"I knew the team would be needing a player to come back who wants the ball to be in his hands," Benson said during the ESPN presentation. "I'm greatly honored to have this award. (Doak Walker) was a player who always wanted the football in his hands. Me, I'm the same way."
Benson's 5,470 career rushing yards is the sixth highest total in college football history. His 160.4 ypg led the Big 12 and was third nationally at the end of the regular season. Benson's 1,764 rushing yards rushing this year was the third highest single-season total in program history. His 64 career rushing TDs is No. 3 all-time in college football. Benson has scored at least one touchdown in an NCAA record 37 games.
Texas' Heisman winning RB Ricky Williams won the award in 1997 and 1998.
With just 129 yards against Michigan, Williams would become college football's No. 4 all-time leading rusher, trailing only Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams and Tony Dorsett.
"We've all come a long way," Benson said of his Rose Bowl bound team. "I think it's a big complement to the entire team as a whole to be in the Rose Bowl and I greatly appreciate it."
WLB Derrick Johnson saw Georgia DE David Pollack claim the Chuck Bednarik 'Defensive Player of the Year' Award one day after also besting the Longhorn linebacker for the Lombardi. Earlier this week, Johnson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy honoring college football's top defensive player. He was also named The Sporting News 'Defensive Player of the Year' on Tuesday. Johnson is considered the frontrunner for the Butkus Award, honoring the nation's outstanding linebacker, to be presented Friday.
Both Benson and Johnson were honored as first-team Walter Camp All-Americans during Thursday's presentation.
NCAA CAREER RUSHING YARDS
NAME SCHOOL YEARS YARDS
1. Ron Dayne Wisconsin (1996-99) 6,397
2. Ricky Williams Texas (1995-98) 6,279
3. Tony Dorsett Pitt (1973-76) 6,082
4. Charles White USC (1976-79) 5,598
5. Travis Prentice Miami, Ohio (1996-99) 5,596
6. Cedric Benson Texas (2001-04) 5,470