Ankeny, Iowa – Now that the 2018 college football signing day is officially in the past our team at Hawkeye Heaven is going to put together a series of articles where we highlight each of the 22 commitments Iowa received. We’ll share each recruit’s highlights, and do our best to mention what jumps out to us about each player on tape. Then we will predict what kind of an impact we think they will make in a Hawkeye uniform. We’ll go in alphabetical order (by last name) and start with Mr. Seth Benson.
Benson currently stands at 6’1″ and weighs 210 lbs. He projects as a MLB for the Hawks. He was a “do-everything” type of player for his high school team playing everything from QB and H-Back on offense to LB and DE on defense. As a senior, Benson was chosen as the Gatorade Player of the Year in South Dakota. He was a 3x State Champion, and 2x All-State and All-Conference.
Although he was a late offer, it is worth mentioning that Iowa has had a tremendous amount of success mining the state of South Dakota for under the radar talent. Riley Reiff and his brother Brady, Matt Vandeberg, and of course the one and only Chad Greenway were all from the state of South Dakota. Wouldn’t it be great if Seth Benson is the next Chad Greenway!? Kidding of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but that is an easy comparison to make simply because Benson is an under-the-radar LB from South Dakota.
Prior to the Hawkeyes offer, Benson was originally committed to South Dakota State. The Benson family has a long and proud history at South Dakota State. Seth’s father and brother played football for the Jackrabbits. His mother played basketball and his sister played volleyball for the Jackrabbits as well. It was a tough decision for Seth to choose not to follow in their footsteps, but ultimately the challenge and opportunity to play football at a higher level was too much to turn down.
Benson is a smart, fundamentally sound, football player. His footwork, use of hands, and the angles he takes to the ball are all above average for a young man at this level. He stands up a bit too tall at times, but he’ll remedy that quickly after a few practices at Iowa. He’s clearly the best player on the field at this level of football in South Dakota, but he won’t have the quickest first step as a LB at the Big Ten level. However, his ability to rapidly diagnose plays should help him make up for it. The young man has a great instinct for the football.
There’s also a man who goes by the name of Josey Jewell who was rumored to not have a quick first step as a recruit, and he seemed to do just fine at the Big Ten level. Part of that was his ability to make decisions on the fly and part of it was the fact he became a film room junkie. Benson seems to have that first part down. If he lives in the film room he’ll take care of the second part.
Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Benson is that he has a high motor, and he never gives up on a play. That’s Hawkeye football. Check out his effort chasing down a WR from behind at the 2:15 mark in the video. A lot of players would have just given up there. He took a great pursuit angle, kicked it into high gear, and made a play that few other players would make.
You don’t see a lot of kickoff coverage in highlight videos now days, but there were several clips of Benson wrecking havoc here. Which makes sense given the type of high motor player he is. He clearly has a knack for covering a kickoff. He must take pride in it because a player of his caliber typically doesn’t play special teams at the high school level due to the risk of injury and the need for a quick breather. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Benson make an impact early in his career on special teams for the Hawkeyes. That’s a fantastic way to get the attention of the coaches, and possibly earn yourself some more opportunities down the road.
At 6’1 210 lbs, Benson will likely need to be in Doyle’s strength and conditioning program for a couple of years before he’ll have an opportunity to crack the depth chart at LB. If he can get his weight to 230-235 lbs Benson has the potential to develop into a starter at MLB as a junior or senior for the Hawkeyes. Fellow linebacker recruits Dillon Doyle and Jayden McDonald are incredibly talented, but they project more on the outside which should give Benson a chance to become the man in the middle.
Welcome to the Hawkeye family Seth!