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Cardinals RB Trey Benson's game-breaking approach: 'Forrest Gump, that's all I'm thinking about'

Considered one of the greatest college football players in the history of modern fiction, Alabama All-American Forrest Gump had a simple philosophy to the game: run.

It's an approach adopted by one of the Arizona Cardinals' newest talents, running back Trey Benson, when he hits the second level.

"Once I get to the second level, my teammates used to call me Forrest Gump," Benson said Friday at rookie minicamp. "Forrest Gump, that's all I'm thinking about. Second level, once I get to the second level, Forrest Gump. Don't get caught. Just run. Hit your head on the goal post."

Though he doesn't hail from Greenbow, Alabama, Benson is a product of Greenville, Mississippi.

It was there that Benson, much like Gump before him, used his feet to carry him across the country.

Benson went from Mississippi to Oregon, where he began his college career, then he headed to Florida State, where he played two sensational seasons. Now, he's back west in Arizona, happy to add a breakaway threat to a straight-line running game.

"Run the rock, can't say nothing more than that," Benson said when asked about joining the Cardinals' physical rushing attack. "Really, just get the ball to the running backs cause we do everything on the football field. We're like hybrids: We block, we pass block, we catch the ball and we run the ball. I'm looking forward to this offense, for sure."

Clearly, the Cardinals are looking forward to having Benson, who portends to be the heir apparent to James Conner whenever the veteran chain-mover cedes the RB1 role. Benson was a third-round pick and the second back off the board following the Carolina Panthers' second-round selection of Jonathon Brooks.

Comparable to the fleet-footed Gump, Benson turned in a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's coming off two campaigns at Florida State in which he averaged a stellar 6.31 yards per attempt, rushed for 1,895 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.

Having overcome a severe knee injury in 2020 at Oregon, Benson has seemingly been rushing against the wind to get to where he is now. It's an accomplishment that he's aiming to build upon.

"I knew it was going to happen, I just didn't know when," he said of getting drafted. "Just kept my faith in God and put my head down and got to work. I came a long way these past couple years. I'm from Mississippi, so it's hard to make it out of Mississippi."

Benson became one of a hefty 12-pick draft class for the Cardinals. It's been an interesting bunch so far, with second-round cornerback Max Melton waxing philosophical about Gucci belts, third-round tight end Tip Reiman bringing along his pottery wheel to rookie camp and Benson, just 20, referencing an Academy Award-winning movie made nearly a decade before he was born.

Like the great Gump, Benson's looking for his cleats to carry him to success and, above all else, to just keep on runnin'.

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