Bolles (Jacksonville, FL) offensive tackle Brent Benedict earned Class 2A first-team all-state and EA Sports All-American honors for his junior season performance. With 37 official scholarship offers to his credit, including offers from some of the top programs in the nation, Benedict has certainly been recognized by Division 1A college coaches as well.
Now comes the difficult part, which is figuring out which college he will sign with next February. In the beginning stages of his decision-making process, the 6-5, 285-pound junior visited six schools – Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest – last week during Spring Break. The trip was a success, though Benedict is not any closer to being able to narrow anything down.
“The point of the trip was to get around and see a wide variety of schools, to get a feel for what I liked,” Benedict said. “I’m not sure if I answered the question. I’m not sure if I like a big school or a small school better, but the trip helped to show me different places. It was an informative and an excellent trip. I learned a lot. Each school had its own unique thing no other school had. That is the biggest thing I picked up.”
Benedict’s preference is to narrow the long list of schools down to single digits before the start of his senior season. Unsure of when he’ll make a commitment, Benedict isn’t ruling out a decision before, during or after his senior season.
“At this point, there is no final list like a top five or a top 10,” Benedict said. “I’m just starting to get my bearings. I’m wide open. I have so many great options and it is tough to narrow it down. I hope to be down to four or five by the beginning of the season.”
Alabama and Florida headline the SEC offers for Benedict, who does not appear to have a conference favorite. He adds also that he did not pull for one particular team growing up.
“A lot of people say the SEC is the best conference in the nation and all that stuff,” Benedict said. “Each person has a preference and their own ideas. The SEC has good teams, but every conference has good teams. The ACC has good teams. The Big 10 has good teams. That’s why this whole decision is so tough. I’m just fortunate to be in the situation I’m in. I have all these options. I want to make sure I make the right decisions.”
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