Dunnavant began working in press boxes almost before he had a chance to help his school paper, becoming a regular media member at SEC football games as a freshman in high school.
Eventually, Dunnavant went to Alabama on a full athletic scholarship and became the sports editor of The Crimson White, the school newspaper.
Shortly after college, Dunnavant decided to test himself in the sports department of the Los Angeles Times and became a national college football writer for The National.
Both have traveled across the country for their careers, but their journey started in high school. The important thing, Dunnavant said, is pairing work ethic with goal setting.
“Understand the link between hard work and achievement,” Dunnavant said. “If you work hard and you dream big, you set high goals, you may not reach the stars, but you’re going to get somewhere good. I think if we can teach the next generation about the critical link between setting high goals and working hard and achievement, then that’s very, very important.”
The journalism industry has changed since Bennett earned his scholarship in 1979 and Dunnavant picked his up in 1984.
Still, there are other ways to find success, and Bennett will be the first to say it.
“If you’re really interested in journalism and you want a career in it, our business is going to evolve, and we’re going to figure out ways in order to make it successful and financially viable in the future,” Bennett said. “Get all the training you can, take every opportunity you can to learn how to write. Listen to folks who have been in the business, and take tips from them.”