The funeral for University of Texas Longhorns standout Cedric Benson, a Midland, native, is scheduled Saturday at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Austin.
Benson, who died in Austin a week ago in a motorcycle accident, was the NCAA’s 10th most prolific runner for his of 5,440 rushing yards as a Longhorn. According to an obituary, his 64 career touchdowns earned him the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. A member of the University of Texas’ Hall of Honor, Benson’s achievements led the Longhorns to 43 wins and eight losses during his four years on the team.
As a high-school player, Benson helped his alma mater Midland Robert E. Lee capture three state championships, and is ranked eighth in career rushing for Texas high school players.
Benson logged 6,017 yards rushing as an NFL player for the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers, scoring 33 touchdowns. He “loved football. However, it was his love of people that defined him,” according to an obituary. “Everyone in his presence felt that they were his most loved person as they held his full attention in every conversation.”
Benson leaves behind a foundation, NUFCED, which funds scholarships and mentors underprivileged youth through “football and community efforts.”