Willamette Football Player Named to All-America Team

Brandon BennettBennett on the fieldWillamette University junior offensive lineman Brandon Bennett was named this week to the 2006 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches' All-America Team. Bennett, a La Costa Canyon High School graduate from San Marcos, Calif., also has been named to the Second Team for the All-West Region.

Bennett's selection to the AFCA All-America Team is prestigious because the AFCA chooses only a first team. Most publications and organizations selecting All-America teams have a first, second and third team, or honorable mention squad.

At 6-feet, 2-inches and 300 pounds, Bennett also was a First Team All-Northwest Conference (NWC) selection for the second straight season, and was chosen by his teammates as Willamette's 2006 Offensive Player of the Year.

Bennett graded out at 95 percent during the season, meaning he completed his blocking assignment on the field 95 percent of the time, for the best grade among Willamette's offensive players. Other awards he has received during his three seasons at Willamette include:

  • 2006 Don Hansen's Football Gazette Preseason First Team All-America
  • 2005 Honorable Mention All-America
  • 2005 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 the team's first losing season since 2001, and just its third losing season in the past 14 years. Looking to the future, Willamette will return eight starters on both sides of the ball, plus its punter, place-kicker and long-snapper.