football Edit

Benson commits to Tech while on Lubbock visit

Texarkana (TX) Pleasant Grove linebacker Xavier Benson visited Texas Tech on Monday for an unofficial visit.

He leaves Lubbock as the newest addition to Tech’s 2018 class.

“I thought that if everything went well that there would be a good chance that I end up a Red Raider today…and it came true.”

There were a few other schools in the mix for Benson’s services but once he got to Lubbock for his visit, there was no doubt in his mind. What were the things that really pushed Benson towards a commitment? In the linebacker’s words, basically everything.

“Just the feeling from the coaches, from the staff, from the whole support team,” Benson said. “I loved everything about it and it all just clicked. The community, the college, everything just worked out. The locker rooms, the weight room, the nutrition programs, the gear, the academics, everything was really good, especially how they presented it to me. It all made me excited to commit today.”

Benson was offered by the Red Raiders back in May and developed a strong relationship with new defensive line coach, Terrance Jamison. Benson met the rest of the coaching staff, such as David Gibbs and Zac Spavital, on his visit today. Each coach was glad to have the athletic linebacker on board.

“I was around almost all the coaches all day today. They were really excited when I told them I wanted to be a Red Raider. They love me as a player and are excited to get an athlete like me into their program. They think I can be a big-time playmaker for them. I was the number one guy for them at linebacker.”

“They see me as a OLB/DE-type. A hybrid position guy who can really just come in and make plays.”

Benson is used as a “Swiss Army knife” in the Pleasant Grove defense as he can be seen making plays at defensive end, linebacker, and even in coverage. Some may have concerns about Benson’s slight frame (he is only about 200 pounds at 6-foot-3) but neither Benson nor the coaching staff is concerned about his size.

“I think football players are football players and you either have it or you don’t,” Benson said. “You might be undersized, but you know how to play the game so you run faster and play with more power. No matter the size, if you know what you are doing and you can carry your pads well, you will be able to hit as hard as anyone and play with good technique. It’s all up to how you are carrying yourself on and off the field. I’m not concerned. I know how to play football, and I know I can add weight.”

Benson is very aware of Tech’s defensive woes, but is more than excited to have the opportunity to come in and help change the culture.

“I feel like I can come in and help change a lot of stuff. My role is that I work hard and I’m a leader. If you get a guy on your team who is ready to come in and help change the whole thing, you can accomplish a lot with that guy. Positivity and stuff like that spreads and it feels good. Bad moods spread, but if you got a guy who comes in and wants to be a leader, wants to be vocal, and wants to be that guy who changes things around, that’ll spread and things will get done.”

As mentioned earlier, Benson loved everything about his trip to Lubbock but it was being around all the coaches that made his decision to commit that much easier.

“All the coaches there are great men and are great leaders. They are helping bring a good thing to Red Raider Nation. I didn’t watch any film with them, but I did get some one-on-one time with coach Jamison where went over techniques on how to rush the passer and stuff. We went over a lot of things that we will have the opportunity to go more in depth on when I get there.”

“I talked to coach Kingsbury before I left, too, and he is an amazing guy, a really good guy. I can envision myself being under his wing. He has a winning mentality, and as a guy who was a pro player himself, he knows what he is talking about.”

Benson is commit No. 16 and is the sixth defensive commit for 2018. He was a first team All-District selection as a linebacker, a first team All-District selection as a “utility” player, and earned second team All-District honors at wide receiver. Benson’s lone goal this upcoming season is to win a state title.