INDIANAPOLIS -- Stetson Bennett made it clear at the NFL Combine on Friday that he understands the challenges ahead, and he’s ready to focus on taking them head-on.
“I’ve got confidence in my abilities,” said Bennett, who despite his back-to-back CFP Championship seasons at Georgia is projected by many to be a late-round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
“There’s so much more to playing quarterback than people know; there are different offenses, difference checks, different motions, and whatever you are asked to do, that’s all you can do in the offense.”
Bennett knows better than anyone that his relatively small stature — he’s expected to measure in at 5-foot-11 — is a concern for some teams.
But as Bennett explained, there’s more to playing the position effectively than physical attributes.
“You have your physical ability,” Bennett said, “(But), especially at the quarterback position, there’s the mental acuity and how you can handle certain situations. You can’t really measure that.
“So I have confidence in my ability, but also, all these other dudes are great players, too.”
Other SEC quarterbacks at the NFL Combine - Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis -- drew a great deal more attention than Bennett.
Levis’ audience was more than twice the size of Bennett’s while speaking at the same time as the Georgia quarterback during the interview session at the Indiana Convention Center on Friday.
That didn’t bother Bennett, who took on all questions including one at the onset concerning the recent string of Georgia players arrested.
“Those were individual mistakes that those individuals are responsible for, it’s not a culture issue,” said Bennett, one of five Georgia game captains who have been arrested in the past year.
As for his incident, a Jan. 29 arrest in Dallas on public intoxication charges, Bennett said NFL teams have also asked about it.
“It was a mistake that everybody is aware of,” Bennett said. “I understand why that can’t happen.
“I’ve talked to coaches about it, I’ve talked to GMs. I’ve apologized to my family, that’s who I felt worse about, I felt like I let them down.”
Bennett has turned his focus in Indianapolis to the future and finding his next path to success.
Bennett’s Cinderella Story has been well-documented, though he does not see himself as an underdog, contrary to the popular narrative.
Instead, Bennett explained, he’s motivated by the drive to be his best in the game he loves so much.
“The way I see it, you only get one of these lives, (and) I’m playing football right now,” Bennett said. “I’m going to try to do it to the best of my ability.
“That doesn’t mean try really hard, it means figure out is this the area to try hard at, or is it this one? And then go a thousand percent there.”
It’s a game plan that has led Bennett to the greatest heights, and he believes the ability he has shown to be at his best on the biggest stages will translate to the NFL.
“Once you’re in that situation,” Bennett said, “you know what the situation is, you understand that comes with it, and you can handle it and you know how to prepare.”
Bennett was the Offensive MVP just more than a year ago when Georgia beat Alabama by a 33-18 count in the CFP Championship Game just down the street in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Bennett will compete in that facility again on Saturday when he takes to the field for drill work and on-field testing.
The last time Bennett competed on a football field he sealed his collegiate legacy with flair, scoring six touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 65-7 win over TCU in the CFP Championship Game on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
The Bulldogs have 12 of those players off that team at the NFL Combine, second only to Alabama, which brought 13.