Birthday: December 28, 1982
Cedric Benson received the nickname “Little Ricky” back when being compared to Ricky Williams was a good thing. Benson rushed for over 8,400 yards and scored 127 touchdowns for West Texas powerhouse Midland Lee High School, which won three consecutive state titles during his tenure. He has continued to be very productive at the college level, racking up at least 1,000 rushing yards and a dozen touchdowns in each of his first three seasons in Austin.
Like Williams, Benson is a versatile athlete who played minor league baseball. He roamed the outfield in the Dodgers’ organization during the summers of 2002 and 2003. While not as powerful as Williams, Benson is a physical inside runner with the vision to find the lanes and the size and strength to break tackles. He has the stamina to keep charging late in the game when the defense is wearing down. Benson lacks breakaway speed so he is more of a workhorse back than a homerun hitter. He is also a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
Also like Williams, Benson has had some off-the-field issues. He plead guilty to misdemeanor trespass for a 2003 incident in which he broke down the door of an apartment where he believed that property stolen from him was being held. In 2002, he was charged with marijuana possession for being at a party where pot was found, but prosecutors dropped the case because they could not link the drugs to him. While these infractions are relatively minor, together they may indicate a pattern of poor decisions by Benson.
Benson could make a great deal of money if between now and the draft he can show that he has the speed to be more than a move-the-chains back. He should be a quality NFL player regardless, but adding that trait to his list of attributes would boost his stock significantly.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca)
Cedric Benson’s 2003 Stats G CAR YDS AVG TD 12 258 1,360 5.3 21 Cedric Benson Home