Tuesday, December 31, 2024

Legends of the Sun Bowl

Cornelius Bennett 2007

Cornelius Bennett

Sun Bowl Most Valuable Player
1983 & 1986

Bennett, a three-time All-American at Alabama, played in the 1983 Sun Bowl against SMU and the 1986 Sun Bowl against Washington. Against SMU, Bennett had a seven-tackle performance, as the Crimson Tide upset No. 6 SMU, 28-7. In 1986, Bennett led the Crimson Tide to a second upset, as No. 12 Alabama knocked off No. 13 Washington, 28-6. He had 11 tackles and one sack against the Huskies and was named the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player. At the time, Bennett was just the third player in the game’s history to win the game’s top honor. A native of Birmingham, Ala., Bennett was the 1986 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, as well as the 1986 Lombardi Trophy winner. He also finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season. Bennett had a storied career at Alabama, which included defensive MVP at the 1985 Aloha Bowl and three-time All-SEC honors. He recorded 287 career tackles, 37 career tackles for a loss and 20 career sacks. He was named to the Tide’s Team of the Century and was also named the Player of the Decade for the 1980s. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Bennett played 14 seasons in the NFL (1987-2000) and started in five Super Bowls, including four consecutive appearances with the Buffalo Bills (1990-1993). Bennett had an outstanding NFL career, which included five Pro Bowl appearances (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) and two AFC Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1988 and 1991.

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