Vandy recruit Bennett killed in apparent murder-suicide

Vanderbilt recruit Rajaan Bennett, one of the Commodores’ top-rated prospects from their 2010 class, was killed early Thursday morning at his Georgia home in an apparent murder-suicide.

The senior running back, who was captain of McEachern High School’s football team, was identified by police as one of two deceased, along with suspected shooter Clifton O’Neal Steger, a former boyfriend of Bennett’s mother. A third person, Taiwan Hunter — the brother of Bennett’s mother — was wounded in the shooting.

According to Powder Springs Police spokesman Matt Boyd, the 39-year-old Steger died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Bennett, a 5-11, 210-pound running back, rushed for 1,857 yards on 236 carries and 28 touchdowns while leading his team to an unbeaten regular season in 2009. He was recruited by several SEC schools, including Kentucky and Tennessee, before choosing the Commodores.

McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman learned of his player's death around 5 a.m. Thursday and said Bennett was “just one of the best ever.”

“All of us at Vanderbilt are devastated by news of Rajaan’s death,” head coach Bobby Johnson told the Tennessean. "This is just so tragic to everybody that knew and loved Rajaan."

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