Benson Breaks Down Kentucky
Offensive tackle Jordan Benson has always worked toward one thing. "My goal has always been to get my college paid for," the Blue Springs (MO) prospect said of his mission when he steps on the field. "I play nasty, and play through the whistle. My favorite part of the game is that it's me and the guy across from me, one-on-one, all game. I've got a guaranteed hit every play." The 6-foot-4, 267-pound blocker helped pave the way for running back Dalvin Warmack as the Wildcats rolled to the Missouri Class 6 State Championship. An honorable mention all-league honoree in 2012, Benson expects more from himself as Blue Springs looks to take back-to-back state titles. "My pass pro is a little better than my run blocking," he said with a nod. "I've been told I have good feet, but I'm a huge perfectionist in my coach's words. I take getting beat on any little thing personal." The 2014 OT showed plenty of skill in 2012, and college coaches took notice. Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman was one of them, making the trip to Kansas City to see Benson in person. "During the early spring, Coach Donahoe said there would be a few coaches coming down," Benson said of the Blue Springs head coach. "I went ahead and started my workout. I saw Coach Schlarman come in, and I saw his Kentucky shirt. I thought Dalvin and Elijah Lee were getting another one." "Coach Schlarman was watching me do squats. He said he liked my flexibility, and how fast I could do them. Three days later, Coach Donahoe told me that Kentucky had offered." With an offer already in-hand, the Blue Springs product made the trip to Lexington last month to take part in two of the Wildcats' summer camps. "It was crazy how many people came from all over the country to camp out there," Benson said of the competition. "When I got there, Coach Schlarman spotted me as I came through the gate. He said it showed a lot that I came all the way out there." The talented tackle prospect got his first opportunity to work with the Wildcats assistant, coming away impressed with his approach. "I went through all the drills, and I got to see how Coach Schlarman coaches. I like the way he coaches, because it reminds me of my two offensive line coaches. His intensity reminds me of one, and his sense of humor reminds me of the other." Benson admits he was taken aback by the Kentucky campus and the surrounding community. "Went I went down there, I didn't know what to expect really," he said of Lexington. "I had researched the place, but when I researched it, it sounded more like a small town. When we got down there, the campus was huge. I liked how it was tied into the city." The Blue Springs blocker has taken notice of the success head coach Mark Stoops is having on the recruiting trail. The high-profile prospects lining up to wear Kentucky Blue have him believing in the program's new direction. "I got to talk to Coach Stoops," he said of the head coach. "I haven't seen what he can do there yet, but I think he has a great future there." As Benson enters his senior year, his focus is on a return trip to the State Championship Game. He does plan to make another visit to Lexington this fall, and knows what the biggest factor in his college choice will be. "If it had to be anything, it would be education," he said. "I want to study mechanical engineering. I will look up their engineering program rankings and how many degrees they offer compared to other schools."
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