He's not No. 1 in his weight class.
At least not yet.
In the meantime, Bentley continues to prove he's one of the best. Having already won individual titles at the Cornell Invitational and the VerticalNet Open this season, Bentley finished third in the Las Vegas Invitational in the
149-pound weight class. Seeded fifth, the two wrestlers who finished higher were two of the top wrestlers in the country.
The early success of Bentley, a redshirt junior who is 14-1 this season, is due mostly to his desire to be at the top of his game.
"It's hard for me to understand what working hard is," Bentley said. "I always ask myself if I'm doing more than everyone else is in my weight class in the nation today, and that's what motivates me to work harder."
It's his strong determination on the mat that, at times, worries UNC coach Bill Lam. While Lam is impressed by his effort, he hopes Bentley can recognize when to settle down.
"He has matured tremendously and has one of the best work ethics on the team," Lam said. "But he goes at it so hard that we sometimes have to pull him off the mat. We just hope to keep him healthy because he's been injured in the past."
As his maturity level has increased, so has Bentley's understanding of Lam's intentions.