|Height: 5-11 | Weight: 222 | College: Texas|
Positives Has a well developed frame with good muscle tone, big bubble, thick thighs, defined arms and broad shoulders. Has above average balance and runs with good body lean, as he always falls forward. Patient runner who has a natural feel for blocking angles and runs with a low pad level. Shows very good instincts in the open field, making quick and crisp cuts. Has the vision and body control to see the cut-back lanes. Demonstrates excellent quickness, burst and acceleration through the holes. Possesses reliable hands and good run-after-catch ability. Very good receiver who is more effective on screens that deep routes. Has the short area speed to get to the corner, but is more comfortable running between tackles to compensate for a lack of hip wiggle and sudden explosion to gain big yardage on the perimeter. Has the balance to plant and redirect, getting good leverage when he stays low in his pads, keeps his shoulders squared and generates his strong leg drive to push the pile. Likes his role as a playmaker and wants the ball with the game on the line. Sets up his blocks well and has a natural feel for the rush lanes. Stout runner through traffic, showing nimble feet to avoid leg tackles.
Negatives Has very good acceleration off the snap, but labors to maintain that top speed when he gets into the open. Runs decent routes, but because he lacks that second gear and burst upfield, is usually only used on flares, outs and check downs. Willing blocker, but lacks the technique and playing strength to face up and sustain vs. the larger blockers. When he runs tall (mostly on outside runs), he leaves himself exposed and is not the best at securing the ball, as fumble problems plagued him during his career. More of a one-cut type of runner with good straight-line speed, but is not a big juke type. His adequate ball carrage needs improvement, as he carries the ball too low. Plays stiff and lacks technique when asked to block vs. the blitz. Has had several off-field issues that need further review (seems to also pattern Ricky Williams off the field). Needs to shift his hips better when trying to get to the corner. Powerful looking back, but his weight room strength is only adequate and Benson needs to add more power to his game in order to compensate for a lack of blazing speed.
Consensus first-team All-Big Twelve Conference choice Earned a spot on UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll in the fall of 2003 Shared UT's Darrell Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player Award and was named UT's Outstanding Offensive Back Played in every game, starting eleven contests Carried 258 times for 1,360 yards (5.3 avg) and 21 touchdowns His 1,360 yards rank fifth on the school's season-record list Only Ricky Williams (25 in 1997, 27 in 1998) scored more touchdowns on the ground in a season for the Longhorns Had at least one touchdown run in ten of twelve games 756 of his 1,360 yards (55.6%) came after initial contact Also had nine receptions for 120 yards (13.3 avg) and a score Second in the nation in scoring with an average of 11.17 points per game on 134 points (third on UT's single-season list) Ran for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns on 168 attempts over the last six games and rushed for a touchdown in each of the last seven contests.
2003 GAME Analysis
Rice Rushed for 130 yards on 18 carries and touchdowns of 2 & 17 yards, adding another score on a 59-yard reception.
Tulane Ran the ball 18 times for 86 yards and scored three touchdowns (1, 5, 1).
Iowa State Began a streak of five consecutive 100-yard games with 140 yards on 32 runs and touchdowns of 6, 1 & 8 yards.
Nebraska Registered 174 yards on 28 carries with three touchdowns to earn both Big Twelve Offensive Player of the Week and UT's Darrell K Royal Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Oklahoma State Followed with 180 yards on 27 attempts with a 1-yard score that capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter.
Texas Tech Carried the ball 24 times for 142 yards and touchdowns of 5 & 11 yards.
Texas A&M Amassed a career-high 283 yards (fourth on UT's single-game list) on 35 attempts with 2, 4, 8 & 35-yard touchdowns It was the highest single-game rushing total ever allowed by the Aggies The 283 rushing yards were the third-highest single-game total in NCAA Division I-A in 2003 He broke the 1,000-yard mark against Texas A&M for the third consecutive season, becoming only the third Texas running back to accomplish that and the first to do so in his first three seasons.
Washington State (Holiday Bowl) Rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Earned third-team All-Big Twelve Conference honors from the league's coaches Also a second-team All-Big Twelve selection by the Associated Press, Austin American-States-man, Houston Chronicle and Kansas City Star Named UT's Outstanding Offensive Back, as he rushed for 1,293 yards (seventh on UT's single-season chart) on 305 carries and scored twelve times Gained 754 (58.3%) of his yards after initial contact and 63 of his carries went for first downs (20.7%) Also caught 21 passes for 119 yards (5.7 avg) Led the team with 1,412 all-purpose yards (108.6 ypg) Scored at least one touchdown in ten games and in the last six contests overall Ranked sixth in the Big Twelve and 38th nationally in rushing yards per game (99.5 ypg) Tabbed the Big Twelve Offensive Player of the Week following the North Carolina and Iowa State contests.
2002 GAME ANALYSIS
North Carolina Rushed for 208 yards on 31 attempts with 4 & 17-yard touchdowns.
Iowa State Racked up 199 yards on 30 carries and two scores, including a season-long 59-yarder Had eight runs of 10 or more yards against the Cyclones.
Houston Posted 160 yards and a 1-yard score on a season-high 37 carries and caught four passes for 33 yards.
Oklahoma State Totaled 117 yards on 27 attempts.
Nebraska Carried 28 times for 86 yards and a 3-yard touchdown.
Baylor Followed with 64 yards and a 10-yard score on 22 tries.
Texas A&M Ran 17 times for 88 yards and a 30-yard touchdown.
Louisiana State (Cotton Bowl) Rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught two passes for 29 yards, including a season-long 33-yarder.
Played in twelve games and started the final seven regular season contests Did not play in the Holiday Bowl due to a pinched nerve in his neck Named UT's Offensive MVP, Outstanding Offensive Newcomer and Offensive Back Earned first-team Freshman All-American honors from The Sporting News Named the Big Twelve Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches and Fort Worth Star-Telegram Earned second-team All-Big Twelve and Freshman of the Year honors from the Austin American-Statesman and The Dallas Morning News Led the team with 1,256 all-purpose yards, 1,053 rushing yards on 223 carries (4.7 avg) and twelve touchdowns, all of which were UT freshman records Also caught 17 passes for 203 yards (11.9 avg) and a score 541 of his rushing yards (51.4%) came after contact Set or tied 13 UT freshman records (eight season/five single-game) Ranked first among the nation's true freshmen running backs in rushing yards and third among all freshmen backs Rushed for 867 yards on 179 carries (123.9 ypg) and scored 10 total touchdowns (nine rush/one receiving) in the final seven games after becoming the starting tailback at Oklahoma State Had a freshman-record five consecutive 100-yard rushing games from Oct. 13-Nov. 10 First Longhorn since Eric Metcalf (1985) to post a 60-yard rush and reception in the same season.
2001 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Rushed for 79 yards (on 13 carries) and a score in less than two quarters of action in the Big 12 Championship game vs. Colorado, but missed the final two-and-a-half quarters with a pinched nerve in his neck Ran for 79 yards on 27 attempts and scored two twice vs. Texas A&M Set UT's single-game freshman records for rushing yards (213 on 28 carries), all-purpose yards (281) and points scored (18-tied) vs. Kansas, as he had a 61-yard run and two receptions for 68 yards, including a career-best 60-yard score on a shovel pass to become the first UT player since RB Terry Orr in 1984 to record a 60-yard run and catch in the same game, earning Darrell Royal Offensive Player of the Week following that game Posted 108 yards and two scores on 26 carries and had four receptions for 33 yards vs. Baylor Tallied 157 rushing yards on 31 carries vs. Missouri Had 100 yards on 23 carries and scored twice to go along with three receptions for 59 yards in the Longhorns' first matchup with No. 14 Colorado In his first career start, tallied 131 rushing yards on a UT freshman-record 31 carries at Oklahoma State.
2001: Did not play vs. Washington in the Holiday Bowl after suffering a pinched nerve in his neck that forced him to miss close to three quarters of action in the season finale vs. Colorado.
2002: Played most of the season with cracked ribs and a nagging turf toe, but did not sit out any games.
On April 27, 2002, Cedric and a female friend were charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
The drug possession charge against Benson was dropped in May, 2002 for lack of evidence. There was some internal debate with the Evidence Impound (EI) administration about the reason behind the prosecutor's office dropping the charges.
The Big Twelve freshman of the year and a female acquaintance were arrested at a Midland apartment after police responded to a call about loud music. "We couldn't link Cedric to it (the marijuana)," said Midland County Assistant District Attorney Bob Stevens. "There has been no indication he was aware of it and possessed it. We have to have evidence and it's just simply not there."
Benson was originally charged with possession of marijuana under two ounces, a Class B misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia and being a minor in possession of alcohol, both Class C misdemeanors.
On Oct. 22, 2003, Benson was charged with criminal trespassing and with forcing his way into an apartment to look for a television he says was stolen from him, police said. Benson was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted, police spokeswoman Laura Albrecht said. Bond was set at $10,000. Benson turned himself in to the Travis County Jail and was released, said his attorney, Brian Carney.
The player was accused of joining three other males in forcing their way into the apartment Oct. 7. Benson had reported the television was stolen from him in 2002. According to the arrest warrant, a woman who lived at the apartment told police four men knocked on the door. When she didn't answer, the men tried the doorknob before kicking in the door. The woman got the plate number of Benson's SUV and later picked his face out of a photo lineup.
In August, 2004, Benson was sentenced to eight days in jail after pleading no contest to misdemeanor criminal trespassing for forcing his way into the apartment. But due to crowding at the jail and credit for good behavior, he did not spend any time behind bars.
``We don't have beds available,'' said Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade.
The charge was a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Travis County Judge Elizabeth Earle also ordered Benson to pay a $1,000 fine and up to $600 in restitution for the apartment's damaged door and court costs, said Benson's attorney, Brian Carney. Benson, who was allowed to serve his jail time on weekends, was with the Longhorns when the team reported to training camp in early August. Benson's eight-day sentence was cut in half for good behavior, Wade said. Benson was also given credit for being in jail the day he was arrested and an additional day for checking in Friday and being released due to jail crowding.
"He's not being given any preferential treatment,'' Wade said.
Benson finished his jail term before the season opener Sept. 4 against North Texas. He served a one-game suspension after his arrest last season.
"I understand that I made a mistake and I'm taking responsibility for my actions in accepting my punishment,'' Benson said in a statement released by the school.
Carney said Benson accepted the jail time rather than drag out his case -- and potential publicity -- through a long probation period during the coming season. Prosecutors offered Benson a conviction with probation for a year with community service, anger management counseling and similar fines.
"I had some options in how it was handled, but I think what I accepted will have the least effect on my teammates, the coaches and everyone at UT. I didn't want this to drag on through the season,'' Benson said. "Even though it's more difficult on me by taking care of it now, it's in the best interest of my team in the long run.''
Coach Mack Brown said Benson's plea brings "closure to an issue we dealt with last fall with Cedric. I know he's glad to have this behind him so he can move on.''
In conclusion, due to the jail crowding, he was able to avoid jail time by earning four days credit for good behavior, two days time served when he was arrested and two days for checking in Friday and Saturday, sheriff's department spokesman Roger Wade said. Wade said Benson checked in at the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle on Saturday morning and was released a short time later after paying his $1,000 fine. Benson also was ordered to pay restitution of about $500.
In 2001, Benson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and played in their minor league system. The Dodgers, who drafted Benson out of Midland Lee in the 12th round as an outfielder in 2001, were paying for his education. Benson earned more than $100,000 playing baseball, but didn't play for the rookie league club last summer. He acknowledged then that the Dodgers weren't happy with him.
Social Work major. Active in UT's community service program. Member of UT's Athletics Director's Academic Honor Roll in fall 2003. Named to the Big Twelve Commissioner's Honor Roll in fall 2003. Served as a mentor at local elementary and middle schools. Has worked as a lifeguard during the summer. .Born Cedric Myron Benson on 12/28/82 in Midland, Texas.
CAMPUS: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash Bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times 500-pound squat 300-pound power clean 34.5-inch vertical jump Right-handed. COMBINE: Player declined to participate in agility tests at the Combines 32-inch arm length 9 1/8-inch hands 19 Wonderlic score.
Attended Lee (Midland, Tex.) High School, playing football for coach John Parchman. Parade All-American, three-time Texas 5A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State halfback. Named USA Today's Texas Player of the Year and was a finalist (South-west Region winner) for the High School Heisman in 2000. Rushed for 8,423 career yards (fourth-most in Texas history/first in Class 5A history), scored 127 touchdowns (second-most in Texas history/third-most nationally) and averaged 183.1 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game during his career. Rushed for 100 or more yards in 33 of his final 34 games and scored in 36 of his final 37 outings. Posted five career 300-yard rushing games and led the team to a 43-3 record and three consecutive Texas 5A Division I State Championships (just the fourth team in Texas history to win three consecutive titles in Class 5A). As a senior, he rushed for 2,871 yards and 43 touchdowns and caught nine passes for 233 yards and three scores as a senior. Added 680 yards on 90 carries (7.6 avg) and scored a state-record 15 touchdowns in the three state title game victories. As a junior, Cedric ran for 3,526 yards and 44 touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 360 yards and seven scores in leading Lee to a 15-0 record and the USA Today High School National Championship as a junior. Ran for 2,026 yards and 30 touchdowns in leading Lee to a 15-1 record and a final national ranking of No. 10 as a sophomore. Also was an outstanding centerfielder for the baseball team, hitting .361 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in District 4-5A games as a senior.