2024 WR Mazeo Bennett (6-0 165) of Greenville High will be one of the top prospects in the state for next recruiting season and is blossoming into one of the most sought-after recruits nationally at his position. Bennett averaged better than 26 yards per catch last season and is just getting better as he has worked on his skills at a variety of camps this summer.
USC was one of those camp stops and the Gamecocks were among the first to offer Bennett. He’s made multiple visits to see head coach Shane Beamer and receivers coach Justin Stepp. He’s also been to places like Clemson, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Miami, West Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Louisville. Out of all his stops, one stands out the most at this point.
“I can definitely say South Carolina,” Bennett said. “They pretty much set the standard. We are down there so much, they set the standard of how you should be recruited when you go to these schools. The amount of love that they show, it’s unmatched. Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, lot of those schools show the most love. When I worked out for Alabama, you could feel the love. Everywhere I go you could definitely feel the love.”
But, Bennett added, the love he’s feeling from Beamer and company is unmatched.
“When you go down there, you interact with everybody there,” Bennett said. “Everybody is upbeat. Everybody is happy to be where they are at. Everybody is happy to work there. Everybody is happy to be under Coach Beamer. It’s just love. Everybody wants you to be there. Everybody wants you to stay home. That’s their biggest thing with me is stay home, you don’t have to go out of the state, you can just stay home.”
Bennett’s offers include USC, Alabama, Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, East Carolina and South Florida. He’s been on the Clemson radar, but in typical fashion, the Tigers are moving slowly with his recruitment.
“We were very high on Clemson, but we’ve kind of been let down a few times,” Bennett said. “We are really taking our time with Clemson, keeping that same relationship, I guess. I don’t really know how to answer that. I feel like my recruitment doesn’t depend on a Clemson offer. I feel like I can go somewhere and be happy without getting that Clemson offer. My recruitment isn’t based off a Clemson offer.”
As he makes the rounds and breaks down the schools, Bennett is focusing on what a school can do for his near future, which is his education, and his far future, which he hopes leads to the NFL.
“The development of the receivers and the players as young men as well as getting them to their final destination,” Bennett said. “Academics is one thing as well. I want to get a meaningful degree when I go to the school. I don’t want to get a mediocre degree and when I get out, I don’t have anything to do. I really want to focus on what’s after it and getting me to my final destination which will be the NFL.”
Bennett said he plans to visit USC and Miami, and perhaps some others, during the live recruiting period in late July. He plans to make his commitment next summer and right now has penciled in June 30th, his nephew’s birthday, for a commitment date.