Bennett Named AFCA All-America at Offensive Tackle

By Ryan Borde, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110,

(FOOTBALL) SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior offensive lineman Brandon Bennett (62, 300 lbs., San Marcos, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) was named to the 2006 AFCA Division III Coaches All-America Team as announced today by the American Football Coaches Association. Bennett also has been named to the Second Team All-West Region Team.

Bennetts selection to the AFCA All-America Team is a very special honor. What makes the award unique and prestigious is that the AFCA chooses only a first team, while most publications and organizations selecting All-America teams generally have a first team, a second team and a third team or honorable mention squad.

The junior continues to add to his already impressive list of credentials. In addition to the two awards listed above, Bennett also was a First Team All-Northwest Conference selection for the second straight season, and was named Willamettes Offensive Player of the Year, as voted on by his fellow teammates.

Bennett graded out at 95% during the season, for the best grade among Willamettes offensive players. The following is a list of Bennetts awards during his three seasons at WU:

2006 AFCA All-America
2006 Second Team All-West Region
2006 First Team All-Northwest Conference
2006 Willamette University Offensive Player of the Year
2006 Don Hansens Football Gazette Preseason First Team All-America
2005 Honorable Mention All-America
2005 Third Team All-West Region
2005 First Team All-Northwest Conference
2004 Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference

The Bearcats finished the 2006 season 2-7 overall and 2-4 in NWC play. It was their first losing season since 2001, and just their third losing season in the past 14 years. Even so, the future looks bright, as Willamette will return eight starters on both sides of the ball, plus its punter, place-kicker, and long-snapper.