Benoit hopes Cal will reciprocate interest

Phoenix (AZ) Thunderbird running back Kani Benoit would like to be the next great California runner.

California has produced a litany of productive running backs under head coach Jeff Tedford, regardless of whether they came in as highly-touted recruits – such as Jahvid Best and Marshawn Lynch – or less heralded prospects – J.J. Arrington or Isi Sofele.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Thunderbird running back Kani Benoit is aware of that lineage, hoping to become the next great Golden Bear runner.

"I'd love to play there," Benoit said. "All their backs have been special and I'd love to be a part of it."

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Benoit delivered a head-turning performance at the recent Oakland Nike Football Training Camp and while Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln and USC-commit Justin Davis came away with MVP honors, Benoit was right there at the top of the pack.

That sort of effort could dramatically jumpstart his recruitment, which was already picking up.

"It's been a rush the past few weeks," said Benoit, who holds offers from North Dakota and South Dakota State. "I've heard from UCLA, Michigan State. UTEP has been out to practice, Arizona has been out to practice. Arizona State has been heavy. It's been a blessing."

But Benoit was most enthusiastic about the Bears, pointing to "the way they run their program, the fans, just everything about it.

"They've sent me letters and I've been talking to the coaches," he said of Cal. "They are liking where I'm standing, how I play the game."

Benoit hopes the mutual interest will eventually result in an offer.


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