Commodores keep Bennett's memory alive


Four years later, it's still heartbreaking to think about what might have been with Rajaan Bennett.

One of Vanderbilt's highest-rated signees ever under former coach Bobby Johnson, Bennett was gunned down in February 2010 before he ever had a chance to attend a class at Vanderbilt or play a down of football for the Commodores. A four-star running back from Powder Springs, Ga., Bennett died in a murder-suicide while trying to protect his family from a former boyfriend of his mother's.

On Saturday, Vanderbilt will honor Bennett along with 20 other current players during its senior-day festivities. I'd invite everybody to read Jeff Lockridge's excellent piece in The Tennessean.

It's obvious the seniors in this class, the guys Bennett would have come in with -- such as Jordan Matthews, Kenny Ladler and Andre Hal -- have done their best to keep Bennett's memory alive.

Matthews told Lockridge, "To this day, I wear a rubber band that I never take off for Rajaan. It's Philippians 4:13: 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' It says, 'Don’t be scared,' and it has RJB on it for Rajaan Bennett. I always keep that kind of close to my heart. He was a part of that family with us."