Vandy’s Earl Bennett asked God to guide him in right way
Below is part of the transcription of Earl Bennett’s Jan. 10 press conference announcing his decision to forego his senior year at Vanderbilt and declare himself eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft.
First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for coming out and sharing this moment with me. After thinking weeks and weeks about the situation, talking it over with my family, talking it over with my coaches, my friends, close relatives, and mainly just talking to God and asking him to guide me the right way and keeping me under his guidance throughout this process; throughout the weeks, I went through deep consideration, deep evaluation, talking the whole process out with Coach Johnson, analyzing different strategies and things, so with that said, I’ve decided to skip my senior year and make myself eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft. It just came out that I had a great three years at Vanderbilt; there’s nowhere else I’d rather have been in these three years, and I just thank Coach Johnson and his staff for continuing to recruit me even when I was committed to Kentucky, thanking them for the chance to let me come into this program and continue to build on it.
What were the pluses and minuses that you went through?
I mean, I was just weighing out different options. If I come back, I always risk getting injured. There were a lot of pluses and a lot of minuses, and I felt like just talking to God and asking him to guide me in the right way, I can’t go wrong with the decision whether I came back or whether I left. Vanderbilt is a fine university, you have great teammates, great players, and Vanderbilt’s gonna do great things next year, and I just sat and talked to God and asked him to guide me in the right way. That was the ultimate factor.
What did the NFL tell you about what your stock was and where you would expect to be drafted?
That came back, Coach Johnson and I talked about it, and he explained in detail how specific it was. That wasn’t the ultimate decision that made me forego my senior year. It was me feeling like my time at Vanderbilt was up, and just talking to God, praying and asking him.
Earl, have you drawn on the experience Jay Cutler has had about what it’s like to be a pro football player?
I actually reached out to Jay about a week ago and talked to him about the situation. We talked through text message, and he told me to believe in God and that God will help me in the right way. Just stay focused, and you can’t go wrong with either situation. I feel like Jay has definitely been like a big brother to me throughout this process, and I really thank him.