"San Diego State and Utah have both offered me," said Benyard. "I'm also hearing a lot from Colorado, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona State and Notre Dame."
Benyard has spent the last two weekends at different Junior Days, first at Notre Dame and then last weekend at hometown San Diego State.
Benyard said, "Notre Dame's junior day was real tight. It is a legendary campus and was just a great trip. I got a feeling they could offer me. If not now, then during the spring or the season. San Diego State's, I liked it a lot. I got a good feel for the program there."
Those two schools join UCLA in Benyard's early top three. "I would say those are my top three schools right now, but I'm nowhere near ready to make a decision. I want to see what my options are first," said Benyard. "I might take all five of my visits and then decide the best fit for me."
Benyard said he's hoping to attend UCLA's Junior Day and he had taken in a game at the Rose Bowl last year. "I went up for the Arizona State game and I talked to a lot of the coaches," said Benyard. "The only problem is, all the coaches I talked to then got fired."
Still, the coaching change didn't affect Benyard's feelings towards UCLA. His teammate, running back Tyler Gaffney, holds an offer from the Bruins, and the two of them have talked about playing together in college.
"We've talked about playing together and we have been playing together for a while," said Benyard. "We knew that when we started playing together, we'd do special things and now we talk about taking it to the next level."
The special things include a CIF-San Diego Section title this last season for Cathedral Catholic, with Benyard opening up gaping holes for Gaffney to run through, en route to both earning all-county honors.
As he begins to get more serious about colleges pursuing him, Benyard said he'll focus on some key factors. "One big thing for me is that the camaraderie with my teammates, and how everyone gets a long, that is key," said Benyard. "I want to play in a strong program with the coaching being strong. And I want to know things like how are they teaching us and are they helping us outside of football. The academic part, will there be tutors, will there be study hall, so I don't have to fall behind."
Location isn't a factor for Benyard, though he admits his parents wouldn't mind him near by. "My mom, she really wants me to stay close to home but she just wants to look out for me," said Benyard. "My dad, he just wants me to find the best place. They both do."
With a GPA of 3.0, Benyard will take the SAT in April.
His plans for camps this spring and summer are wide open.