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Colleges

What if Stetson Bennett had decided to play for UMass? Georgia’s star QB received an offer in 2018.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns in the national championship game.Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Before he led the University of Georgia football team to back-to-back national championships, star quarterback Stetson Bennett came close to conducting the offense for … the UMass Minutemen?

Before Georgia, Bennett was a true underdog at the Division 1 level. Bennett walked on at Georgia in 2017 before transferring to Jones County Junior College in 2018 and eventually returning to Athens.

Considering the number of other programs that Bennett fielded offers from after his lone season of JUCO football, things could have gone very differently before he made the decision to rejoin the Bulldogs.

Shortly after Bennett led the Bulldogs to a dominant 65-7 victory over TCU in the College Football Playoff national championship on Monday, multiple social media users dug through the QB’s old tweets and unearthed a December 2018 post announcing an offer to play for UMass.

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According to Mike Traini of 247Sports, Bennett did make an official visit to Amherst in December 2018 after his standout season with Jones County. His JUCO teammate Bryce Wade committed to UMass during the same signing period.

Bennett opted to return to Georgia in 2019. UMass went 1-11 in 2019.

Georgia has a record of 49-5 since Bennett returned to Athens (including a 29-3 record with Bennett as a starter), UMass is 3-37 over the last four seasons.

Bennett was brilliant on Monday, accounting for six total touchdowns. He will now look to continue his journey to the pro ranks when the 2023 NFL Draft is held in April.

Based on early draft rankings, Bennett is projected as a potential Day 3 option for teams looking for depth at the quarterback position. His age (25), smaller frame (5-foot-11), and throwing strength hampering his value as an NFL talent.

A low draft selection doesn’t mean that Bennett won’t thrive at the NFL level. Brock Purdy — the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft — succeeded with the 49ers this year. Tom Brady, of course, was selected with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft by the Patriots.

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