Family, opportunity led Benson to FSU

New Florida State running back Trey Benson never expected to find himself in the NCAA transfer portal after signing with Oregon in 2020. However, after two years in the pacific northwest, the Greenville, Miss., native decided he wanted to be closer to his family while he finished his college career. Benson was also looking for an opportunity to play right away and FSU checked both boxes for the redshirt sophomore.

“I’m a momma’s boy,” said Benson when he met with FSU beat writers on Zoom earlier this week. “I love my dad too, but I’m a momma’s boy. I wanted to be closer. It’s a six-hour drive. Because my family, they’re scared to fly. Being six hours away from home is a blessing because they can always drive. Oregon, I was 36 hours away. Thirty-six hours is just a hard drive. So you want to fly. But they didn’t want to fly. So I wanted to come back closer to home.”

The former four-star running back from St. Joesph Catholic High was apprehensive about deciding to leave Oregon despite wanting to get closer to home.

“Yeah, I was kind of nervous,” Benson said of entering the portal. “I didn’t know what to expect. Because I never saw myself hitting the portal. But the coaching staff changed and it was an opportunity for me.”

Benson’s interest in FSU grew when Jashaun Corbin, the Seminoles’ leading rusher in 2021, decided to enter the 2022 NFL draft.

“It was a big opportunity to me because of Jashaun Corbin leaving,” said Benson. “It’s not a primary back right now. We’re just all going to come in and compete and I’m here to compete and develop myself, let the coaches develop me.”

FSU coach Mike Norvell offered Benson a scholarship while he was the head coach at Memphis.

“They were actually my first offer,” Benson said. “Coach Norvell is a great coach. I wanted to get my opportunity, but I had bigger plans at Oregon. But now I got the chance to give them the opportunity. I’m in Tallahassee now.”

Benson also built a quick relationship with FSU offensive coordinator Alex Atkins once he officially entered the portal.

“They’re real, man,” said Benson of the FSU staff. “I can talk to them about anything. I actually just met Coach Atkins right when I hit the portal. But when I first talked to him, it clicked right then. We clicked right then. We were like best friends right then.”

After missing his true freshman season in 2020 with a serious knee injury, Benson, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, says he is fully healthy and ready to hit full stride after seeing action in nine games, where he carried the ball just six times.

“That process was hard,” said Benson of his injury and getting back on the field. “Rehab was hard. I had to come in every day and work twice as hard as everyone else. I tore everything. I feel like it was best though because it made me who I am today.”

“Right now, I’m 100 percent,” continued Benson. “I feel very confident in my knee. Last season I was kind of hesitant, but it took reps in practice every day. Now I’m 100 percent.”

Benson says he will be looking to prove in spring practice that he is every bit the player he was thought to be coming out of high school.

“I’m for sure the underdog right now,” said Benson. “When I’m talking right now, just building the pain and anger and stuff. I’m just ready to play football.”

“I’m a bigger back. But as a bigger back, I’m kind of special because I have speed. I have a lot of power and speed.”