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Legendary Texas Running Back Cedric Benson Dies at Age 36

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Former Texas running Back Cedric Benson was involved in a motorcycle crash late Saturday night in West Austin, according to multiple reports.  The crash proved fatal, killing Benson and one other, while leaving two others injured.

Benson, a standout running back at Midland Lee High School, led his team to three state championships and finished his high school career with 8,423 rushing yards, good for 8th best in Texas high school football history (1997-2000). He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, but instead opted to play football at the University of Texas.  He was a four-year starter under head coach Mack Brown, amassing 5,540 yards in his tenure with the Longhorns.  During his senior season (2004) he rushed for 1,834 yards, propelling him to win the Doak Campbell Award, which is given to the best running back in college football.

He was drafted with the 5th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, where he spent two seasons.  He went on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals and ended his career in 2012 with the Green Bay Packers.

Former Texas coach Mack Brown made this statement about Benson’s passing:

“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.”

While Benson didn’t play for Tom Herman, the current head coach of the Texas Longhorns spoke to the depth of Benson’s legacy on the gridiron:

“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.”

Thoughts and heartfelt condolences began emerging on social media early this morning about the player, the man, and the Longhorn Cedric Benson will always be remembered as.

https://twitter.com/SportsDayHS/status/1163156559393898496

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Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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