Reid-Bennett’s Early Years
Daniel Reid-Bennett fell in love with the game when he was very young. He remembers the Carolina vs. New England Super Bowl like it was yesterday. He believed in Jake Delhomme and wasn’t oblivious to the buzz the states of Carolinas were getting. From then, he was hooked, and he knew what and who he wanted to be. But like everything his middle-class parents taught him, he knew what he wanted would take a lot of hard work. He started playing football in the third grade. The first position he ever learned and played was at wide receiver. It was all downhill from there.
By the time he was in the fifth grade he was playing offense and defense. His ability to learn route running made him a better tackler at the safety position. With good field awareness as a kid, he could only get better. The transition from Junior High to High school is when the body change took place. His 6’1″, 203-pound frame is not by accident. It’s a product of hard work.
His willingness to compete improved his range on the field. His versatility allowed him to play corner and safety. However, he kept himself humble. Reid-Bennett was/is an introvert. He likes/ed watching TV shows. His skill improved in high school, but recruiters weren’t knocking down his door coming from a small town. Then an opportunity came, and it was Elon University.
Reid-Bennett didn’t play much in his freshman year. There were a lot of juniors and seniors on the team that were already established, so he can swallow the pill and sit. In his sophomore year, he came out swinging. He collected 79 tackles and an interception his sophomore year on a winning team. But he faced hardships early when the team didn’t make the playoffs. The team lost by one point to Furman because of a missed extra point against them.
In his junior year at Elon, he collected 55 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception on a winning team. They beat James Madison that year, a team that had better facilities and more financial pool to recruit better players. The victory was sweet and showed that hard work and defining your craft pays off. Elon was a small university in a small town. There wasn’t much to do besides go to a bar that you weren’t old enough for. It was 25 minutes to Greensboro, and 10 minutes to Burlington, so the typical college life didn’t apply to an introvert like Reid-Bennett.
He stayed collected and quiet while working on his academics and defining his craft. Marcus Willoughby, a teammate who was a defensive end on the team, kept him focused and reinforced his work ethic. Even with injuries to their running back against James Madison (hamstring), and then the next game his quarterback tore his ACL against Delaware, the show continued in 2018. His game was well known on campus. The excitement, the school spirit, the atmosphere drove him to always get better.
2019 was a challenge for Reid-Bennett. A losing season, a dismantled team, and a coaching staff that left his senior year for greener pastures at James Madison. Elon went 5-6 in a blowout loss to Wake Forest but Reid-Bennett shined, accumulating 13 tackles a defended pass and an interception. His game was making a name for himself. Reid-Bennett has never been afraid to tackle or stick his nose in the run defense. He hated fullbacks. In his sophomore year at Rhode Island, a full-back tried to test him and bully him. Reid-Bennett hates bullies. The fullback tried to run him over, but the fullback had another thing coming. In 2019, Reid-Bennett collected 71 tackles, 11 passes defended and two interceptions. Reid-Bennett seeks to prove that just because you might come from a small school, doesn’t mean that you lack in talent.
Reid-Bennett’s dreams are simple; get drafted, have a great eight to 10-year professional career, and leave a mark on the game. He aims to be an all-pro selection five times and is more than content with only one Super Bowl ring. Reid-Bennett is a family man and has a son that looks up to him as a hero. He has younger siblings that look towards him as a teacher, and a beacon of hope. If he had it his way, he would love to play for his home team, the Carolina Panthers. He doesn’t fear the impending 17 game schedule but sees it as an opportunity for more people to play. Then, as if recruiters and franchises didn’t already know about this rare talent, he can let his light shine. He believes it’s all in God’s plan. H will let his game on the field, speak for him.