Trey Benson, a former star running back for the St. Joseph Catholic School football team, said he was sad for a few days when he learned his new team, the University of Oregon Ducks, would not be playing football this fall. On August 12, the PAC-12, which Oregon is a member, announced it had postponed all sports competitions through the end of the calendar year.
Then, after a few days, Benson said he realized it may just be a blessing in disguise.
“This will give me more time to learn the playbook and learn all about what it takes to be successful at the college level,” Benson said. “As a freshman, there is so much for me to learn.”
Benson came home to Greenville last week. He plans to return to Oregon on Sept 20 where he will then start his classes.
Even though he said he has been approached by a couple universities to gage his interest in transferring, he said he remains committed to the University of Oregon.
“The coaches at Oregon call me everyday, and they have really done a good job in keeping me informed,” Benson said. “I am sticking with Oregon.”
Benson spent two months this summer in Oregon, both practicing football and getting adjusted to the culture change of the Pacific Northwest.
“It is far from home, and it is a completely different atmosphere. It rains a lot, but it is definitely as hot as it is in the Delta,” he said. “I have gotten to do a lot of fun things. I went surfing and jet skiing, and I have met a lot of great people.”
Benson said he hopes the Pac-12 can begin its football season in January.
Benson, last year’s Delta Democrat Times Co-Player of the Year, helped the St. Joseph Irish win their third straight state championship last season. While Benson decided to play far away from home, his teammate, Dillon Johnson, signed with Mississippi State University. The Bulldogs are scheduled to begin their season on Sept. 26 against LSU.
“I am going to be a little jealous watching all those teams play, but I am glad that I am going to get to watch it,” Benson said.
Even though he is just a freshman, Benson said he hopes to see immediate playing time once the season starts.
“The great thing is the coaches have said that it doesn’t matter what year you are in everyone on our team has to earn their position,” Benson said. “I hope to earn my position.”