• Codey Bennett (middle) celebrates signing with Reinhardt University with his family at a signing ceremony held in the LCHS auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Pictured (front row left to right) Bennett’s mother Jessica Bennett, Codey Bennett, Bennett’s father Ben Bennett, (back row left to right) Bennett’s brother Charleston Bennett, Morgan Culbreth and Bennett’s grandfather Wilson Culbreth.

-Bennett to continue career with Reinhardt University

FOOTBALL

LCHS long snapper and offensive lineman Codey Bennett set in motion the next phase of his football career when he inked his name to play for Reinhardt University after graduation in a signing ceremony held at the LCHS auditorium recently.

“Codey has worked really hard on his craft of long snapping and every college needs one,” said LCHS head football coach Shane Williamson at the ceremony. “It is a great way to get his college paid for through long snapping. He has done a great job of perfecting that, but he has also done well in the classroom as well. He is a great young man and we are extremely proud of what he has accomplished on and off the field. We wish him the best in the future.”

Bennett’s love for football began when he was three-years-old watching his favorite college team the Georgia Bulldogs.

“I’ve been watching college football since I was three and I just loved every aspect of the game,” said Bennett. “I grew up watching the Georgia Bulldogs and my favorite player was Knowshon Moreno. I had a big poster of him on my wall and Bulldog sheets on my bed. To be able to follow in those footsteps and get to the next level is something I have always wanted to do.”

Bennett played center during his sixth and seventh grade seasons. During that time Bennett realized that he had a fast snap that quarterbacks seemed to enjoy.

When Bennett moved to LCHS for high school, he continued to work on his long snapping skills while moving to offensive guard. The idea was suggested by his father.

“My dad suggested that I work on long snapping and move over to guard,” Bennett said. “That way I would be able to still play offensive line, but be able to work on something that could possibly get me into college.”

Bennett’s father traveled around the nation with his son, going from one long snapping camp to another in an effort to hone Bennett’s long snapping skills.

“I started to go to camps,” Bennett said. “At one point, I was ranked 27th in the nation. That’s how I got on Reinhardt’s radar in my junior year.”

Former LCHS lineman Josh Chastain signed with Reinhardt in Bennett’s junior season, which opened the door for Bennett’s abilities to be seen by the university.

“After Josh signed with them, they started emailing me and asking about whether I would be interested in playing for them. They ended up offering me a scholarship after my second visit to the school.”

Bennett competed against five long snappers in order to secure his spot on the Reinhardt lineup.

“They had five long snappers and me and another guy went snap for snap, but they ended up offering the spot to me,” Bennett said.

With the history that Bennett and Chastain have playing together, Bennet believes it will make the transition from high school to college a little easier for him.

“It’s a great thing to be able to get back together with your family, those guys that you’ve played with before,” Bennett said. “It’s good to know somebody on the inside that can show you the ropes, tell you what teachers to take and let you know what the coaches are like. I don’t have to worry so much about making new friends because I already have one really good friend on the team.”

Bennett played a pivotal role for the Indians on the offensive line and on special teams during the 2018 season. Whether getting the key block to open up a kickoff return for a touchdown or doing whatever necessary to put his team in strong spots through special teams play, Bennett gave his all on the field to make sure that his teammates could succeed. Bennett’s contributions to the Indians earned him an All-Region second team selection in his senior season.

Despite starting a new chapter in his football career, Bennett said he will always support Lumpkin athletics.

“High school will always be a part of me,” Bennett said. “The people that I have bled and sweated with will always have a place in my heart. Every opportunity I get to come back and support Lumpkin athletics, I will. I plan on coming back to watch sporting events and will definitely be here if anyone signs next year.”

Bennett hopes that future Lumpkin athletes will be inspired by his story and strive to get out of Dahlonega in order to follow their dreams.

“I want future athletes to look at me and know that they can make it out as well,” Bennett said.

Bennett plans to study Sports Science with the hope of becoming an athletic director or coach when he attends Reinhardt after graduating from LCHS.

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