South Dakota State is ‘really proud’ of what former commit, Iowa LB Seth Benson has accomplished

·3 min read

Once upon a time, Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Seth Benson was committed to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Like his parents before him, it looked like Benson’s future would take place in Brookings, S.D.

Instead, Benson got an offer from Iowa, and it was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I’m a big family man. That was the hardest thing. I wanted to be a loyal guy, too,” Benson said to Inside the Hawkeyes. “And I had committed to a school and a program (at South Dakota State). I was going to be five and a half hours from my family. I had to think about that. But ultimately, I didn’t want to look back and say, ‘What if?'”

He doesn’t have to worry about that what if anymore. Now, Benson is part of one of the nation’s top linebacking corps alongside Jack Campbell and Jestin Jacobs. The 6-foot, 232 pound Sioux Falls, S.D., product registered triple-digit tackles a season ago, racking up 105 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and one interception.

By his potential head coach and now this week’s opponent’s admission, Benson and company are perhaps the country’s finest collection of linebackers.

“I think across the board, I mean, their d-line is very physical and makes a lot of plays, their linebacker corps is the best we’ll ever see, their defensive backs are very good. The thing I love about their defense—and they may prove me wrong—but, they don’t do a lot. They rely on being sound, understanding their defense and then doing their job.

“I’ve watched them against a lot of really good opponents and they’ve had success doing that. I think it’s going to be really hard to run the football based on their front seven and, ideally we can pass the ball, but, again, that means you’ve got to be able to block their pass rush, which is part of their front seven. So, it’s going to be a tough game. Really good defense and looking forward to seeing it because I’ve got a lot of respect for the Iowa football team,” South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier said.

The cool thing is, listening to Stiegelmeier’s weekly press conference, there’s no animosity or sour grapes that Benson ultimately wound up somewhere else. It’s not lip service either. As he should be, Stiegelmeier is genuinely happy for Benson and all of his successes with the Hawkeyes.

“It’s going to be a treat. It doesn’t matter whether we lose a guy to the University of South Dakota or the University of Iowa, I try to look those guys up, make it a point to look them up at the end of the game, and just see how they’re doing and congratulate them on their successes. In a goofy way, I think our whole staff is really proud of what Seth’s accomplished. I mean, he had committed to us and then he got this opportunity. His dad played here, his mom went to school here, was an athlete and we said, ‘Go for it.’ And not that he needed us to say that, but I think what he’s done there is really special and he should be proud of it and we’re proud of him,” Stiegelmeier said.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire