Transfer quarterback adds ‘great depth’ to Sac State football

Folsom graduate Kaiden Bennett returns home to Sacramento after stints in Boise, Reno


Patrick Posuniak

Sacramento State quarterback Kaiden Bennett winds up for a pass during drills at the practice field behind Hornet Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 24th, 2020. Bennett, who played at Folsom High School, transferred to Sac State to play for the Hornets.

Allisyn Mayhew

What sets freshman quarterback Kaiden Bennett apart from the rest is that he’s got the eye of a tiger and the ability to lead a team through big plays, Sacramento State coaches say.

Bennett recently transferred to Sac State and has four years of eligibility remaining. 

Bennett is originally from Sparks, Nevada and moved to Folsom to play football, where he was a two year-starter and led the Folsom High School Bulldogs to back-to-back CIF Division I state championships before graduating in December 2018. 

Within those two years, Bennett had more than 8,500 passing yards, 2,000 rushing yards and 121 touchdowns. 

By the end of his high school career, Bennett was a three-star prospect, one of the top recruits in California, nationally ranked 25th at his position and named Offensive Most Valuable Player by the Sierra Football League. 

Bennett committed to Boise State in spring 2019, then shortly after transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno where he was a redshirt for the 2019 season. 

“My motivating factor to transfer from Boise was just that I wasn’t really happy being there and I didn’t feel I was getting my chance or opportunity to be the best football player I could be,” Bennett said. 

After one season at Nevada, Bennett made the switch and is now playing under two of his former high school coaches, assistant head coach Kris Richardson and quarterbacks coach Bobby Fresques.

“It wasn’t like I wanted to be back here with them because I have been with them already,” Bennett said. “It was more just because I know how good of coaches they are and the kind of people that they are.” 

Richardson said Bennett already had some amazing relationships formed with the coaches and players from Folsom, but has overall adjusted well to Sac State. 

“Kaiden is a great teammate and an incredible competitor,” Richardson said. “Kaiden has always had a knack for making big plays and can make things happen with either his arm passing the ball or make the big play running the ball with his dynamic athletic ability.” 

Richardson said he has seen great improvement in Bennett’s arm strength, speed and explosiveness since their days together at Folsom. 

Bennett said one thing that stands out to him is that every time he steps on the field, he feels like he is surrounded by a team that is constantly working toward their goals. Eight of those teammates played at Folsom High. 

Story continues below photo. 

Sacramento State quarterback Kaiden Bennett checks that his team is in place before running drills at the practice field behind Hornet Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 24th, 2020. Bennett transferred to Sacramento State this year in his second transfer. (Patrick Posuniak)

Sophomore wide receiver Parker Clayton said Bennett is already fitting in perfectly with the team.

“On the field he’s a guy with a ton of energy and is an incredible guy to play with,” Clayton said. “He’s an amazing athlete and has always had the arm, but he’s got a playmaking ability that really sets him apart.” 

Clayton said he is excited to have him on the team and thinks he is going to do great things at Sac State. 

Aside from having supportive teammates, Bennett said his family motivates him to keep playing football.  

“My biggest support system is my family,” Bennett said. “I just want to make them proud and they know this makes me happy.” 

Quarterbacks coach Bobby Fresques said athletic ability is what sets Bennett apart from other players and that he adds great depth to a talented group of quarterbacks.

“I loved coaching KB in high school,” Fresques said. “We literally had lunch together everyday to watch film and go over game plan stuff.” 

Fresques said although Bennett can throw with the best players out there, his knowledge of the system and his ability to make plays with his legs are his strong suits. 

Bennett’s week is scheduled so he gets as many hours of football as possible, but with the season postponed he said he wants to focus more on his academics and plans on majoring in communications with a minor in business. 

“My biggest thing right now is to get myself to focus on school,” Bennett said. “I know I can put in more so this semester I really want to take care of my responsibilities.” 

Bennett said he plans on taking advantage of every opportunity to become a better teammate, player and student.