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Lovejoy's Bennifield commits to UTC

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy quarterback Alejandro Bennifield said he has committed to play his college football at Tennessee-Chattanooga, which competes in the Southern Conference.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Lovejoy quarterback Alejandro Bennifield said he has committed to play his college football at Tennessee-Chattanooga, which competes in the Southern Conference.

It only took Alejandro Bennifield one visit and week to think about his college options before mapping out his future.

After a weekend visit to Tennessee-Chattanooga, the senior quarterback at Lovejoy decided to commit to the Mocs a week later.

Bennifield, who helped the Wildcats to the Class AAAA finals last season, is the fourth Lovejoy player, and eighth from the Southern Crescent, to commit for the upcoming signing period in February.

“I really liked the school, and I feel good about my choice,” Bennifield said.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,490 yards and 15 touchdowns last season as the Wildcats compiled a 14-1 record and second straight region championship. On his visit last month to the school, he received a scholarship offer.

Bennifield chose UTC, which plays in the Southern Conference, over Furman and North Carolina, two other schools that had offered scholarships during the spring.

Instead of waiting to see if any other schools would offer during the season, Bennifield said he wanted to commit to UTC.

“I felt good about the situation at UTC and the coaches,” he said. “I didn’t want to risk the possibility of losing the scholarship. They said they were only going to bring in one quarterback next fall.”

The Mocs 2012 depth chart lists three quarterbacks, including UTC head coach Russ Huesman’s son, Jacob, a freshman. All three are underclassmen.

Bennifield said he is solid in his commitment.

“Someone would have to come on real strong,” he said. “I’m real strong on UTC right now.”

With his choice made, Bennifield said he is concentrating on the upcoming season as the Wildcats move into Class AAAAA, the state’s highest classification this fall.

A transfer from Jonesboro in the spring of 2011, Bennifield started the entire season at Lovejoy. With a year’s experience in the offense, Bennifield said he’s very comfortable with the scheme.

“I know the offense in and out,” he said. “I’m able to call plays and can tell the coaches what I think will work. Everybody is jelling and we really understand each other.”

Bennifield is surrounded by a talented supporting cast that includes two players that have committed to major colleges. Senior running back Travis Custis is committed to Georgia Tech and tight end A.J. Jackson said he will sign with Auburn.

“Dro (Bennifield) will definitely be a big factor in our offense,” said Custis, who rushed for 1,863 yards last season. “We are looking for him to have a big year.”