|I love a good achievement story. I love the leadership lessons behind that achievement even more.
As a 3rd string, doubted walk-on quarterback for the University of Georgia, standing only 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, Stetson Bennett is the first former walk-on to win a national championship.
He beat the naysayer odds and led the Dawgs to win the 2022 College Football National Championship.
On top of that, he earned Offensive Most Valuable Player as well.
But the story behind this incredible achievement of winning the title is what inspires me more than anything.
Bennett passed on scholarships to smaller schools and chose to walk on at Georgia, only to leave for a junior college, return, lose the starting job and regain it due to an injury to the starter, all while dogged even by Dawg Nation who didn’t want Bennett to be quarterback.
One year earlier, Bennett started five games but faded out of the lineup after miserable losses.
Despite the chirping critics and fan bashings, Bennett displayed resilience and the power of belief.
Why didn’t he stay at a smaller colleges or go to LSU where he was guaranteed to be starting QB? Because his only childhood dream was to do exactly what he did Monday night.
As a 3-year-old living in tiny Blackshear, Georgia (population 3,649), he vowed to his mom and dad, both UGA alumn, to one day be the starting quarterback at Georgia and win a national title.
Bennett walked on at Georgia because he believed he belonged. He always had Georgia on his mind.
But he also believed in himself, believed in the program and his teammates, and had a strong enough backbone to literally stick it out.
Despite being ranked #104 at one point, he stuck it out through the doubters and chirping critics while keeping championship dreams in his soul.
Stetson Bennett is not the champion Georgia fans expected. It turns out, though, he was everything they wanted.
Lessons to glean from this:
* There will always be doubters. Be a dreamer.
* Have a vision for what you want to achieve. There will always be people saying you can’t do something. Show them you can.
* In the face of pressure, excel.
Despite being an underdog, Bennett proves we can all be Top Dawgs.
Congrats Dawg Nation, Coach Smart and of course Bennett.
“I hope this gives somebody a little hope, just keep fighting, keep your mouth shut, work hard, life’s tough, you just gotta fight through it,” ~ Stetson Bennett.