#66 Cole Bentley
Class: RS Senior
Position: Offensive Line
Hometown: Lenore, WV
Thoughts: What if I gave you the option to choose who you would want to play center for your favorite college football team, and your three choices were Frank Beamer, Dr. Larry Benz, and Cole Bentley? Beamer, Benz, or Bentley? Beamer, Benz, or Bentley? If you selected Cole Bentley, you have made a wise decision, and if you think I went way to far just to make a Lloyd Banks joke…you obviously don’t know me that well.
One of the major developments this offseason was the u-turn from Bentley who cashed in on the free year of eligibility from the NCAA and decided to come back for another year. Bentley has been a mainstay on this very countdown, but equally as important, a mainstay on the line for the last three years. Shifting between guard and center Cole found a nice landing spot in the middle and started sixteen games in a row at center before missing the season finale last year due to injury. While most point to the QB as the leader of the offense us trench warriors know the real leader is the man snapping him the ball. From calling out blocking schemes to identifying defensive formations, the center is key to running a successful attack, and I guess the QB is kind of important as well (gotta feed the egos a bit).
Bentley seems comfortable in his role as he said earlier this year he enjoys being heavily involved in the game and making calls up on the line. Another big fan of Bentley is new O-line coach Jack Bicknell, who said for the first few weeks of spring Bentley knew more about the play calls than he did having just been hired a few days before camp. That consistently in the middle is not only helpful for the line but Cunningham as well as the two were being to mesh toward the end of the year. If Trevor Reid, Adonis Boone, and Chandler are the mixers, Bentley is the straw that stirs the drink, and the fellas are mixing up a nice little cocktail for 2021.
Most positively graded plays among offensive linemen (power five):— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 2, 2020
1. Cole Bentley, Lousiville
2. Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame
2. Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame pic.twitter.com/ACgtGj6rrx
See, it’s not just me who thinks he’s good. It’s STATS! Numbers don’t lie! While the Cards had some solid production from the running backs Bentley and the BOBs (can we still call them that?) lead a Top 30 rushing attack (yds/g) and were Top 20 in rushing yards per attempt last year. A repeat of that performance (sans turnovers) would be great to see in 2021.