Commentary

Vanderbilt's Bennett proving critics wrong on the field

Updated: November 15, 2007, 7:14 PM ET
By Ron Higgins | Special to ESPN.com
Roll back to the winter of 2005 and Earl Bennett had just finished his senior season as a wide receiver/defensive back for Birmingham (Ala.) West End High.

He had 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, which isn't overwhelming for a skilled position. He didn't make the cut for Scouts Inc.'s ESPN 150. Kentucky was recruiting him hard as a defensive back, and that's where Bennett initially committed.

When Bennett changed his mind and signed with Vanderbilt, maybe because it was closer to home, maybe because the Commodores wanted him as a receiver, it didn't seem like a major recruiting loss at the time.