AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas football community is remembering the life of Longhorn legend Cedric Benson after he was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday night in west Austin.
Benson will be known as one of the best running backs to come out of the state of Texas.
Benson was a superstar at Midland Lee High School where he led his team to three state titles behind over 8,000 rushing yards.
He was the state’s top offensive prospect when he committed to the Longhorns’ 2001 recruiting class.
Former head coach Mack Brown recruited Benson from Midland Lee and coached him all four seasons at Texas (2001-2004). Benson followed in Ricky Williams’ footsteps becoming a dominant running back during his four college seasons.
He currently ranks ninth on college football’s all-time rushing list and won the Doak Walker award in 2004.
Brown called Benson “one of his favorites” during his North Carolina football press conference Sunday morning.
Brown released this statement to UT on Benson’s death:
“Sally and I are just grief stricken with Cedric’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 always enjoyed talking with him because he was such a bright and unique guy. There will never be another one like him, and he will be dearly missed by so many. It’s just heartbreaking, but we feel very fortunate to have had him in our lives.”
Longhorns linebacker Derrick Johnson joined Benson in Texas’ 2001 recruiting class, creating an offensive and defensive duo that was unmatched across the country.
Johnson called Benson a “workhorse” on the field and “one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around.”
Here’s Johnson’s statement on his good friend:
“Being two of the biggest names in our recruiting class in 2001, Cedric and I roomed together our freshman year. We became really great friends. For that freshman class, he was head of the offense and I was head of the defense. That was our mindset always. We really had a special bond that started as soon as we roomed together and carried on long after college. His favorite thing to call me was ‘cuddy’. I loved it because it reminded me of my hometown. He will always be remembered as a Texas legend and best of all a really good friend that I can tell my kids about. It’s a very sad day, but I’m so lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship and so many great memories.”
Benson finished his UT career with 5,540 rushing yards and certainly left a legacy with Longhorn nation.
Texas coach Tom Herman released this statement on Benson’s passing:
“It’s an unbelievably sad day with the news of the passing of Cedric Benson. 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.”
In the NFL, Benson started his career with the Chicago Bears, but flourished in three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Benson helped the Bengals to a division title in his second season with the team.
His former Bears and Bengals teammates expressed their sympathies on Twitter.