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Bennett Elevated to Backup

Oct. 6, 2004

Freshman quarterback Taylor Bennett has been elevated to Georgia Tech’s number two quarterback behind starter Reggie Ball, Tech head coach Chan Gailey announced Wednesday.

“We’ve decided not to redshirt Taylor Bennett, and we’re going to get him ready to play,” said Gailey, who indicated that Bennett could play as early as this week but did not guarantee another quarterback would see action.

Tech (2-2 overall, 1-2 ACC) plays at No. 23 Maryland (3-1, 1-0 ACC) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. The game will be regionally televised on ABC.

Bennett, a 6-3, 213-pound lefthander, enrolled at Tech last January and participated in spring practice. A native of St. Louis, Mo., he attended Lafayette High School.

“He really studies the game,” said Gailey. “He’s got a strong arm, and he’s a big guy. He’s not the most fleet of foot, he’s a more classic quarterback because of his size and arm strength.

“We’re excited about his future, and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. We think he has an excellent future at the quarterback position.”

Gailey said that Damarius Bilbo will remain primarily a receiver but could continue to take snaps at quarterback. He also said, “We’re going to find other ways for Patrick Carter to get involved in the game.”

Gailey said that Bennett had battled for the backup job in the preseason.

“When we came out of preseason camp, to me, Taylor was right there, but we were trying to redshirt him if we could,” said Gailey. “But when it became clear that we were going to have to get someone else ready to play in case Reggie doesn’t improve, he’s the guy we’ve decided to go with.

“He doesn’t have any experience, so he’s going to go through a learning curve, but we feel like his future is very bright so we’re trying to get him ready.”

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