have in 2017 — particularly in the running game.
“I’ve been working on getting better on the offensive line,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get to know everything that I need to know. Like, going over all the stuff I did over the last year and working on getting bigger and stronger. That’s really been the main thing.”
Benson will play on both East- side’s defensive and offensive lines this fall. That’s not new for him. But the biggest task is trying to help bring some of his fresh-faced trenchermen on the o-line up to the task of competing this fall.
“I’ve got my buddy Spurgeon (Gaither) on the line to help me hold it down on defense,” Benson said. “And I’ve got myself on the o-line, but I’m gonna work to get a few more guys with me this year. But I think we’re going to have a good group.”
Part of that comes from the fact Eastside will look to boast a threeheaded monster at tailback with the return of junior Taylor Carter who rushed for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns while splitting time with graduated tailback Anthony Brown.
Benson believes Carter’s talents will shine in a whole different way, as the likely featured back in Eastside’s offense.
“TC did a good job last year,” Benson said. “We’re gonna get 1,000 (yards on him this year.”
But in 2017, Carter won’t be toting the leather alone. The Eastside running game will be bolstered by the addition of two Rockdale transfers in senior Tyon Davis and junior Jordan Rogers. Rogers would’ve been the second leading returning rusher for the Bulldogs, as he ran for 274 yards on 46 carries and a score, just behind senior Cortez Faulkner who ran for 461 yards and two scores in 2016.
The trio’s potential has Benson excited.
“Those are my boys,” he said. “I think with Tyon and Jordan, we can really improve.”
Benson said he’s chiefly motivated, however, by the opportunity to see Eastside go deeper in the playoffs than before in the playoffs.
“I want us to make a deep playoff run,” he said. “That’s what I want to see. We haven’t had one in a while. I think the furthest is the second round, and that was my freshman year. We’re trying to go to at least the third this year.”
That’s why he doesn’t mind putting in the work, even just days after the 2016-17 school year ended. Benson said he’s not looking for a break.
“It’s like an all year process, really,” he said. “Everything is back to back to back. We had a good winter, a good spring. So now it’s time to get ready to get this new season started, really.”