In this weekly feature, we’ll take a look at what Tech’s finest are up to since leaving the Institute. This week, we focus on Taylor Bennett.
On January 1, 2007, after backing up perennial starter Reggie Ball for much of his career, Taylor Bennett was thrust into the spotlight. The setting: the 2007 Gator Bowl against the #13 West Virginia Mountaineers in Jacksonville. The Mountaineers, led by Pat White, were in the midst of a bright moment for their program, but the Jackets were also shining bright that year, going 8-5 and 7-1 in ACC play in route to a 6-9 lost to Wake Forest in the ACC Championship Game.
In his first career start, Bennett’s game plan was simple: get the ball to Calvin. It reminds me of that scene from Kicking and Screaming, but with #21 playing the role of “The Italians.” The result: the future Hall of Famer hauled in 9 receptions for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 31 yard dime and a 48 yard jump ball that showed off the game plan in its entirety:
Bennett himself finished with 326 yards and 3 TDs, and though Georgia Tech would fall on that day 35-38, Bennett had endeared himself to the fanbase and announced his arrival with a bang. The remainder of Bennet’s Georgia Tech career would not live up to that day, perhaps because Calvin left for the NFL, leaving the cupboard bare at receiver other than some up and comer named Demaryius Thomas. Following the 2007 season and the transition to the option offense under new head coach Paul Johnson, Bennett transferred to Louisiana Tech to finish out his playing career. End of the story, right?
Hardly. After earning his J.D. from John Marshall Law School, Taylor began his law career with a focusing on corporate and franchise law. In 2015, Bennett again showed his prowess for answering the call when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives to represent Brookhaven in the stead of Mike Jacobs. His reelection bid would fall short the following year, but his story did not end with that defeat either. He would go on to work for Focus Brands in their Franchise Development arm, and just this year enrolled at the University Virginia pursuing his MBA.
Bennett has shown a propensity for perseverance throughout his playing and professional careers, and with his combined experience in law and business, I expect this to continue as he climbs the ranks of the business world. Look for Bennett to make an impact in the Atlanta area once again, it’s never been his forte to stay quiet for long. Go Jackets!