Tampa is full of young talented prospects and one of them is Middleton's Richard Benjamin, a 2013 prospect that's been getting a lot of attention on both sides of the ball after performances in recent combines and 7on7 tournaments. The 6-foot-1, 180 pound athlete played just about everywhere including receiver, safety, QB, and special teams as a sophomore.
"On offense I had 18 catches for 528 yards and 5 touchdowns. On defense I had three interceptions with two returned for scores, and 1 sack," said Benjamin. "On special teams I had 12 kick-off returns for over 300 yards and 6 or 7 punt returns for around 200 yards."
This spring Benjamin first emerged while playing for Team Tampa in the recent Badger 7on7 held at USF while helping his team to a top 3 finish and a spot in the national championship game. He's also been tearing up the combine circuit. He was named a standout receiver at the MVP camp in Orlando, and also showed out at the ESS combine this past weekend while posting a 4.5 40 and was outstanding during one-on-ones.
"I think I did pretty good to be honest, I ran a 4.5-40, a 4.3 shuttle, and had a 9.3 broad jump," said Benjamin. ‘The combine was good, but there wasn't much competition for me and I think I did very well."
Programs have taken notice of the 2013 prospect with Kansas extending an early offer, and on Wednesday the 6-foot-1, 180 pound athlete took a trip to USF to check out the hometown Bulls and received a big offer from coach Holtz.
"Recruiting is going great, I just got another offer today from USF," said Benjamin. "It's very exciting to get that offer. They're recruiting me as an athlete for either wide receiver or DB."
Benjamin said he's been receiving interest from USF through letters and such and talks about how the Bulls offer went down.
"I went up to the school for a visit to talk to the coaches and they told me I had an offer," said Benjamin. "I don't know if I expected it, but I'm real happy that I got it."
The Middleton star got to spend time with the USF coaching staff and liked what they had to say.
"I talked to the receiver coach, the secondary coach and Coach Holtz," said Benjamin. "Both Coach Smith and Coach McGeoghan told me that they like my style of play and like me on both sides of the ball. They both seem like good coaches and good people."
"Talking to Coach Holtz was exciting," said Benjamin. "That was my first time talking to a head coach and that was real cool. He's a nice man and we talked about all kinds of things. He told me that he likes me and don't fall for things that people say and that my recruitment will come and just to live my life and that nobody is going to choose your school but you."
"I really like the coaching staff there," said Benjamin. "They're all very nice and seem like a good coaching staff."
Benjamin lives in Tampa, but this was the first time that he's been to USF to see the campus and facilities, and was surprised and impressed with what the home team had to offer.
"I really like the campus and the facilities and never knew that USF was that big and that nice," said Benjamin. "I really liked their practice facilities and what they're building. The weight room was big, they had a lot of cool stuff and I liked everything they had in there. The practice complex was great, they got nice new grass fields and a turf field, and it was just great to look at, they're beautiful."
"I was very surprised by all of it," said Benjamin. "I didn't think it was going to be the way it was and I was very impressed."
The Middleton stand-out plays just a stone's throw from the USF campus, and knows several current and future Bulls
"I know Lindsey Lamar and Terrence Mitchell, and know a few guys heading there this summer, Ruben Gonzales and Andre Davis," said Benjamin. "Lindsay and T-Rex say a lot of good things about USF and I talk to Andre all the time about recruiting and we talk about how hard it is and the stress deciding where to go."
Benjamin talked about how he felt about getting his first in-state offer from the Bulls.
"I love the fact that I got an offer from USF," said Benjamin. "They're building a great program there and are on the rise, and this way I can stay home and play football."
"Right now I have FSU, then USF, and then Kansas," said Benjamin. "I'm interested in FSU and I'll be there for their spring game this Saturday."
Benjamin is preparing for spring ball and is looking forward to getting more opportunities to showcase his skills. The talented rising junior says what makes him a special player and what he wants to work on.
"I'm explosive and I work hard," said Benjamin. "We start up in May I'm looking forward to it. This spring I'm going to work harder on my technique, strength and my body work."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Richard Benjamin recruitment.