Maryland assistant Walt Bell identified a couple budding talents in Georgia Jan. 6, handing offers to prospects who had nary a look from other suitors. Defensive tackle LaMarius Benson (Eastside/Covington, Ga.) was one of them, the 6-foot-2, 300-pounder pulling his very first verbal from Bell and the Terps.
“I feel real good about it. It’s a weight off my shoulders, so thank God the first one came,” Benson said. “I’ve been working and working, so to get the first one is a relief. I’m very appreciative of Maryland.”
He might be appreciative, but Benson’s knowledge of the Terps is limited.
To say the least.
“I honestly don’t know anything about Maryland. I’ve watched them play a couple times, that’s about it,” Benson said. “But I’d love to go there to take a visit. I’d really like to see what it’s about up there. I’m getting up sometime this offseason. I’m going to be talking to Coach Bell about it.”
Benson hasn’t spoke to Bell extensively yet. Apparently UMD’s area recruiter like the recruit know about the offer but didn’t have a long conversation.
“He just told me I had the offer. We really didn’t talk long. He actually contacted me on Twitter [Jan. 5] and asked for my coach’s number. And then [Jan. 6] I heard I got the offer,” Benson said. “I’m going to be calling him and I look forward to getting to know him.”
Although Benson is in the beginning stages of building a relationship and learning about UMD, he is intrigued. He said since it’s his very first offer the Terps will continue to hold appeal.
“Maryland was the first to come through, so they’re always going to be there. They were the first to recognize my talents,” Benson said. “So I’m not going to forget that.”
Benson hasn’t heard extensively from other programs besides Maryland yet. But he did get invited to junior days by Iowa State and Georgia and plans to at least attend UGA’s. He’s unsure where he wants to visit this offseason, however, beyond trekking up to College Park, Md.
“I’d like to hear from like Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee -- schools like that. I like some of the schools down here, but, personally, I kind of like being up north too,” said Benson, who mentioned he’s looking for a college with a family environment, early playing time opportunities and a coaching staff he can relate to. “I have family in Canada and places up north, so it would be kind of cool to play [in college] up there.”
The Georgia native is coming off a season where he recorded more than 50 tackles and a handful of sacks.
“I’m a real aggressive tackle. I get after it and I do a good job tackling and getting after the quarterback,” Benson said. “I’m a leader on my team too and do a good job getting the guys to come together.”