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Bennett to transfer to Louisiana Tech
Former Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett (13) is wrapped up by Virginia Tech’s Carlton Powell (99) ) during their game last season at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Bennett announced Monday that he will transfer to Louisiana Tech. - photo by The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Taylor Bennett has found a new football home, and Georgia Tech fans may be surprised to learn he will be playing for the Bulldogs and a coach named Dooley in 2008.

Bennett, Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback in 2007, said Monday he will transfer to Louisiana Tech and play for coach Derek Dooley, the son of former longtime Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.

Bennett was granted a release from his Georgia Tech scholarship by new coach Paul Johnson. Bennett has completed his undergraduate degree in international affairs at Georgia Tech and he has been granted a waiver by the NCAA to be immediately eligible without sitting out a season as he pursues a master’s degree at Louisiana Tech.

“I want to thank everybody from Georgia Tech,” Bennett said, adding that his time in Atlanta met “about every expectation I could want in a college career.”

“I’m glad I got to come here, and I’m glad I got my education at Georgia Tech,” he said. “That’s one of the big reasons I came here to begin with.”

Bennett completed 162 of 327 passes for 2,136 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2007, his first year as a full-time starter.

Bennett decided soon after the 2007 season he wouldn’t return for his senior season. He said he met with Johnson, who is installing a spread option attack and was frank in his assessment of the chances for Bennett, a drop-back passer, to play in the scheme.

“He told me what his plan was and where I fit in and what he saw me doing and that didn’t look like something I was interested in,” Bennett said. “I thank him for being honest with me.”

Bennett could challenge for the starting job at Louisiana Tech, which must replace 2007 starter Zac Champion.

Auburn transfer Steven Ensminger and sophomore Ross Jenkins were the Bulldogs’ only healthy quarterbacks in spring practice.

“Taylor is a fine young man with outstanding character and leadership qualities,” Dooley said in a release. “He comes to Louisiana Tech with a tremendous amount of experience at his position, and I am sure that the leaders on our team will welcome him with open arms.”

Bennett said he hasn’t been promised a starting job by Dooley.

“Coach Dooley said he wants to win,” Bennett said, adding Dooley said the starter will be “whoever the best guy is coming out of camp.”

Bennett said he considered “a lot of schools” but wasn’t looking for an easy path to a starting job.

“I think anywhere there would have been competition,” he said. “It brings out the best in everyone. Hopefully I can push those guys and they can push me and we can get the best thing out of this deal.”

Bennett said he will enroll at Louisiana Tech for summer semester.

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