Scott Bentley was considered one of the top kickers in the nation in 1993. And Florida State was in search of a kicker.
After Wide Right and Wide Right II, FSU coaches felt that Bentley was their man. So did a bunch of college coaches.
“The whole recruiting process was a learning experience and it opened my eyes to how much attention I was getting,” Bentley said. “The first day coaches could call me, I had my wisdom teeth out the day before. So I couldn’t really talk, but I think I had 40-50 coaches call me that first day.”
Bentley picked FSU. Before he even played a college game, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline: Boom! And then continued with “Freshman kicker Scott Bentley gives No. 1 Florida State the winning edge.”
No pressure, kid.
Bentley made 13 of 20 field-goal attempts that season, a respectable percentage for a true freshman. And he delivered in the clutch, nailing 4 of 4 field goals in an 18-16 Orange Bowl win over Nebraska that sealed the 1993 national championship (relive it here).
“I kind of went with my heart,” Bentley said. “I felt like the need at Florida State was of importance. I wanted to play my freshman year, wanted to be on the best team in the land and certainly was able to do that.”
In the final installment in our series with key members of the '93 national championship team, here's our interview with Scott.
You grew up in Colorado. What prompted you to choose FSU?
Bentley: They put a high emphasis on getting a kicker. (Offensive coordinator) Brad Scott was probably the deciding factor. I really felt comfortable with him. And obviously Bobby Bowden. But Brad Scott really invested a lot of time. He was very genuine. He sold me and my family on Florida State and what they could offer me in the future.
How much pressure was there on you as a true freshman? It wasn’t like you could redshirt a season.