Cedric Benson was born and raised in Midland, Texas.
Raised by a single mother at an early age, he was driven to begin working hard to become an outstanding athlete, with an aim for the NFL.
The first sport Cedric played was baseball, and he began playing football in 6th grade. By 8th grade, his running back skills were getting noticed by the high school coaches. His hard work paid off, and at Robert E. Lee High School, he and his teammates won three consecutive Texas 5A State Football Championships.
He also played baseball in high school and was drafted and played in the summer league for the Dodgers. But his real love was football. He never wanted to play for any college other than The University of Texas at Austin, so when the time came, he signed with the Longhorns without even looking at other colleges. After playing under Mack Brown for four years, he played professional football with the Chicago Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Green Bay Packers. Life after football has led him to a professional career in Business Development with Gold Financial Services.
Cedric’s Sports Career
He knew from an early age that football was his passion.
The Early Years
Benson began to emerge as a football standout in the eighth grade while attending Abell Junior High School in Midland, Texas under Coach Chris McKinney. Benson attended Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, Texas, and finished his career with 8,423 rushing yards (the most in Texas 5A history and the fourth most in Texas high school football history). He led his team to three consecutive State Championships and rushed for a total of 15 touchdowns in the three championship games. Cedric rushed for more than 1,900 yards in only 9 games. These accomplishments proved him to be the greatest high school football player to come out of West Texas.
Cedric also competed in baseball. As a senior, in District 4-5A games, he hit .361 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs. Right out of high school Benson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2001 MLB Draft. While Benson did not play in the major leagues, he spent his time with the Dodgers playing in their summer league at Vero Beach.
Benson attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a four-year starter for the Texas Longhorns football team. As a senior in 2004, he received the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and won the UT All-American Award. He finished his college career with 5,540 rushing yards which rank second all-time in NCAA Division I-A in Longhorns team history.
The Chicago Bears selected Benson as the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, making him the highest drafted Bears player since Dan Hampton in 1979.
Benson signed with the Bengals on September 30, 2008. In the twelve games he was active during the 2008 season, Benson had 932 all-purpose yards: 747 rushing and 185 receiving.
Benson went on to record his first 1,000-yard rushing season and he set a Bengals franchise record with six games and over 100 rushing yards. He finished the season as the NFL’s 8th leading rusher with 1,251 yards, despite only playing 13 games. He then set a Bengals postseason record with 169 rushing yards in their game against the New York Jets.
Green Bay Packers
On August 12, 2012, Benson signed with the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, on October 7, 2012, Cedric suffered a Lisfranc injury to his foot and was later placed on injured reserve. This injury caused the 2012 season to be his last season with the NFL.
Awards & Accolades
First high school football player to make the cover of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football annual magazine
3 Back-To-Back State Championships (1998-2000)
Heisman Trophy Winner
Longhorns Hall of Honor (2014)
Rose Bowl (2005)
Doak Walker Award (2004)
All-Big 12 (2002)
All-Big 12 (2001)
First Round Draft Pick (2005)
Ed Block Courage Award (2010)
Pro Bowl Nomination (2010)
NFC Champion (2006)