Virginia Tech got a huge pledge on Monday night, and it wasn’t from a high school player. University of Georgia offensive lineman Brent Benedict announced his decision to transfer recently, and after visiting Virginia Tech on Friday, he felt like Blacksburg was the best place for him. Instead of taking planned visits to Florida and Clemson, he committed to Tech and will enroll in August.
Benedict will have to sit out the coming season because of NCAA transfer rules, but he will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2012. He was listed at 6-5, 301 on the Georgia website before he left school.
Benedict was heavily recruited by Virginia Tech out of Bolles High School in Jacksonville, FL as part of the 2010 recruiting class. He was rated the #76 player in the country by Rivals.com, and he also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, USC and others. Simply put, he was one of the top overall players in the country.
Unfortunately, Benedict suffered a severe knee injury at Georgia, and only returned to the field this past December. He participated in bowl practices that month as a true freshman, and later took part in Spring Practice in Athens, but has since decided to leave the program. He redshirted last year at Georgia, and will be a r-sophomore in 2012 when he is ready to play at Virginia Tech.
Depending on how healthy he is, Georgia’s loss could be Virginia Tech’s gain. The Hokies lose four senior starters up front after this season, and will need new linemen in 2012. Benedict will be able to practice this season as part of the scout team, and then could potentially compete for playing time next spring.