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Bennett Jr. gets longer look at academics, potential role at Tennessee

Six weeks ago, Battle Ground Academy (Tn.) linebacker Chico Bennett Jr. got his first glimpse of Tennessee.

The 3-star prospect personally picked up an offer from Vols first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt on the visit and Bennett made a return trip to Knoxville to see the staff last weekend.

“It was a really good experience. Different,” Bennett Jr. told VolQuest. “It was good to be up there with a bigger group and see some of the 2019 class and some of the other recruits that who Tennessee is recruiting and who all could be there potentially.”

Last time on Rocky Top, Bennett toured the campus, met the strength and conditioning staff and had his 1-on-1 interaction with Pruitt. He had some additional solo time with the head coach on Saturday, too, but much of his visit was spent touring the academic center and watching film with outside linebackers coach Chris Rumph.

“Coach Pruitt wanted to introduce himself to my dad and spoke with him to lay eyes on him,” said Bennett Jr., adding that his dad came down from Washington D.C. for the trip. Bennett, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound outside linebacker who moved to Nashville last August, got longer look at Tennessee’s academic opportunities.

“We got more information, a better understanding how they go about themselves with academics,” he said. “I want to major in political science, pre-law. They have a good program, and I looked at their websites and they have a good undergraduate process for who they help their students who want to major in that area.”

During a film session with Rumph, Bennett saw how Tennessee plans to use its outside linebackers in its new 3-4 scheme. He watched film of Alabama’s pass rushers, and the Vols want to utilze his raw skill-set (17 sacks in his first season of defense) in a similar manner.

“I spoke with coach Rumph individually and we had some good talks. We went through one of their base plays on defense and how I’d be used,” he said.

“He drew on the board, Xs and Os, teaching us the defense and breaking it down.”

Bennett plans to return to Tennessee later this summer, and he has upcoming visits planned for Memphis, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue and Georgia Tech.