The recent news of Cedric Benson’s tragic death following a motorcycle accident brought attention back to this former NFL running back’s career.
Benson was a star player through his collegiate career and then transitioned well into the professional league. After playing for the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers, he retired seven years ago.
Here we take a look back at the various Cedric Benson stats from his college and NFL career.
Benson excelled with Texas Longhorns
Benson rose to national prominence in college as a member of the Texas Longhorns. He played from 2001 through 2004, starting all four years. In just his first season with the team, he won Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
While at Texas, his best season statistically came during the team’s 2004 campaign. As a senior, he compiled 1,834 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns.
Benson also racked up 179 yards receiving and a touchdown by air for the Longhorns. His impressive college resume ended with 5,540 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns on 1,112 carries.
Per Sports-Reference, Benson currently ranks No. 10 all-time amongst running backs with his total college rushing yards. He’s just a few spots ahead of NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.
He’s also in a top 10 of college stars that also include Archie Griffin, DeAngelo Williams, Ricky Williams, and Tony Dorsett.
During his time at the University of Texas, the Longhorns participated in three different Bowl games including the Rose Bowl.
While Cedric Benson never won the Heisman Trophy, he finished No. 6 overall at one point. He was also a Consensus All-American in his senior year, among other honors.
Bears take Benson No. 4 wanted him as their top RB
Based on the college resume and skills Benson brought to the table, he became the No. 4 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears held that spot at that time and were planning to make Benson a key part of their offense.
In fact, the team wanted the Longhorns standout as their No. 1 option for the ground game, but that never quite worked out.
Benson spent three years with Chicago, but various issues such as his early contract negotiations and a shoulder injury hampered him. He was mostly used as the Bears’ secondary back with Thomas Jones ahead of him on the depth chart.
Despite playing that role, he still helped the team win their 2006 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints with 60 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While Benson was on the roster and participated in Super Bowl XLI, he hurt his knee in the first half, knocking him out for the rest of the game.
He’d go on to record 1,593 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns on the ground for Chicago from 2005 through 2007. Additionally, he caught 26 passes for 180 yards.
Benson racks up a majority of stats with Bengals
In September 2008, Cedric Benson signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after the Bears released him. However, his new team provided the best years of his NFL career.
In four years with Cincinnati, he achieved 1,109 carries for 4,176 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 3.8 per play.
As a member of the Bengals, he also had caught 80 passes for 556 yards and a touchdown, the only receiving TD of his NFL career.
In August 2012, Cedric Benson joined the Green Bay Packers on a one-year contract. It included limited time on the field, though, as he suffered a fracture to his foot and the Packers released him.
Still, Benson participated in five games, tallying 71 carries for 248 yards and a touchdown. He also had 97 receiving yards on 14 catches with Green Bay.
Cedric Benson ended with career stats of 6,017 total rushing yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground with 1,600 carries. He also had 833 receiving yards on 120 receptions and that lone touchdown pass he caught with the Bengals.
Benson’s career averages were 3.8 yards-per-carry and 6.9 yards-per-reception. He ranks No. 88 all-time in rushing yards, placing him in the top 100 players.
While he wasn’t amongst the NFL’s top rushing stars of all-time, he certainly made his impact in the NFL. All of his former teams along with many players, celebrities, and fans have expressed their condolences following Cedric Benson’s death at age 36.