Stetson Bennett gets invite to Manning Academy

Stetson Bennett will get a chance to prove he belongs among the SEC's top quarterbacks this week at Manning Passing Academy.
UGA Athletics

UGA quarterback Stetson Bennett, who doesn’t always get the respect some feel like he deserves, got a big compliment on Monday.

Bennett was one of a record-high 45 college quarterbacks invited to the Manning Passing Academy, which begins Thursday at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.

The annual camp is hosted by the Manning family, including former NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning. The college quarterbacks are invited to serve as counselors for the high school quarterbacks participating in the camp.

However, the biggest appeal for the college quarterback is getting to work out and hang out with their rivals – highlighted by a skills competition on Friday night. Bennett and his peers will “compete in a series of drills to gauge their accuracy, arm strength and route throwing versatility.”

The SEC will have 12 of 14 potential starting quarterback at the camp, including Kentucky’s Will Levis, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, Heisman winner Bryce Young of Alabama, and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.

“It’s a really good group,” camp co-founder Archie Manning told’s Jeff Duncan. Manning is the grandfather of 5-star QB prospect Arch Manning, who has UGA as a finalist.

“I usually cut it off at 40 counselors, but we had so many guys that wanted to come this year that I couldn’t say, no. I’m getting to be a softie.”

Bennett was one of last year’s feel-good stories in college football. The former walk-on held off one-time Heisman contender JT Daniels for the No. 1 job on the eventual national championship team.

The QB battle was the most polarizing issue on last year’s team, but most UGA fans now seem fine with the decision – or whatever Kirby Smart wants to do anywhere on the team -- as long as the Bulldogs are winning games.

Despite Bennett’s success last season, he has been almost entirely ignored by the national media and for preseason all-conference teams heading in 2022. It’s no surprise for Bennett, who will have to earn respect again with his performance this season.

The reigning national champions open the season against Oregon on Sept. 3.

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