Ex-NFL, Texas RB Benson dies at 36 in motorcycle crash

Field Level Media

August 18, 2019 at 8:12 pm.

Former NFL and Texas running back Cedric Benson was killed Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Austin, Texas. He was 36.

His attorney, Sam Bassett, confirmed his death.

Benson’s passenger, identified only as woman in her 30s, also was killed, according to the Austin-Travis County EMS. Both were declared dead on the scene.

TMZ reported Sunday morning that Benson’s motorcycle ran into a minivan.

The EMS said the crash occurred after 10 p.m. Saturday and that two other people sustained injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

His passing hit the extended Longhorns community hard.

“We lost a true Longhorn Legend, one of the best running backs in college football history and a really special man,” coach Tom Herman said. “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.”

North Carolina coach Mack Brown, who was the Texas coach when Benson was recruited, said he and his wife, Sally, were “just grief stricken with Cedric’s passing. He was as good as you’ll ever see as a football player and as tough as they come. But what I’ll remember most is what a special, special person he was.

“We always enjoyed talking with him because he was such a bright and unique guy. There will never be another one like him, and he will be dearly missed by so many. It’s just heartbreaking, but we feel very fortunate to have had him in our lives.”

Benson played for the Longhorns from 2001-04 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons, included 1,834 yards as a senior. He rushed for 5,540 yards and had 64 rushing touchdowns, adding 621 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back in 2004, then was drafted No. 4 overall the following year by the Chicago Bears.

At the time he left Texas, he was No. 6 on the NCAA rushing list in yards gained. He still is No. 10 on the all-time list

Benson spent three seasons in Chicago but achieved his greatest success with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played from 2008-11. In three of those seasons, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing.

He signed as a free agent with Green Bay before the 2012 season, but his year, and his career, ended in October when he suffered a broken foot.

In his NFL career, Benson rushed for 6,017 yards and 32 touchdowns.