Remembering Cedric Benson

Remembering Cedric Benson
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 1: Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Texas Longhorns looks for room to run against the Michigan Wolverines in the 91st Rose Bowl Game at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2005 in Pasadena, California. Texas defeated Michigan 38-37. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Former Texas running back Cedric Benson, age 36, was killed Saturday evening in a motorcycle accident in Austin. Also killed was his female passenger, a recent doctoral graduate from UT.  The Longhorn and NFL community is remembering Cedric Benson

High School Career

Benson first turned heads at Midland Lee High School where he had 8,423 rushing yards, the most in Texas 5A history (the largest classification at the time). He led his team to three straight state championship victories, rushing for 15 total touchdowns in those three title games. He was also the first high school player to appear on the cover of the annual Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. 

College Career

Benson was a five-star 2001 recruit to The University of Texas and got to work right away, earning Big XII Freshman Offensive Player of the Year. He holds the freshman rushing record at 1,053 yards and the freshman touchdown record at 12. He ranks second at Texas for all-time rushing yards (5,540), only behind Heisman winner Ricky Williams. Benson won the Doak Walker Award (top running back in the nation) as a senior after rushing for 1,834 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was a 2004 All-American and led the Longhorns to a 2005 Rose Bowl victory. 

NFL and Beyond

Benson was the fourth overall draft pick in 2005 to the Chicago Bears. He played for eight years in the NFL (also with the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers) with a career 6,017 rushing yards. He was inducted into the Longhorn Football Hall of Honor in 2014. Following his NFL retirement, Benson founded the NUFCED charity foundation that provided community programs and educational support to underprivileged children and their families. His charity along with Benson personally helped rebuild the home of the first Austin bomber victim last year.  

Former Longhorn head coach Mack Brown said of Benson’s passing, “He was as good as you’ll ever see as a football player and as tough as they come. But what I’ll remember most is what a special, special person he was. We’ve coached a lot of tough players but none were tougher than Cedric. He was a true spirit.” 

Legends never die. Rest easy and Hook Em, CB! 

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