Bennett Named AFCA All-America at Offensive Tackle

By Ryan Borde, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110, rborde@willamette.edu

(FOOTBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior offensive lineman Brandon Bennett (6’2”, 300 lbs., San Marcos, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) was named to the 2006 AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Team as announced today by the American Football Coaches Association. Bennett also has been named to the D3football.com Second Team All-West Region Team.

Bennett’s selection to the AFCA All-America Team is a very special honor. What makes the award unique and prestigious is that the AFCA chooses only a first team, while most publications and organizations selecting All-America teams generally have a first team, a second team and a third team or honorable mention squad.

The junior continues to add to his already impressive list of credentials. In addition to the two awards listed above, Bennett also was a First Team All-Northwest Conference selection for the second straight season, and was named Willamette’s Offensive Player of the Year, as voted on by his fellow teammates.

Bennett graded out at 95% during the season, for the best grade among Willamette’s offensive players. The following is a list of Bennett’s awards during his three seasons at WU:

• 2006 AFCA All-America
• 2006 D3football.com Second Team All-West Region
• 2006 First Team All-Northwest Conference
• 2006 Willamette University Offensive Player of the Year
• 2006 Don Hansen’s Football Gazette Preseason First Team All-America
• 2005 D3football.com Honorable Mention All-America
• 2005 D3football.com Third Team All-West Region
• 2005 First Team All-Northwest Conference
• 2004 Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference

The Bearcats finished the 2006 season 2-7 overall and 2-4 in NWC play. It was their first losing season since 2001, and just their third losing season in the past 14 years. Even so, the future looks bright, as Willamette will return eight starters on both sides of the ball, plus its punter, place-kicker, and long-snapper.