Three-star wide receiver commit Jarrell Bennett has plenty to be happy about these days. Not only did the future Arizona Wildcat learn who the head coach he will playing under next season is, but he has also been doing his part as his team from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr sits in the semifinals.
The Cougars lost in the Class 4A title game last year, and Bennett said the team is doing what it can to not let that happen again.
"It's been pretty intense," Bennett said. "He didn't do a whole lot of contact because we have little bumps and bruises. Now it's just about who wants it the most and we feel like we've worked too hard to come short now.
"To lose now, it would be tough - especially for us seniors."
Karr, which will take on Lutcher, La., on Friday night, had its struggles early this season, but after a quarterback change the Cougars have reeled off nine consecutive wins. Bennett said that the change sparked something in the team and has helped carry the squad to this point.
"We got hot at the right time," the three-star prospect said. "Our defense had been winning us the games, but the offense finally came through on Friday against St. Thomas More and we're hoping we can come through again.
"Against St. Thomas More we still didn't play up to our abilities, but we still came out victorious. That's what scares me about this team. Once we start clicking on all cylinders, it's going to get scary. So, hopefully tomorrow we can click on all cylinders and be a game away from winning it all."
In that 35-31 win over St. Thomas More, Bennett had an impressive game individually. It was a breakout game for the 5-foot-10 senior, who has progressively improved as the season moved along. In that contest Bennett had a team-high 138 yards on six catches with a touchdown, including a long 71-yard reception.
He was quick to credit his coach and teammates with helping him become an effective player during the Cougars' playoff run.
"In the playoffs he (head coach Jabbar Juluke) isolated me on the field, and he always told me I was a special kid," Bennett said. "So he isolated me against St. Thomas More and the quarterback believed in me and I made a play happen. But I wouldn't have been able to make the play if he couldn't get me the ball, and he couldn't get me the ball without the O-line blocking. So, it's just been a team effort."
In the midst of his team's playoff run Bennett also has been excited at the thought of being utilized in new UA head coach Rich Rodriguez' offense. As a slot receiver the speedy Bennett could be big part of what the Wildcats do in the future, and he knows that.
Bennett had a chance to speak with Rodriguez and he came away impressed with what he heard.
"I spoke to him Tuesday and he said when he had a chance to watch film one of the first tapes he popped in was mine," Bennett said. "He said he was excited to have me there and he can't wait to coach me. We're going to have a lot of fun together and he said I should fit perfectly with the offensive scheme.
"Before I talked to him I really didn't know what to expect, but he was cool and he was friendly. But he's about business and he wants to win. So he said he's going to help me get better and he has a lot of expectations for me."
Bennett said that he will take a visit to Tucson after his season, but for now he's excited about the possibilities at UA in the coming years.
"I'm just excited to be a part of the team, and I can't wait to come help contribute any way possible. However he needs me, I'm there for him."