Former NFL running back, University of Texas star Cedric Benson dies at 36

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(ABC News) — Cedric Benson, a former NFL running back and fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, died in Austin over the weekend. He was 36.

Benson’s attorney, Sam Bassett, told ESPN that he died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night. Bassett said he did not have details of the accident.

Benson, who is ranked second in the University of Texas’ history for most rushing yards, played for the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers in the NFL. He also led the Bengals to the playoffs in 2011.

PHOTO: Texas running back Cedric Benson is shown in the bench area during the fourth quarter of his teams 56-35 victory over Oklahoma State in Austin, Texas, Nov. 6, 2004.
Texas running back Cedric Benson is shown in the bench area during the fourth quarter of his team’s 56-35 victory over Oklahoma State in Austin, Texas, Nov. 6, 2004.more +

“Once he bought into our system, he was like a flower. He just blossomed. He gave us an element we didn’t have” former Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “We had complementary guys, but Cedric gave us a missing element. He was a good man. He was one of my guys and it hurts. Life is too short.”

Benson was a star player on the University of Texas Longhorns between 2001 and 2004 under former coach Mack Brown, who in a statement on Sunday celebrated the running back for his “tough” playing style.

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“Saddened by the reports on the passing of Cedric Benson. We’ve coached a lot of tough players but none were tougher than Cedric,” Brown said in a statement. “He was a true spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family on this sad day.”

Tom Herman, the university’s current coach hailed him as a “Longhorn Legend” and “one of the best running backs in college football history.”

Benson finished his NFL career with 6,017 yards and 32 touchdowns.

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