April 15, 2009

Southern Cal offers Florida OL

Offensive lineman Brent Benedict already had a long list of suitors filled with heavy hitters like Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Notre Dame. Now another big-time program has entered the fray with Southern Cal recently offering the Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles offensive lineman.

"It's an honor for me for a school from the west coast to come over and give me a scholarship," Benedict said. "That's something I have to take into consideration, the program they have there, the coaches they have there, of course the good football history and it's also a top academic program from what I know.

"It's something I'm interested in learning more about and possibly taking a visit. I plan on doing that this summer. I haven't made final arrangements but I plan on getting out there and looking at UCLA, too. That's the plan right now to learn a little bit more about them."

Location will not be a big concern for Benedict, a 6-foot-5, 278-pound recruit, because as a 14-year-old he moved from Greenville, S.C., to Jacksonville because he thought it was the best move academically and athletically. Transitioning to Los Angeles, if he does end up at Southern Cal, would not be a big problem.

"Doing it as an 18-year-old is not going to be nearly as big an issue, so as far as location it's not a big deal for me," Benedict said.

That being stated, Benedict still has a lot to learn about Southern Cal before any decisions are made. The Trojans had not been in much contact but coach Pete Carroll called Benedict's coach recently and said a scholarship has been offered.

Over the next few months before a trip to California, Benedict said he's going to research the program more to see if it would be a good fit. But so many other programs are pursuing him as well and he has already stopped by a few campuses to get more familiar with those places.

Benedict has been to Florida multiple times and the Gators have to be considered one of the top teams in his recruitment. He recently returned from stops at North Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Duke.

Seeing Alabama is a priority and the Benedict family is headed to Pennsylvania this summer for a family reunion so checking out some campuses could also be an option during that trip.

So many schools are recruiting Benedict, rated as the No. 40 prospect by Rivals.com, but he's taking nothing for granted. With Southern Cal now in the mix, the ante has just been upped in the sweepstakes to land the talented lineman.

"It's an honor for me to get each scholarship," Benedict said. "That was pretty exciting for a school from the west coast to come over and offer me a scholarship. I haven't become numb to it it's still something I'm still very grateful for and thankful for."


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