Taylor Bennett arrived at Louisiana Tech with a solid resume and no self-hype.
Having been Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback last year, Bennett could have come in expecting to easily win the same job in Ruston. While his 2007 numbers – 2,136 yards, seven touchdowns, nine interceptions – aren’t spectacular, he is an experienced player from a BCS program, and what team from the WAC wouldn’t like that?
Second-year Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley wasn’t ready to hand the senior the reins, though, and Bennett didn’t expect him to.
Bennett, who was granted an academic waiver by the NCAA to play this year because he’s pursuing a master’s degree, hit campus as nothing more than one of two starting candidates.
“The best thing he’s done is not come in here and expect to be named the starting quarterback,” Dooley said. “He was more concerned about becoming part of the team and earning the respect of the players on the team.”
He did that, and eight days before the season opener against Mississippi State, he was named the starter over sophomore Ross Jenkins, who saw limited playing time last year as a backup.
Bennett (6-foot-3, 217 pounds) left Atlanta because new coach Paul Johnson’s option offense didn’t fit with his style. He said his summer couldn’t have been smoother.