Anthony Bennett (gridiron football)

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Anthony Bennett
No. 98     Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Born: (1996-10-04) October 4, 1996 (age 27)
Weston, Florida, U.S.
Career information
StatusActive
Position(s)Defensive lineman
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight235 lb (107 kg)
CollegeFlorida Atlantic (2015–2019)
Regina (2021–2022)
High schoolCypress Bay
CFL Draft2023 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Drafted byWinnipeg Blue Bombers
Career history
As player
2023–presentWinnipeg Blue Bombers
Career stats
Total tackles11
Sacks0
Forced fumbles0
Fumble recoveries0
Interceptions0

Anthony Bennett (born October 4, 1996) is an American professional football defensive lineman for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played NCAA football for the Florida Atlantic Owls and U Sports football for the Regina Rams and was selected in the first round of the 2023 CFL Draft by Winnipeg.

Early life[edit]

Bennett was born on October 4, 1996, in Weston, Florida.[1] His father, Charles Bennett, was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) and played three games with the Miami Dolphins in 1987 as a defensive end.[2] His mother, Patricia, who was born and raised in Canada, was a trainer and manager for the Regina Cougars basketball team.[3]

Early career[edit]

Bennett attended Cypress Bay High School, where he competed in football, shot put, and discus. Bennett entered Florida Atlantic University in 2015 and began playing for their Owls football team.[4] He totaled four tackles and a forced fumble while playing ten games in his time with Florida Atlantic.[5] After the 2019 season, Lane Kiffin left the coaching position and was replaced by Willie Taggart. Willie Taggart disliked the idea of having Bennett on the team as a redshirt senior and said, "I'm gonna recruit some other guys". Bennett left the Florida Atlantic Owls over the COVID-19-affected NCAA season.[4][6]

Bennett moved to Canada and resumed his college career at the University of Regina, where his mother had earned an education degree.[3] With two years of U Sports eligibility remaining,[3] he joined the Regina Rams in 2021, obtaining a starter role and led the team's defensive linemen in tackles with 25.[7] In his final year of eligibility, 2022, he had career highs with 38 tackles, 12.5 TFLs and nine sacks, breaking a record for most sacks in a single season, and tying the school record for most tackles-for-loss in a single season.[8] For his performance in the 2022 season, he was named to the U Sports All-Canadian First Team and as a Canada West All-Star.[9] He finished his U Sports career with 63 total tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception in 14 games.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Ranked as the third-best U Sports prospect for the 2023 CFL Draft and the 16th-best prospect overall, Bennett was chosen eighth overall by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, an unexpected rise in the draft order.[10][11] He signed with the Blue Bombers three days later.[12] Bennett progressed through training camp in May and made the roster for opening day.[13] He dressed in all 18 regular season games and had eight defensive tackles and three special teams tackles.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Bennett's uncle, Tony, cousin, Michael, and his older brother, Andrew, have all played football professionally in the NFL and CFL.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Anthony Bennett". Canadian Football League. Archived from the original on November 23, 2023. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  2. ^ Hobson, Russ (May 2, 2023). "Blue Bombers draft defensive end Anthony Bennett with 8th overall pick". Global News. Archived from the original on November 24, 2023. Retrieved November 23, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Barnes, Dan (March 28, 2023). "Bennett's family ties run deep in Regina". Montreal Gazette. p. N10. Archived from the original on November 24, 2023. Retrieved November 23, 2023. Open access icon
  4. ^ a b Hodge, John (March 24, 2023). "Regina DL Anthony Bennett values drills over testing at CFL Combine: 'Measurables always are overrated'". 3 Down Nation. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  5. ^ "Anthony Bennett". Florida Atlantic Owls. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  6. ^ Furlow, Reese (September 23, 2020). "FAU-USF football game postponed due to COVID-19, delaying Owls' season opener yet again". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Anthony Bennett". Regina Rams. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  8. ^ Allen, Taylor (May 3, 2023). "Top pick brings 'explosiveness off the edge'". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  9. ^ Shire, Taylor (April 27, 2023). "Rams' Bennett among top prospects heading into Tuesday's CFL draft". Regina Leader-Post. Archived from the original on May 2, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  10. ^ Hobson, Russ (May 2, 2023). "Blue Bombers draft defensive end Anthony Bennett with 8th overall pick". Global News. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on November 24, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  11. ^ "Matthew Bergeron takes top spot in Spring Scouting Bureau Rankings". CFL. April 21, 2023. Archived from the original on April 24, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "Regina DL Bennett among five 2023 draft picks signed by Blue Bombers". TSN. The Canadian Press. May 5, 2023. Archived from the original on November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  13. ^ Wyman, Ted (May 25, 2023). "BOMBERS ROOKIE DIARY: Hard to contain excitement for first pro pre-season game". Winnipeg Sun. Archived from the original on June 26, 2023. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  14. ^ "Anthony Bennett". CFL. Archived from the original on November 23, 2023. Retrieved November 26, 2023.
  15. ^ "Regina Rams defensive lineman Bennett looking forward to practices at CFL combine". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. March 23, 2023. Archived from the original on November 24, 2023. Retrieved November 23, 2023.