In the end neither rain, nor snow, nor the SEC schedule could keep the Mailman from his appointed route. Stetson Bennett, former walk on, former junior college transfer quarterback, and Pappy Van Winkle enthusiast, has been announced as one of the four finalists for the 2022 Heisman Trophy.
The 2022 Heisman Trophy finalists are quarterbacks Stetson Bennett of Georgia, Max Duggan of TCU, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State & Caleb Williams of USC! The 2022 Heisman winner will be announced during the Heisman Trophy Ceremony Presented by Nissan on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/MBEW2XS4Ow— The Heisman Trophy (@HeismanTrophy) December 6, 2022
It is without a doubt one of the most inspiring stories in recent college football memory. The undersized kid who wore an outrageous US Postal Service hat to summer camps just so that he could get noticed, the player who even Kirby Smart admits the staff all but tried to run off at one point, has won a national championship, followed it with an SEC championship, led his team to back-to-back undefeated seasons, and is now within a 12 yard out route of college football’s most coveted individual honor.
“I don’t even know what to think right now. We have a lot of good players who make me look good. It’s special. This honor is all about my teammates and this team. I wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have the team that we have. This honor is for them. I understand what Coach Smart means when he says that success comes to those who don’t look for it or are too busy working to look for it,” Bennett said in a state released by UGA on Monday night. “I have never thought about the Heisman. I just wanted to play quarterback at Georgia. I just wanted to play football. I’m thinking of the players and people who have been in this with me. Regardless of who wins, it’s a huge honor to be in this group. The wideouts, tight ends, running backs, offensive line, defense, coaches – I wouldn’t have this opportunity without them, so a ton of gratitude for them.”
The Prince of Pierce is the first Georgia Bulldog quarterback to ever finish in the top four vote getters for the Heisman, and is the first Georgia Bulldog at any position to be named a finalist since Garrison Hearst in 1992.
Could Stet the Jet actually win the darn thing? Well, it seems pretty unlikely. USC’s Caleb Williams was a heavy favorite going into the championship weekend and traditionally it seems that a lot of voters make up their minds and submit ballots well before the deadline. Bennett’s also got numbers that are very good, but not necessarily jaw-dropping, which is the standard required to win the award from the outside (think Joe Burrow in 2019, a 200 to 1 long shot as late as two weeks before the season started).
But truly, the fact that the Bulldogs’ super, super senior signal caller is going to be among the players on the front row on Saturday when the award is announced is a minor miracle of its own. The twists and turns of his collegiate career are Disney movie quality, and he’s shown that a lot of gumption can make up for a ton of shortcomings.
So hats off to the Mailman. And…