08/18 15:54 CDT Former Longhorns, NFL RB Benson dies in motorcycle accident
Former Longhorns, NFL RB Benson dies in motorcycle accident
By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) --- Former NFL running back Cedric Benson, one of the most
prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history, has died in a
motorcycle accident 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. He had no details about the
Benson was a key player in the Longhorns' resurgence under coach Mack Brown,
who said Sunday that Benson's death has left him grief-stricken.
"He was as good as you'll ever see as a football player and as tough as they
come," said Brown, who recently returned to coach North Carolina following a
long run at Texas. "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."
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 1998-2000.
Benson played at Texas from 2001-2004 and his 5,540 yards ranks second at the
university 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 university's Hall of Honor in 2014.
Benson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Bears in 2005 and helped Chicago reach
the playoffs the following season. He had his finest years with Cincinnati from
2008-11, taking over as the featured back on a team that made the playoffs
twice but lost in the first round each time.
He ran for a career-high 1,251 yards while leading a playoff push in 2009, the
first of three straight 1,000-yard seasons. He also led the Bengals to the
playoffs in 2011, when Andy Dalton and A.J. Green arrived as rookies.
Benson played one season with Green Bay, where he started the first five games
in 2012 before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc fracture in Indianapolis on
Oct. 17. He rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown on 71 carries, and caught 14
passes for 97 yards in five games with the Packers before the foot injury.
Benson finished his NFL career with 6,017 yards and 46 touchdowns.
"He was from Texas, and he showed his Texas toughness in leading us to a
division championship in just his second season with us," Bengals owner Mike
Brown said. "His three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons displayed the talent he
possessed. Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic
Benson returned to Austin after his playing career and set up a foundation,
NUFCED, to aid underprivileged children and families. Those efforts included
helping repair damage at the home of the first victim killed in a series of
bombings in Austin early 2018.
Associated Press writer Jamie Stengle in Dallas and AP Sports Writers Schuyler
Dixon in Arlington, Texas; Joe Kay in Cincinnati and Keith Jenkins in Milwaukee
contributed to this report.
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