By Ben Short
In the United States there are 1,093,234 high school football players, and just 6.5% (or 71,060) of those players go on to play in college. Only 2.8% go on to NCAA Division 1 football, according to nfhs.org.
There are 65 junior college football teams, and out of all those players, 850 of them make an FBS roster. Only around 150 will play in a Power 5 conference – the SEC, Big 10, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC – according to sbnation.com.
What are the odds of a kid from Kansas with zero offers out of high school committing to play football at Alabama? One in a million?
Malik Benson, from Lansing in northeastern Kansas, near Leavenworth, was virtually unknown out of high school before becoming the Benson that Blue Dragon fans know now.
“What contributed to me being overlooked was I didn’t make the grades, slacked in high school and didn’t take school work seriously,” Benson said.
How lucky was HutchCC to have landed this guy who turned his academics around and excels on the field?
After putting up more than 1,200 yards his freshman season with the Blue Dragons, he had 24 offers from schools including Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and others according to Rivals.com, before announcing his commitment to Alabama on July 5, via Twitter.
“I chose Alabama because I have good relationships with the coaching staff and some players, the culture is just like Hutch, have one goal in winning a national championship and the best go against the best everyday in practice, so it makes the games easier just like Hutch,” Benson said. After all this success he still gives credit to the Blue Dragon coaching staff. “(Head coach Drew) Dallas and (former assistant Kody) Cook always pushed me to be the best version of me on and off the field. Never let me get complacent,” Benson said.
Dallas, now in his third season, had nothing but great things to say about Benson.
“Just like any incoming recruit, you don’t really know what kind of success they will have in their time in your program until they get here and actually do it,” Dallas said. “However, we knew Malik’s skill set was there to be very successful along with being a great kid and competitor. We did not know when that would happen, but with the hard work he put into it and his quick development made him an instant impact player for us in year one.”
Coming to Hutch and fighting to be seen by the masses and get recruited and finding success in that you might think one would get complacent after achieving great heights most players never reach right?
“Goals for my career are to be a national champion, win the Heisman, and get drafted in the first round,” Benson said.
The definition of one in a million is, a person that is very unusual, special, or admired. Malik falls into the category of one in a million.