Malik Benson-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
4-star JUCO wide receiver prospect Malik Benson has UGA as one of his final five schools. (Instagram)
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Malik Benson: Nation’s No. 1 JUCO prospect shares why Georgia, his first ‘major’ offer, remains on his mind

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star junior college receiver Malik Benson. The Hutchinson Community College star ranks as the nation’s No. No. 1 overall JUCO prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings.

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Malik Benson allows the college recruiting storylines a chance to return to the junior college level. The explosive wide receiver is the first major Georgia target at the JUCO level coming out of the pandemic.

The Kansas native makes it all sound rather easy. Benson has five officials planned. He just took his first one to Oregon.

The 19-year-old has never seen any of those schools before, but it will be enough. Others might need three or more trips to a few of their top schools to figure it all out.

Benson just likes to work fast.

“I think so,” he said. “Talking to all these people. Building all these relationships. I think that just seeing them all once will be enough.”

Every junior college prospect has a story. Adversity is always the main obstacle. The Benson story has its own unique twists and turns.

If he had the grades out of high school, he wouldn’t be playing receiver at Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oregon or Tennessee right now. He wouldn’t be playing college football at all.

A strong academic transcript would have sent him somewhere big on a track scholarship.

“When I was in high school I was getting letters from LSU, UCLA and Texas Tech,” he said. “All the big programs. I fell in love with running track then.”

When a young man soars 25-plus feet in the long jump while in high school, that makes a lot of sense.

Couple that with a time he reported time of 10.3 seconds in the 100 and you have a remarkable athlete. That’s Champ Bailey and Matthew Boling-type stuff right there.

Yet he also wouldn’t have been a big football prospect because he didn’t blow up until late in his prep career. Benson said he likely finished high school with less than 50 career catches. Maybe even less than that.

“I was in the Wing-T [offense] in high school so I really wasn’t getting utilized,” he said. “Or like how I thought I should. I wasn’t really getting looked at.”

4-star JUCO wide receiver prospect Malik Benson has UGA as one of his final five schools. (Instagram)
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Malik Benson: Rewinding a modest high school career

He didn’t have the grades for a track scholarship. So he started to look for a place to play football after high school.

Benson had started to get offers to play football from the junior colleges in Kansas. He racked up 28 catches for approximately 700 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. He had very little stats or film prior to that.

Those games started off with a simple plan: Throw a fade or a post to Malik. Pound it the rest of the way.

His renewal in football centered on a few key thoughts: Restart. Get coached. Take his game to the next level. Learn how to really play football.

“I just thought if I did all of that then what I could do was really going to show,” Benson said.

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