Longhorn legend Cedric Benson dead at 36

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former University of Texas running back Cedric Benson was killed Saturday night, August 18, in a motorcycle crash in west Austin on Mount Bonnell Road.

Benson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his four years at Texas from 2001-2004.  In his 2004 season, Benson ran for 1,834 yards and 19 touchdowns and won the Doak Walker award for the nation’s best running back and was a first-team All-American.   

AUSTIN,TX – NOVEMBER 6: Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Texas Longhorns runs upfield against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the game on November 06, 2004 at DKR Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas defeated Oklahoma State 56-35. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In all, Benson ran for 5,540 yards and 64 rushing touchdowns, second behind Ricky Williams at Texas and currently ranks 9th all-time in NCAA rushing yards. Benson was inducted into the UT Hall of Honor in 2014.

AUSTIN, TX Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates after scoring a touchdown. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Benson was a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2005.  He played eight seasons in the NFL with the Bears, Bengals, and Packers.  He rushed for more than 1,000 yards three times, ending his career with 6,017 yards. Benson was inducted into the UT Hall of Honor in 2014.

Benson was also an outstanding baseball player at Midland Lee High School.  He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th round following his senior year.  Benson played in Summer League with the Dodgers in Vero Beach and in their Gulf Coast League team.

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 06: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals stretches before the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Outside of his football career, Benson created the Texas non-profit organization NUFCED, aimed at helping underprivileged families and improving educational development through community and school programs. In 2018 NUFCED worked to help repair a family’s home damaged by the Austin serial bomber.

There was an outpouring of support for Benson and his family on social media Sunday morning.

Benson’s Former teammate Chad Johnson also shared his sorrow at the news.

Benson’s longtime defense lawyer Samuel Bassett sent a statement to KXAN regarding his death. “Cedric was not just a client, he was my friend. He was immensely talented and fierce on the football field yet most have no idea the difficulties he overcame to achieve what he did,” said Bassett. “Though imperfect in some respects, once Cedric was your friend you understood how kind, sensitive and loyal he was as a man. He was like a younger brother or nephew to me. I will miss him very much.”

Benson was 36-years-old. Austin police are still investigating the crash that took his life.

AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns watches the game against the Rice University Owls on September 25, 2004 at Royal-Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 35-13. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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