Former Longhorns, NFL RB Benson dies at 36
AUSTIN, Texas -- Former NFL and Texas Longhorns running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA history, has died in a motorcycle crash in Texas. He was 36.
Benson's attorney, Sam Bassett, said Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in the wreck Saturday night. Bassett said he did not have details about what happened.
"Cedric was not just a client, he was my friend," Bassett said. "He was immensely talented and fierce on the football field, yet most have no idea the difficulties he overcame to achieve what he did. Though imperfect in some respects, once Cedric was your friend you understood how kind, sensitive and loyal he was as a man."
Benson was one of the top high school recruits out of the West Texas town of Midland. According to Texas Football magazine, he is eighth on the career rushing list for Texas high schools. He led Midland Lee to three straight state championships, the only three in school history, from 1998 to 2000.
He then went on to be a key player in the Longhorns' resurgence under coach Mack Brown. Benson played at Texas from 2001 to '04, and his 5,540 yards ranks second at the university behind Ricky Williams' total and ninth in NCAA history. He scored 64 career touchdowns with the Longhorns and won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back, in 2004.
He was the only player in school history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four seasons and was inducted into the school's Hall of Honor in 2014.
Brown and Williams took to social media to pay tribute to Benson after learning of his death.
Tom Herman, the current coach at Texas, also expressed his condolences.
"It's an unbelievably sad day with the news of the passing of Cedric Benson," Herman said in a statement. "We lost a true Longhorn Legend, one of the best running backs in college football history and a really special man. He was far too young, and my heart aches for his family, friends and the entire Longhorn community. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all."