Name: Luke Benson
Position: Tight end
Weight: 230 lbs.
Hometown: Chalfont, Pa.
High School: Central Bucks West
2020 stats: Due to offensive inefficiencies, blocking needs and other assorted problems last year for the Syracuse Orange, Benson caught just six passes for 63 yards and a score.
2021 projections: With Aaron Hackett gone, Benson’s the new go-to at tight end. Whether or not the offense actually takes advantage of that remains to be seen. But if Syracuse can put take advantage of the various mismatches he can create, this could be a big year for him, even if primarily used as a safety valve to bail Tommy DeVito (or another Orange QB) out of some pressure.
How’d he get here?: Benson generated quite a bit of Northeast interest, with scholarship offers from Buffalo, Army, Temple and others.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Rivals said just two stars, but 247 and ESPN correctly said three stars.
Money quote: Seems everyone that writes about this team was on the same page around tight end usage last year. From (TNIAAM alum) Adam Hillman of the D.O.:
“Benson, on the other hand, is the faster of the two, often able to beat linebackers in man-to-man coverage and even outran defensive backs at times last season. That skillset could be easily utilized if he can find the ball in the open field.”
Twitter feed: @lukebenson35
Tweets of wonder: Luke certainly seems to have a good head on his shoulders.
Syracuse Tight End Luke Benson says he's full speed ahead and ready to play---says there are risks already playing football and that COVID-19 risks go well beyond the football field.— Niko Tamurian (@NikoTamurian) August 19, 2020
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Certainly Dino’s familiar with 1967’s Cool Hand Luke, and it’s unlikely Benson hasn’t heard mention of it over the course of his life. Paul Newman plays the titular Luke in the prison drama about an inmate who won’t conform in a southern facility.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Whether he actually ran that 4.4-second 40-yard dash or not back in high school, even having some claim to that makes him a supremely dangerous weapon if this offense chooses to use him.
Let’s get a look at ya: This feels like it was SO long ago...