MIDLAND, TX— Cedric Benson, hailed as one of the most prominent figures in Midland Lee Rebel history, will be introduced as a Texas High School Hall of Fame on December 16 at the UIL State Championship along with eight others. Benson is one of the all time greatest high school football players to emerge from the Lone Star State and will remain synonymous with explosive athleticism and relentless running.
Known for his fearlessness on the gridiron, Benson earned a reputation for actively seeking out opponents to overpower, leaving many defensive backs attesting to his prowess. He was widely regarded as the Midland Lee Rebels' most formidable weapon during the 1998-2000 era.
Benson is credited with spearheading the Rebels to three consecutive State Championship titles. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, weighing 195 pounds of solid, explosive, fast-twitch muscle, he consistently dismantled defenses and often bulldozed through defenders like a freight train. Benson notched an impressive 15 touchdowns in those three title games alone and secured the position of class 5a leading rusher in all three seasons. His time as a Lee Rebel culminated in a staggering total of 8,418 yards and an exceptional six 300-yard rushing games.
Following his graduation from Midland Lee, Benson continued his football journey at the University of Texas in Austin. In his inaugural season as a Longhorn, he set the freshman rushing record with 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns. His senior year saw him clinch the Doak Walker Award, recognizing the nation's top running back. Moreover, Benson played a pivotal role in leading his team to an 11-1 record and a remarkable Rose Bowl triumph against Michigan. Concluding his collegiate career, Benson emerged as the second all-time rusher in school history, amassing a record-breaking 5,540 total yards as a Texas Longhorn and earning All-American honors.
In 2005, Benson was selected as the number four overall draft pick. He commenced his professional football career with the Chicago Bears but struggled to find his footing in their offense, failing to display the explosive athleticism for which he was renowned. However, a trade to the Cincinnati Bengals saw Benson achieve three consecutive 1000-yard rushing seasons from 2009 to 2011.
Tragically, Cedric Benson's life was cut short in a tragic motorcycle crash on August 17, 2019.
He will forever be remembered as one of the most explosive and dynamic running backs to emerge from Texas. Those who witnessed Benson's remarkable display of speed, agility, quickness, and power unanimously believe that his unmatched athletic abilities warrant everlasting Hall of Fame recognition and immortalization.
The Hall of Fame class of 2024 is set to be unveiled on December 16 at the UIL State Championship alongside eight other members. The celebratory banquet will be held in Waco, Texas, on May 18, 2024.