Texas 4-star running back favors Iowa
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Four-star running back Eno Benjamin has more than 15 scholarship offers, including one from Iowa State, which came on Wednesday.
The junior from Wylie, Texas native only has one favorite, though, and it’s arguably Iowa State’s biggest rival, the Iowa Hawkeyes, who seem to be making Benjamin a recruiting priority.
“They show that they are committed to me," Benjamin said of the Iowa coaches Wednesday night. "They are here at the school literally every week."
Iowa was the first school to offer Benjamin a scholarship. He also said Houston, Northwestern, Arizona State and Boise State are schools he is considering.
Iowa’s knack for pumping out NFL-caliber offensive linemen is attractive to Benjamin as a running back.
“I feel like they have one of the best pro-style offenses in the nation," said Benjamin, who racked up over 3,000 all-purpose yards and 45 touchdowns during his junior season at Wylie East High School. "They recruit some huge in-state offensive linemen who I would love to run behind.”
Benjamin’s smaller frame (5-foot-9 193 pounds) is reminiscent of past Iowa running backs such as Fred Russell, Adam Robinson and Jordan Canzeri. All three hid behind much larger offensive linemen and used their speed to slither through seams and into the secondary.
The Iowa coaches believe Benjamin can make a huge impact on offense and help the Hawkeyes reach their goal of making the College Football Playoff.
Iowa fell one victory short of making the four-team playoff this past season, losing to Michigan State 16-13 in the Big Ten Championship Game.
“Coach (Bobby) Kennedy, as well as Coach (Chris) White, think I can be the guy to get them into the top four," Benjamin said. "They think I can be an every down back for them instead of a rotation.
"They told me their two-and-three star guys put up numbers and to imagine what a four-star would do there."
Benjamin is aware of Iowa’s recent shift in recruiting strategy in which the coaches are being more aggressive and offering more scholarships.
Of the 24 players in Iowa’s 2016 recruiting class, 23 were committed before the first game of the 2015 season.
Benjamin is unsure about how soon he wants to make a decision. He is expected to visit Iowa in the second week of March.
“I sort of want to shut it all down, but I want to just get out and see what else there is to offer,” Benjamin said.
Veteran recruiting analyst Tom Lemming posted Benjamin’s profile on Twitter on Wednesday. The profile listed Oklahoma as being Benjamin’s dream school.
That immediately caused a stir on Twitter, to which Benjamin gave this response in a direct message.
"Dream school growing up," Benjamin said of Oklahoma. "I like them but it isn’t all about liking a school. There’s more than just liking a school that plays into which school I will attend. And right now, Iowa has that."
Iowa currently has five players committed to its 2017 class, with four-star defensive end A.J. Epenesa the latest to climb aboard on Sunday.
Landing Benjamin would give Iowa an offensive cornerstone in the 2017 class to go along with Epenesa on defense.