Former Bengals running back Cedric Benson killed in motorcycle crash

Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)
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AUSTIN, Texas — Former NFL and Texas running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history, has died in a motorcycle crash in Texas. He was 36.

Benson's attorney, Sam Bassett, says Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday night.

One of the top high school recruits in the country out of Midland, Texas, Benson was a key player in the Longhorns' resurgence under former coach Mack Brown. Benson played at Texas from 2001-2004. He won the Doak Walker award given to the nation's top running back in 2004.

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Benson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears in 2005. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.

The Bengals released this statement Sunday:

The Cincinnati Bengals today join football fans across the country in mourning the loss of Cedric Benson.

Said Bengals president Mike Brown: “Cedric was a fine football player for us. He played a principal role for several years here, including a couple of playoff runs. He was from Texas, and he showed his Texas toughness in leading us to a Division Championship in just his second season with us. His three consecutive 1000-yard seasons displayed the talent he possessed. Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing. The Bengals extend our deepest condolences to Cedric’s family.”

Added former Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson: “Once he bought into our system, he was like a flower. He just blossomed. He gave us an element we didn’t have. We had complementary guys, but Cedric gave us a missing element. He was a good man. He was one of my guys and it hurts. Life is too short.”