When Michael Bennett suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 2, the sophomore wideout received a wealth of encouragement from people all over, including a pair of players who had experienced what Bennett was going through.
“Thomas Davis called me,” Bennett said. “That was pretty cool to hear from him, and he just gave me some encouraging words as well.”
An All-American safety at Georgia, Davis plays linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Davis tore his ACL in 2009, 2010 and 2011. This season, he became the first NFL player to recover and return from three ACL tears.
Bennett also heard from South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who Georgia was set to play against the week of Bennett went down with the injury.
“Marcus Lattimore texted me the week I got hurt,” Bennett said. “That was really cool because I had never talked to him before. He texted me and gave me some encouraging words and told me that rehab is really long.”
Three weeks later, Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury against Tennessee, and Bennett returned the favor by reaching out to the Gamecocks top rusher.
“When he did that, it really tore me up to see him go down like that,” Bennett said of the star tailback. “He’s such a great guy and has the respect of everyone and around the conference.”
When teammate and fellow wideout Marlon Brown suffered a torn ACL against Ole Miss last month, Bennett was one of the first to lift Brown’s spirits. Bennett approached Brown on the sideline and delivered an encouraging word.
“I didn’t know it was going to be a torn ACL (at that point),” Bennett said. “I was just telling him to keep his head up. And that it’s going to be all right. … I just really felt for him.”