LOS ANGELES — Georgia soccer quarterback Stetson Bennett held a postgame press conference Monday night following his second National Championship MVP performance and donned a headset to speak to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on a much of the SoFi stadium pitch cleared.
“I told them that when the whistle sounded, my media obligations were done to the University of Georgia,” Bennett told Van Pelt on air. “I’m going to have fun and party.”
Bennett therefore did not attend Tuesday’s 9 a.m. Champions press conference at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott with coach Kirby Smart and defensive MVP Javon Bullard the day after TCU’s 65-7 rout. .
It was announced before the start of the press conference which started more than 15 minutes late that tight end Brock Bowers would touch Bennett.
Smart was asked how Bennett was feeling on Tuesday morning. This prompted Bullard to break out into a big smile.
“I don’t know,” Smart said. “I haven’t seen it, of course. “
Bennett partied hard and woke up with cloudy eyes for the 9 a.m. press conference after last year’s national championship in Indianapolis. He first did a “Good Morning America” interview.
Bennett isn’t the first player to skip the Champions press conference. LSU’s Joe Burrow bowed out in the 2019 season after the Tigers won the national title in New Orleans.
Bowers got the word at the team’s downtown hotel on Tuesday morning.
“For me, I was coming out of the elevator,” he said. “I saw Coach Smart and I started walking to lunch. And I got a call and they said, you’re in the bullpen, come see the media. I’m like, OK, I’m in. Stetson won’t make it. Guess I have to go.
Said Smart: “He always wanted to be in Stetson’s shoes, so now he has an opportunity.”
Bennett’s brother, Luke, a walk-on in Georgia, posted on his Twitter account later Monday morning that Stetson was hanging out with family members at the hotel.
Bennett answered questions after the game during an extensive media session with Smart and Bullard. He was asked what he wants NFL teams to know about him as he pursues a professional career.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve been here long enough. I’m sure there’s a game tape. I don’t know – hard worker, pretty good at football, smart. But they will see it. I do not know. It will take care of itself. Today we are national champions.
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Smart told the story of his 10-year-old son, Andrew, becoming emotional after Monday’s game.
“I said, why are you crying? ‘ Smart said. ‘You’re going to ruin my moment. He said, ‘Stetson is leaving. He’s going to leave.’
Smart told him, “He’s 25. He must go. He must go.