Bennett, the son of Sarah D. Bennett and Earl Frison and second cousin of Cornelius Bennett, grew up in Birmingham and starred at West End High School as a reciever, running back and cornerback for Lions coach Jimmy Tyus. He had a 3.8 GPA and was a Rivals.com and Scout.com All-American recruit. He showed interest in playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, but signed instead with the Vaderbilt Commodores. He was named to the Southeastern Conference's All-Conference Team in each of his three years and finished as the conference's all-time leader in receptions with 236.
The Bears selected him with the 70th overall pick in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL draft and signed a four-year contract. In his rookie year he was primarily a bench player and caught no passes in limited time on the field. In 2009 he was reunited with former Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler. He earned a starting spot opposite Devin Hester during mini-camp and also returned punts. He was the only receiver to catch at least one pass in each game that season. He finished with 717 yards on 54 catches and another 143 yards on 14 returns. He scored three touchdowns and caught a two-point conversion.
Thirteen games into the 2010 season, Bennett had 39 receptions for 457 yards and three touchdowns.
- Ingram, Ron (August 25, 2004) "Familiar name goes with city team's top recruit: West End's Bennett has knack for making big plays." Birmingham News
- "Earl Bennett" (December 5, 2010) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - accessed December 5, 2010
- Earl Bennett at chicagobears.com