Benson was a four-year starter for the Longhorns from 2001-04, totaling more than 5,000 rushing yards and accounting for 67 total touchdowns during his college career. He was named the Doak Walker award winner and a consensus All-American as a senior.
Benson went on to be selected fourth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and played eight years in the league. After playing with the Bears for three seasons, he joined the Cincinnati Bengals (2008-11) where he had his three best seasons as a pro, including a 1,251-yard, six-touchdown campaign in 2009. He played his last year with the Green Bay Packers in 2012.
During Benson’s time as the Longhorns’ starting running back, Texas compiled a 43-7 record with three top-10 finishes in the final polls. He missed the national championship season that followed his departure but played a key role in the development of the offense as he and Vince Young led the team to a 11-1 record and Rose Bowl win in his senior season.
Benson’s death is a sad conclusion to a string of arrests that began during his professional career. He was charged with driving while intoxicated in downtown Austin in 2017 and just this week appeared in court to plead guilty to a lesser charge in that case. The Statesman reports that was the third such incident in Austin alone since 2008, though the prior two were eventually dismissed.
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