Wylie East running back Eno Benjamin wasn’t confident this week that a long-awaited offer from the Texas Longhorns would come his direction, but that’s exactly what happened on Thursday morning:
The former Iowa commit was long under evaluation by Charlie Strong and his staff, but was forced to remain patient.
With Georgia commit Toneil Carter canceling his official visit to Texas this weekend, Benjamin now looks like the most realistic target at the position given the difficulty of flipping JK Dobbins from Ohio State.
The 5’10, 204-pounder Benjamin now holds nearly 30 offers and has taken official visits to Arizona State, Missouri, and Utah. In an interview with Bleacher Report, he indicated that he’s also interested in Michigan and Oklahoma State.
The early enrollee always maintained his interest in the Longhorns, however, despite the late offer.
"I know what Coach Herman is capable of doing with the program and he proved a lot while at Houston," Benjamin told B/R. "I'm excited about Texas. I actually grew up an Oklahoma fan, but when that opportunity is there you can't turn it down."
As an early enrollee, Benjamin doesn’t have much time to make a decision with the dead period looming and a commitment planned at the US Army All-American game on January 7.
In fact, this weekend represents the only opportunity to visit Austin in that timeframe, as the dead period starts on Monday. Fortunately for Herman and his staff, making it to campus may be necessary for the ‘Horns to land his pledge.
"I know a lot about that coaching staff and I know a lot about Texas, so it's not like I would have a lot to figure out [about] everything in a short time," Benjamin said.
The consensus four-star prospect visited Texas last February for the Junior Day and was recruited by Herman at Houston, which provided that familiarity with the staff.
As a result, a flurry of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions came in for Benjamin to the Longhorns when Herman was hired and that trend continued in the immediate aftermath of his offer on Thursday morning. In other words, it looks like Texas is now the heavy favorite.
He’s ranked as the No. 190 prospect nationally, the No. 10 running back, and the No. 24 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
At the Dallas The Opening Regional camp back in March, Benjamin ran a 4.70 40-yard dash, a 4.10 shuttle, and a 31.3-inch vertical leaps, so his best asset is his short-area quickness.
Benjamin has also been massively productive at the high school level, running for more than 7,500 yards and scoring 106 rushing touchdowns.
[Update]: Benjamin tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he will officially visit Texas on Friday.