Former NFL Running Back Cedric Benson Dies at 36

Former Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson has passed away. NFL reporter Dov Kleiman posted the news to Twitter Saturday morning, sharing a photo of a Facebook post by Benson’s brother in a Twitter thread. Benson was 36.

Former Fourth Overall Pick Cedric Benson Dead in Fatal Crash

Benson’s death is reportedly due to a motorcycle crash in Austin, Texas. Benson’s life began on December 28, 1982 in Midland, Texas. Benson was a football star long before he made it to the NFL, bursting onto the scene back in the eighth grade. In high school, Benson accumulated 8,423 rushing yards, a monumental mark for a high school player. Benson’s high school team rode his back to three straight championships and Benson rushed for 15 total touchdowns in those three games. In his junior year, Benson racked up an unfathomable 3,500 yards and 51 touchdowns. He reached 1,900 of those yards in just nine games.

Benson played at the University of Texas at Austin in college, where he would be a four-year starter. He was the recipient of the Doak Walker Award as a senior in 2004 as the nation’s top running back. Benson was also a consensus All-American. Benson finished his college career with 5,540 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns. He added 69 receptions for 621 yards and three touchdowns.

Leading up to the 2005 NFL Draft, Benson was a highly sought after prospect. He landed with the Chicago Bears at fourth overall. Benson played 35 games in three years for the Bears. In that span, he racked up 1,593 rushing yards on 420 carries with 10 touchdowns to boot. Benson wound up with the Cincinnati Bengals after his three-year stint with the Bears. Benson would blossom into the back everyone knew him to be during his time with the Bengals. In four years with Cincinnati, Benson played in 56 games and piled up 4,176 yards on 1,109 carries with 21 touchdowns. Following his time with the Bengals, Benson signed on with the Packers for one final season in 2012. With Green Bay, Benson recorded 71 carries for 248 yards and one touchdown.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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