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Football: Two-minute drill with UL’s Dwight Bentley

Joshua Parrott • jparrott@theadvertiser.com • September 15, 2008

After strong play in the spring and preseason, Dwight Bentley earned a starting spot at cornerback for UL’s football team going into the 2008 season.

Bentley enrolled at UL in the spring after redshirting last fall as a freshman at Dodge City Community College in southwestern Kansas.

After making four tackles in a 51-21 loss at Southern Miss last week, Bentley recently spoke with The Daily Advertiser about his journey from Florida to Lafayette.

Question: What are some of the positives you bring to UL’s defense?

Answer: I feel like I’m going to bring intensity to the secondary. There are so many people doubting us. I just want to show them how hard we worked this summer.

Q: As a senior at Pahokee High in Florida you made six interceptions and earned first team all-state honors. You also helped the program win three Class 2B state titles. How did you end up at junior college ball in Kansas?

A: I was going to go Florida Atlantic or Western Michigan, but I qualified late (academically). My coach told me there was a junior college that wanted me. A couple of players from my (high school) were already up there. That kept me from being homesick.

Q: Going from sunny Florida to the plains of Kansas had to be quite an ordeal for you. How did you deal with the drastic change of scenery?

A: A couple of Pahokee guys were already up there, so I was able to adapt pretty quick. When I first got there I didn’t like it and wanted to come home. But it got better when I started practicing.

Q: Since you redshirted while at DCCC, you actually have four seasons of eligibility remaining for the Cajuns. Were you expecting to play last season?

A: I actually got redshirted the night before the first game. I was upset and cried. I felt like I should have played. In camp I was the only freshman on the first team. I just lost my head. It was tough for me.

Q: After one semester at DCCC, you transferred to UL in January and participated in spring practice. How did you end up coming to UL?

A: Troy, Central Michigan, Akron, New Mexico and UL were all recruiting me. (Running backs) coach (Brian) Jenkins came by when I qualified late and said he was coming to get me out of Kansas. He was a man of his word. Coach Jenkins stuck with me. I told him I’m a man of my word, and I’m coming to UL.

Q: What were some of the benefits you received by enrolling at UL in the spring?

A: It helped me learn the speed of the game and how get ready and prepare. I’m ready for the first game to see how different it is (from high school).

Q: What’s something people don’t know about you?

A: One thing people don’t know about me is that I’m Jamaican. Some people are surprised by that.

Q: I see you’re wearing dreadlocks. Why do you do that?

A: It’s a Florida thing, a tradition. I saw some people in my town do it, so I wanted dreads, too. I also got tired of getting haircuts.

Q: What’s your strongest skill as a cornerback?

A: My speed helps me a lot. I just feel that nobody can beat me deep. I can play around with you at the line and have faith in my speed to go get the ball when it’s in the air.

Q: How would you describe your transition from Kansas to Louisiana?

A: It hasn’t been too hard because it’s better than Kansas. I’m not trying to talk bad about Kansas. (UL) is a bigger school and more people to hang out with.