Saskatchewan Roughriders neg list QB Stetson Bennett leads Georgia to first National Championship in 41 years

Photo courtesy: CFP Media Portal

The 2022 American College Football Playoff National Championship game had a Saskatchewan Roughriders tie in.

University of Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is on the Riders exclusive negotiation list, he was added October 17, 2021.

The senior QB completed 17-of-26 passes (65 percent) for 224 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions on the way to being named offensive MVP while leading the Bulldogs to a 33-18 win against the University of Alabama.

“The tears afterwards, that just hit me. I hadn’t cried in, I don’t know, years, but that just came over me. When you put as much time as we do into this thing, blood, sweat, tears, it means something,” Bennett said post-game.

“Coach [Kirby] Smart and the whole team has been preaching all year, resiliency, toughness, composure, connection. I knew that those guys beside me had my back, and I had their back, too.”

The 23-year-old threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes to help Georgia win their first NCAA title in 41 years — 1980 was the last time the Bulldogs raised the coveted trophy. The Blackshear, GA native cemented himself as a living legend in the state.

Bennett was originally a walk-on at Georgia in 2017 and was one of four Bulldogs named winners of Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. After that season he transferred to Jones County Junior College, completing 56 percent of his passes for 1,840 yards with 16 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions while adding 148 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 12 games, recording a 10-2 win-loss mark.

Following that season in JUCO, Bennett received a scholarship offer from Georgia and returned to Athens, GA. He was the backup QB in 2019, started five games in 2020 and earned the starting job in 2021.

The five-foot-11, 190-pounder completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,862 yards with 29 touchdowns against seven interceptions and rushed 56 times for 259 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Under his guidance, Georgia posted a 14-1 record and knocked off Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide when it mattered most.

2022 NFL Draft projections have Bennett ranging from late-rounder to undrafted. If Bennett goes unselected south of the border, it improves the chances of him potentially coming north for a pro career.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.