One of the hidden gems in East Texas is Elysian Fields Running Back Joe Benefield, the 6'1 212 pound back ran for 2,069 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior in leading the Yellow Jackets to a 14-2 record and a trip to the Class 2A State Championship game.
Benefield who will be a three year started for EFHS in 2008 earned second team all-state honors in 2007 along with first team all-district honors. Not only does Benefield star for the Yellow Jackets on the football field but he is also a member of the Elysian Fields basketball team.
"I think my biggest strength is that the first guy usually doesn't bring me down, my legs never stop and I will fight for extra yards," replied the Elysian Fields RB who says this summer he wants to work on his speed to prevent being caught from behind by any defensive backs.
Benefield doesn't have any favorites right now but he is getting interest from Baylor, Houston, Texas, Texas A&M, SMU and TCU. Benefield will also attend at least one or two camps in addition to seven on seven play where he hopes Elysian Fields can get back to the seven on seven state tournament where they made an appearance in 2007.
Joe says academics and the chance at early playing time as major factors which will impact his decision and look for that decision to be made before the start of the 2008 season.
It's not hard to imagine what Joe's focus heading into the 2008 season will be, considering the Yellow Jackets fell just short of a state championship in 2007. "Winning state is the goal, losing last year was tough so it's going to motivate us."