|A&M player's move to honor injured Everett lauded by Hurricanes|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 September 2007 13:00|
No hard feelings, though.
Not after the way Bennett is paying tribute to the player who hosted him on his recruiting trip to Miami.
Bennett switched his number from 13 to 85 for the 20th-ranked Aggies' 54-14 win over Louisiana-Monroe in honor of former Miami tight end Kevin Everett - the Buffalo player who sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury in the Bills' opener against Denver.
That gesture was warmly received by the Hurricanes, many of whom didn't know about Bennett changing to Everett's number until told of it Monday.
``That's a great move,'' said Miami tight end DajLeon Farr, who grew up in Texas. ``That's showing good character. That shows what kind of person Martellus is. To show respect in that way, that's a great thing.''
Bennett may keep showing that respect the rest of the season, too.
School officials said Bennett will be back in his customary No. 13 jersey Thursday night when the Aggies (3-0) come to the Orange Bowl to meet the unranked Hurricanes (2-1). But Bennett said he plans to ask Aggies coach Dennis Franchione on Tuesday if he can stay in No. 85 for the remainder of the year.
``I'm not sure what will happen yet,'' Bennett said Monday. ``A lot of my teammates want me to continue to wear it.''
Everett has made great progress since his injury. Doctors originally feared he would never walk again, but he since wiggled his toes, bended his hip, moved his ankles, elevated his legs, moved his arms and had slight movement in both hands.
Bennett, obviously, is thrilled by those developments.
``It's very uplifting,'' Bennett said. ``It gives people hope and faith to keep believing that anything is possible. It gives people more hope to do things they haven't done before. And the better he gets, the more hope we get.''
M - also has 34 knockdown blocks so far and is a matchup nightmare for most teams.
``Blocking is part of the game, is what (Everett) always told me,'' Bennett said. ``He took a lot of pride in his blocking and catching.''
M is averaging nearly 445 yards per game and is unbeaten through three games for the second consecutive season.
``He's an excellent football player, a heck of a player,'' Miami defensive coordinator Tim Walton said. ``He's a good blocker, a good receiver and we have to play a good game against him. We have to make sure we're aware of where he's at at all times.''
It's not like Bennett won't be too hard to find, no matter if he's wearing 13 or 85.
``What he did shows a huge amount of respect for our program,'' said Miami offensive lineman Reggie Youngblood, another Texan who roomed with Bennett during a trip they took to a high school all-star game.
Added Hurricanes kicker Francesco Zampogna: ``To change numbers, that's very impressive.''