NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tight ends are normally not utilized in spread offenses. It is even more uncommon that a tight end in that style of offense would lead a team in receptions.
But through the first three weeks of the 2020 season, Ben Bresnahan has 11 catches – leading the Vanderbilt Commodores in that category.
As a reliable resource for freshman quarterback Ken Seals, Bresnahan caught a career-high five passes Saturday against South Carolina. The week before, he caught his first touchdown pass against LSU.
While those who watch may rave about his ability to catch passes in traffic without hesitation, Bresnahan has been a force in the running game as well. His run blocking has led the way for 334 yards among the running back trio of Ja’Veon Marlow, Jamauri Wakefield and Keyon Henry-Brooks.
Bresnahan, a junior from Cumming, Georgia, has stepped up this season at the position that was previously filled by four-year Commodore standout Jared Pinkney, who is currently with the Atlanta Falcons.
Bresnahan recently took some time to talk about stepping into the spotlight, his time at Vanderbilt and what he likes to do off the field:
VUCommodores.com: As someone who enrolled at Vanderbilt only three years ago, what is the biggest lesson you have learned about playing college football in the SEC?
Bresnahan: “The biggest lesson I have learned from playing college football in the SEC is that you have to fall in love with the process. A lot of guys only enjoy the games, which are a very small percentage of the year. I think it has been big for me to fall in love with getting better in the weight room and on the practice field throughout the year.”
Since Pinkney is gone, you have stepped up into a more prominent role. How did you prepare for that transition in the offseason?
“Jared brought a lot of talent to the tight end room. I was able to see what he did that I could incorporate into my game. I also saw specific areas such as blocking and route running skills that I could improve on. I worked on as much as I could during the offseason to be as well rounded of a player as I could be for this season.”
What did it feel like to get your first college touchdown against LSU?
“Scoring my first touchdown against LSU was something that I will always remember. It gave me chills because that was a moment I have visualized so many times before. Seeing it turn to reality is amazing.”
What is the cause that you are supporting on the back of your helmet and why is it important to you?
“I am supporting the Black Lives Matter cause because I feel like I have learned so much about my teammates’ upbringing over the last few months. I noticed that I had not realized some of the things that still happen in our society today.
“I want to show that I support all of my teammates and want to make a statement about how we, as a society, have a lot of work to do to become unified. That starts with creating equality and addressing the preexisting problems that are still in our society today.”
What are some of your favorite attributes about Vanderbilt?
“My favorite attributes about Vanderbilt deal with playing SEC football, going to a top academic institution, living in one of the best cities in America and creating lifelong relationships with great people.”
Vanderbilt fans get to see so much of you on the field, but what are some of your hobbies off the field?
“My main off the field hobby is golf. Since football season is basically year-round now, being able to get away for a couple hours to golf and hang with my teammates is always a great time.”
What are your goals for after college?
“My immediate goal after college is to play in the NFL. After my playing days are over, I want to pursue a career in the medical field. I chose Vanderbilt because it is the best opportunity for me to reach all of my goals.”
— Scott Meyer is a fifth-year senior for the Vanderbilt football program.