Former Chicago Bears running back and Texas Longhorns legend Cedric Benson has died, family and friends confirmed on Sunday. Benson's death was reportedly the result of a motorcycle accident in Austin, Texas that also claimed the life of an unnamed woman. Benson was 36 years old.
Emergency responders told the Austin American-Statesman that they were investigating the crash in Austin, which occurred around 10 p.m. Saturday. Both Benson and a passenger were killed and two other adults were injured in the crash but suffered non-fatal injuries.
Benson’s brother, Dominic, first confirmed Cedric's passing in a post on Facebook. Former Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who coached Benson at Texas, also commented on a post on Instagram saying, "We lost a great one way too soon."
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Benson's attorney, Sam Bassett, released a statement regarding his client's death on Sunday.
"Cedric was not just a client, he was my friend. He was immensely talented and fierce on the football field yet most have no idea the difficulties he overcame to achieve what he did," Bassett wrote. "Though imperfect in some respects, once Cedric was your friend, you understood how kind, sensitive and loyal he was as a man. He was like a younger brother or nephew to me. I will miss him very much.
Benson finished his time at the University of Texas as the sixth-leading rusher in NCAA history with 5,540 rushing yards and the second-leading rusher in Texas history. The consensus All-American won the 2004 Doak Walker Award, which honors the top running back in college football.
The Texas product was taken by the Bears with the fourth pick in the 2005 draft. He spent three years with Chicago before joining the Bengals, where he put up three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2009-11. Benson spent the 2012 season with the Packers, where he suffered a foot fracture during his final professional season. The Texas native finished his NFL career with 6,017 yards and 32 touchdowns.