SALEM, ORE. -- Former Willamette University football player Brandon Bennett '07, an offensive tackle from San Marcos, Calif. (La Costa Canyon HS), has been named to the NCAA Division III All-Decade Fourth Team by D3football.com. The All-Decade Team includes players who completed their eligibility between 2000 and 2009 or played at least three seasons during that time span.
Bennett was selected to the AFCA Division III Coaches All-America Team as a junior in 2006 and a senior in 2007. He was named Second Team A.P. Little All-America in 2007 and was selected for the A.P. Little All-America Third Team in 2006.
In addition, he was chosen Third Team All-America by D3Football.com in 2007 and was an Honorable Mention All-America selection by D3football.com in 2005 and 2006. Bennett was a D3Football.com All-West Region selection three times (First Team in 2007, Second Team in 2006, Third Team in 2005). As a student, Bennett majored in Economics and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008.
During his four years with the Bearcats, Bennett was recognized as one of the top offensive linemen in the Northwest Conference. He was named First Team All-NWC in each of his final three seasons at WU (2005-07), after earning Honorable Mention All-NWC honors as a freshman. He was Willamette's Offensive Player of the Year in both 2006 and 2007. He was in his first year with the Bearcats when Willamette qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2004.
Bennett supplied powerful blocking throughout his Bearcat career, as he helped Willamette gain a total of 8,960 rushing yards (229.7 avg.) and 94 rushing touchdowns in four years. In 2007, he contributed to WU gaining 3,430 yards of total offense, including 2,500 rushing yards.
"His understanding of the game of football really made him stand out. He was consistently good ... always had a knack of doing the right thing ," said Glen Fowles, the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Willamette. "Everything was easier to run with him out there."
Fowles added that as a coach for the Bearcats, "the biggest asset that he (Bennett) gives us is in terms of teaching people the game ... how things happen on the field. That's what he passes on to everyone else. He has a knowledge of the game and a feel for the game."
Following his senior season, Bennett represented WU on the United States team of NCAA Division III All-Stars who won the 2007 Aztec Bowl over a team of All-Stars from Mexico, 37-19, in Chihuahua, Mexico. Bennett helped the U.S. achieve 397 total yards, including 191 rushing yards.
Bennett recently completed his third season an assistant coach for the Willamette football team. He also played football in Europe in 2008 and was an indoor football player for the Tri-Cities Fever in Kennewick, Wash., in 2009. The Fever competed in the Arena Football 2 League.