AUSTIN, Texas — Former NFL and Texas Longhorns running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA history, has died in a motorcycle crash in Texas. He was 36.
Benson’s attorney, Sam Bassett, says Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday night.
One of the top high school recruits in the country out of Midland, Texas, Benson was a key player in the Longhorns’ resurgence under former coach Mack Brown. Benson played at Texas from 2001 to ’04. He won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back, in 2004.
His 5,540 rushing yards for the Longhorns still ranks second in school history, behind only Ricky Williams’ total.
Brown and Williams took to social media to pay tribute to Benson after learning of his death.
Saddened by the reports on the passing of Cedric Benson. We’ve coached a lot of tough players but none were tougher than Cedric. He was a true spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family on this sad day. pic.twitter.com/6afR0AFiJW
— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) August 18, 2019
Tom Herman, the current coach at Texas, also expressed his condolences.
“It’s an unbelievably sad day with the news of the passing of Cedric Benson,” Herman said in a statement. “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.”
“Our condolences to the friends and family of former Bears running back Cedric Benson, our 4th overall Draft pick in 2005 and member of the 2006 NFC Champions team,” the Bears said in a statement.
“Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing,” Cincinnati said in a statement. “The Bengals extend our deepest condolences to Cedric’s family.”
Benson reached Super Bowl XLI with Chicago but had his best individual success in Cincinnati, topping 1,000 rushing yards three times. He had 6,850 career yards from scrimmage and 33 touchdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.