennett reaches ‘G.O.A.T status’ with press conference absence adding to his legend

Stetson Bennett-Georgia football-press confernce
Georgia's quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) holds the National Championship Trophy during the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

LOS ANGELES — Stetson Bennett didn’t get a chance give a hungover interview this year. Safe to say the senior quarterback learned from his viral moments following last year’s national championship win. There was no shot of him drinking Pappy Van Winkel Bourbon after the win.

Instead, he was getting ribbed by his coach, with Kirby Smart joking about Bennett’s age.

While the offensive player of the game usually gives a press conference the following morning, that was not the case with Bennett. Smart claimed to have not seen him and instead tapped tight end Brock Bowers to take his place at the podium.

“I saw Coach Smart and I started walking to go eat some breakfast,’ Bowers said. “And I got a call and they said, you’re in the bullpen, come to media. I’m, like, okay, I’m in. Stetson is not going to make it. I guess I gotta go.”

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Bennett didn’t need to say much or answer any more questions now that his career is done. He finishes 29-3 as a starter, saving his best performance for last. He threw for 304 yards, ran for another 39 and accounted for six total touchdowns. That tied a mark set by Joe Burrow for the most in a College Football Playoff game.

“We had a really good offense,” Bennett said after the win. “It makes me proud of what I’ve accomplished when I hear that because it means I’ve done some things right, but I don’t know if it’s accurate or not.”

That last part was in regards to if Bennett considered himself the greatest quarterback in program history. He mentioned he grew up watching Aaron Murray, David Greene and D.J. Shockley. In the tunnel after his press conference, Bennett got to dap up one of his heroes, as Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams was on hand to celebrate.

Smart once again stumped for Bennett to get a chance at the next level. Given how his Georgia career panned out, it would be unwise to bet against Bennett finding a way to make it work at the next level.

Replacing Bennett will be a tall task for Georgia in the offseason, with Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton all vying to fill the massive shoes left behind by Bennett. Smart revealed his youngest son Andrew was crying over the fact that Bennett will no longer be a Georgia Bulldog.

It won’t be easy replacing someone who meant so much to Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to their first 15-0 season in program history.

“I mean, it’s special. It seems like for the past three or four months we’ve been looking to see if somebody could beat us, and we just ran out of games,” Bennett said. “Nobody could.”

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart explains why Stetson Bennett missed championship press conference

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