Cedric Benson chooses football

Cedric Benson, drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round in 2001, then became the premier running back at the University of Texas, announced he would forgo baseball to concentrate on football. He also acknowledged the Dodgers weren't happy with his decision. <br><br>

Benson was given a sizeable bonus when signed as an outfielder. As part of his contract, The Dodgers agreed to pay for his education at the University of Texas.
"I want 2004 to be my best year ever and that's why I've decided to give up baseball and concentrate solely on football," Benson said. "I still believe I could be successful in baseball, but my heart is pushing me towards football."

Benson, now 22, worked out briefly with the Dodgers at Vero Beach in 2001. He played eight games and was 5-for-20 (.200) in 2002, revealing a brief glimpse of his talents with all five hits for extra-bases, three doubles and a pair of triples. He did not play in 2003, choosing to work out in Austin and focus on football.

Benson, who rushed for 1,360 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2003, considered leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. He's only the third Longhorn back to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons.

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