On Saturday, the Georgia Tech football earned it’s 10th commitment in the 2019 recruiting class when Tennessee linebacker Chico Bennett Jr committed to the Yellow Jackets.
A 6-foot-4, and 215-pound linebacker out of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, Chico Bennett Jr would at first be best identified as a long and lengthy linebacker with strong athleticism. If enrolled today, Bennett would be the tallest linebacker on the Jackets roster and at 215-pounds, he has the ability to add more weight and muscle to his frame.
The first major note is that, Bennett’s transition to the Yellow Jackets defense should be a smooth one as Battle Ground Academy runs a 3-4 defense. As seen in his HUDL tape, Bennett is used as an outside linebacker who is often rushing the passer.
The first thing you notice about Bennett’s highlight reel is he has a knack for finding himself in opposing backfields. Last season for Battle Ground Academy, Bennett was able to rack up 22.5 tackles for a loss, almost a third of his total tackles on the season. His 69 total tackles ranked third on the team for Battle Ground and helped lead the Wildcats to an 11-2 overall record.
When it comes to Bennett’s speed it’s hard to distinguish how fast he truly is. Thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame, Bennett is able to use long slides to make up ground and get to opposing ball carriers. A high motor player, Bennett is able to use his long strides to catch up to opposing defenders as seen in his HUDL tape below.
With his high motor, speed, and great length, Bennett could project better to be a hybrid linebacker for the Yellow Jackets. Bennett could be greatly suited for playing on a ton of pass-rush only situations and play closer to the defensive line than the middle of the field.
Bennett’s first step is pretty noteworthy, while it’s not the fastest it’s nowhere near slow as well. There’s no question that the talent is there for Bennett to be a great pass-rusher for the Yellow Jackets and that he only has room to grow as a player. An overall high IQ football player, Bennett could be a guy who could way outplay his three-star rating and it wouldn’t be surprising to see his recruitment continue to grow despite his commitment. Gaining an offer from TCU and head coach Gary Patterson is probably one of the better indicators of how talented Bennett truly is.
With all that being said, Bennett is an exciting and enticing defensive prospect that the Yellow Jackets could look to potentially build a defense around. He also joins the recent trend of the Jackets recruiting highly athletic linebackers (i.e. Bruce Jordan-Swilling and Justin Dingle).