Rebels add 1st Team All-State Texas Lineman

Mario Benavides (OT, Los Fresnos, TX) - The Rebels added their 8th verbal pledge for the '08 class when Los Fresnos product, Mario Benavides, committed to Ole Miss this morning.

"I picked Ole Miss first and foremost because they make it sound like they are getting more out of my commitment than I am," added Mario Benavides. "They think I am one of the top offensive linemen in the country, and they made me feel wanted. Plus, I get a chance to play in the SEC which gives you more exposure than any conference in the country. And I love Coach Kehoe. He coaches at Miami for 25 years and won 5 national championships. Who would not want to be tutored from a coach who has sent all of those linemen to the NFL?

Benavides still has not visited Oxford but he still sees himself as solidly committed.

"I told them I was going to come down in June for their football camp, but I might come in late May instead. I just promised them that I would come. But I feel solid whether I have visited them or not. I did not just commit to them for the sake of it. I have done extensive research on their university, and right now I think they give me the best opportunity to better myself. I have people from around here ask me all of the time what I am going to do if Texas and A&M offer. I tell them that I am still going to Ole Miss. I know a lot of players decommit these days, but I am not one of those people. When I say I am going to sign with Ole Miss, that is what I mean. I will be there for sure."

Mario Benavide

Who else was heavily involved in Mario's recruitment?

"Iowa State called me last night and said they were about to offer. I receiv a lot of calls from Texas Tech, and they came to my practice yesterday. Utah has been texting me a bunch. I went to A&M's Jr Day. They were really involved. Rice also offered me. Those were the main colleges that were recruiting me."

Benavides recently exploded on to the recruiting scene when he posted a 6' 4", 285, 4.9 forty, 390 bench, 530 squat, 320 clean, and most importantly, he carries a 4.0 GPA / 1460 SAT.

What does Mario think about his game?

"I pass protect very well. I have only allowed one sacks in two years, and we are a pass oriented team. I think my upper body strength gives me the edge in staying ahead of my opponents. For a guy my size, they are surprised when they can not get around me. Not too many tackles can run a sub 5.0."

Marion was named 1st Team All-State, All-JR by 5A, 1st Team All-District, and 1st Team All-Metro.

To view the commitment list, click here.

To watch Mario in action, click here.

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