Stetson Bennett loves Georgia football, which makes watching his story unfold that much more fun to witness.
He came to Georgia as a walk-on where no one ever suspected Bennett would eventually be a starter for the Dawgs. Now here we are, once again seeing him do whatever it takes to help Georgia stay perfect.
Bennett has come a long way from being mini Baker Mayfield when the Dawgs prepped for Oklahoma to leaving for a JUCO and returning as a scholarship athlete.
After losing his job last year, a few speculated whether or not Bennett would stay at Georgia for his final year. Well, it wasn’t in Bennett’s nature to give up on his team. He loves this group, and regardless if he is the starter or the backup, Bennett gives it his all because he loves being part of this team so much.
If anyone looks at Bennett’s Twitter profile, they’ll see a short dog Latin statement that says, “Ad astra per alas porci.” Which translates to “To the stars on the wings of a pig.”
One of the Dawn of the Dawgs writers, Ashley Espie, did a deep dive into that statement and wrote a thread on Twitter.
As it usually is from Espie, she wrote a beautiful thread on the topic, but, shockingly, more people haven’t jumped on writing about this.
Bennett took a gem from author John Steinbeck who had people tell him he would be an author when pigs flew, and after they said it, he made it his personal mantra.
If we think about what that statement says, and by reading the thread, you see why it fits the quarterback perfectly. Like Steinbeck, Bennett has had to prove so many doubters wrong, and he has. A statement that gets used when people exaggerate something about another one says, well, that’ll happen when pigs fly.
While there is a lot of time left in the season, this mindset of when pigs fly is taking him to another place. He takes whatever adversity he has in front of him and conquers it. A level where he is confident in his game, and it’s showing on the field.
No one gave him a shot in the dark to be the Dawgs starting quarterback or that he would even be the backup. However, he said watch this, and now he is a big reason Georgia is 6-0 on this season.
Instead of giving up after losing the starting job last year, Bennett continued to work his tail off and get better as a quarterback. Despite so many fans trashing him and hoping other quarterbacks would beat him out, Bennett put his head down and didn’t pay it any attention.
Last year, Bennett went 86-of-155 for 1,179 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 55.48% of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 128.67.
In the five games, he played this year, Bennett is 43-of-62 for 746 yards for eight touchdowns, two interceptions, has completed 69.35% of his passes, and has a rating of 206.55.
Bennett has improved tremendously, and without his tenacity, the Dawgs wouldn’t be where they are right now. Yes, the defense has a big part in their success, but with JT Daniels going down to an injury, Bennett stepped up when it mattered and has beaten two ranked opponents.
Even this year, when people called for Carson Beck over him, Bennett didn’t listen. When Beck threw his interception, he let the guy blaze by him and didn’t even try to tackle him. When Bennett threw an interception, he chased the guy down and tackled the defensive back by himself.
If anyone wonders why Bennett is the backup over Beck, they need to look at those two situations right there.
Bennett sacrifices his body for this team, he goes above and beyond to be a leader, and without him, I don’t think Georgia would be nearly as good.
Is he an NFL-caliber guy who will have a 10-plus year career? Probably not, but that is okay. Bennett doesn’t have to be that guy. Bennett is a player who loves his team so much he will do whatever it takes to win, or in his case, fly.
So back to the Latin saying in his bio, if anyone should use something like this, it’s Bennett. When pigs fly, or in this instance, when dawgs fly, Bennett will be there to lead the team to glory.
No one thought this is where Georgia would be with Bennett leading the way, but he did, and so did the coaches. They trust him, and they trust in what he brings to the table. Alabama won national titles with quarterbacks that were not 5-stars, so Georgia can too.
When pigs fly, well, it seems they’re flying, and you know when that happens, something special is in the air, and it’s not just Bennett, but this whole squad. Bennett happens to be the piece that ties it all together.
Bennett has proved every doubter wrong and then makes that statement in his bio. It’s genius and, at the same time, sneaky enough for him to have his I told you so moment without being overly confident.
He wins because when no one thought it would happen, it did, and he showed every doubter they chose wrong. Now that is a guy people should want on their team because that desire to be better and do whatever it takes to win is why Georgia is having a special year.