Georgia national championship hero Stetson Bennett arrested in Texas

AP photo by Ashley Landis / Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett kisses the trophy after the Bulldogs beat TCU 65-7 to win the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 9 in Inglewood, Calif.

Stetson Bennett, the quarterback who recently led the Georgia Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships, was arrested early Sunday in Dallas after police said he was intoxicated and banging on doors.

Bennett, 25, was charged with public intoxication and taken to the city detention center, Dallas police said.

Officers responded at 6:10 a.m. to reports of a man banging on doors, said police, who gave the location as the 1600 block of Tribeca Way, a location that is a community of townhomes near downtown Dallas.

Video from WFAA-TV showed Bennett leaving the detention center just before 11 a.m. Sunday, but he did not say anything as he got into a vehicle. Georgia's athletic department did not immediately offer comment Sunday, and an email sent to Bennett's agent was not immediately returned.

Bennett previously told reporters he would be training for his potential professional football career in Fort Worth, which is about 30 miles west of Dallas. Despite his college success, which included finishing fourth in 2022 Heisman Trophy voting — and winning the Manning Award as the nation's top quarterback with postseason play factored in — the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Bennett is considered by analysts to be only a possible late-round pick in April's NFL draft.

On Jan. 9, Bennett threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores in the first half as No. 1 Georgia demolished No. 3 TCU 65-7 to win the College Football Playoff championship game in Inglewood, California.

Bennett walked on at Georgia nearly six years ago at the beginning of its growth into college football's most dominant program, transferring out for a year in the junior college ranks before returning to the Bulldogs, and the Peach State native became a hero for his rise with the team.

He became Georgia's full-time starter in 2021, when the Bulldogs went 12-0 during the regular season before losing to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game. They still made the four-team field for the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed, though, and rebounded from that lopsided defeat to beat Michigan soundly in the Orange Bowl semifinal and avenge the loss to Alabama with a 33-18 win in the CFP title game for the program's first national championship since the 1980 season.

This past season, the Bulldogs went 15-0, with Bennett taking on a bigger role after Georgia lost several big names from its standout defense the year before. They won the SEC title this time, and after getting past No. 4 Ohio State in a 42-41 victory at the Peach Bowl semifinal in the CFP, they rolled past TCU.

Bennett earned either offensive or overall MVP recognition in all four CFP games in which he played, but his arrest Sunday added to a troubled stretch for the Bulldogs since their title win.

Georgia held a championship parade and a celebration in Sanford Stadium on Jan. 14, but in the early morning hours the following day in Athens, a car crash killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy, who was driving the vehicle. Offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had announced plans to enter the NFL draft pool, and staff member Victoria Bowles were also injured in the crash, with a police report listing excessive speed as a primary cause of the wreck.

This past week, Georgia athletic department officials said the vehicle was authorized only for recruiting activities and not personal use. Athletic director Josh Brooks said in a release that "the continued use of the leased car by our staff members after their recruiting duties ended earlier that evening was unauthorized."

In addition, wide receiver Rodarius "Rara" Thomas, who recently transferred from Mississippi State to Georgia, was arrested last Monday on a felony charge of false imprisonment and a misdemeanor charge of family violence battery, according to Clarke County jail records.

Although the Bulldogs' victory against TCU was soon followed with them being labeled as favorites for the 2023 season's national championship, Georgia coach Kirby Smart admitted that complacency would be something his program would have to avoid in the bid for a third title in a row.