WOODSTOCK, Ill. (BVM) – If Christian Bentancur’s latest game is any indication of how his senior season is going, things seem to be moving in the right direction for the Class of 2024’s star tight end.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Marian Central senior has been a matchup nightmare throughout his time at the high school level, recently totaling 147 receiving yards and five touchdowns (just one shy of a state record) in his team’s third win of the season.
Bentancur, who has upped his total to 15 touchdowns on the year, has been anything but a mystery for opposing defenses. After breaking onto the scene as a freshman, Bentancur has quickly become the Hurricanes’ go-to threat on offense, mixing in his time on the basketball court to become one of the country’s top pass-catching tight ends.
Top247 TE Christian Bentancur has his team’s lone touchdown.
— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) October 8, 2022
“Freshman year, no one really knew much about me,” Bentancur said of his arrival. “We only had five games [with COVID], but the first game I started, I had like two touchdowns, and 200 yards. I pretty much stayed in the rest of the year and did pretty good… Ever since then, I’ve just been balling on varsity. So, it’s been great. It’s been a great ride.”
The “ride” has created quite the resume for the Marian Central product who entered the 2023 campaign with 139 career receptions for 2,705 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Becoming a focal point of the team’s offense hasn’t just come out of nowhere for Bentancur who has been hard at work to make this happen since he was in middle school. The star tight end recalls getting in early morning workouts with his dad starting back in the sixth grade when the Illinois native would get a jumpstart on those his age. Even at that point, Bentancur was always into it, knowing that it would eventually lead to where he’s at now.
“The dream is to play in the NFL but when I was just a kid, I was just dreaming to get one offer,” Bentancur said. “Now that I’m committed to Clemson, it’s just like God has a plan for me. But I’m just going to work as hard as I can to just, you know, not have any regrets.”
— Christian Bentancur (@cbentancur18) January 13, 2023
Getting the chance to play at Clemson could be just the start for the star tight end who announced his commitment to the program back in January. Ranked as the No. 8 tight end and the No. 83 player in the nation for the Class of 2024, according to 247Sports, Bentancur had plenty of interest during his recruiting process. With offers starting to pile up early on, the senior knew the Tigers’ program was the right choice for him after taking a trip down to Death Valley.
“I really didn’t know much about Clemson,” Bentancur said of the early interest. “I just knew I liked Dabo [Swinney] and I saw them on TV. I went to camp over there and they were really impressed and [I ended up] getting an offer… When I got the chance to visit a game in the winter and I was just like, well, that’s where I want to go.”
Deciding between a final three that consisted of Ohio State and Oregon, Bentancur’s commitment to Clemson only added to firepower the Tigers’ offense had added in the class, joining two other top-100 wide receivers that the program had landed.
“The love they showed, all the staff, and just kind of the vibe I got from there with the family atmosphere,” Bentancur said of what stood out. “Then just all the opportunities and how much they care about not only football, but after football and you as a person. They’re gonna keep you in check with school. They checked all my boxes and really that was the main factor.”
With his final high school season underway, Bentancur is ready to parlay his senior year into a strong start at Clemson. With the Hurricanes already off to their best start since 2019, the senior tight end has already helped the program turn things around after back-to-back three-win seasons.
“We started off slow going 0-2, but we got some momentum,” Bentancur said. “We’re really starting to figure it out. But getting a winning record, just get the confidence up. It’ll be really big.”
So far, Marian Central has topped its win totals from the previous two seasons just five games into the campaign. After having plenty of individual success during the past few years, Bentancur will get a final chance to lead the Hurricanes into this year’s playoffs.