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June 11, 2012Katy Seven Lakes offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch has been one of the hottest prospects in the Lone Star state over the past few months.
Benenoch committed to Michigan St. in March, but that has not stopped the flow of college offers for the 6-5, 320-pound offensive standout. In addition to the offers, he has seen interest from several top college programs that have been thoroughly evaluating him over the spring and summer months.
Texas has been among those and after checking on him during spring ball, the UT coaches invited Benenoch to a camp June 3. Benenoch was unable to attend that first weekend, but he would not miss the next chance and on Sunday, June 10, he made his way to Austin.
"It was fun. It was tough. It was real competitive. It was a long day, real long," Benenoch said.
He caught a cramp that slowed him early, but there was work to be done and Benenoch was not about to let anything stop him. It also helped to have some friendly competition.
"I worked at guard and tackle at the camp and everywhere I went Jake (Raulerson) kind of followed me," he said. "So if I was at tackle Jake was at a five or a nine, and if I was guard he would move down to a three. So we went against each other the whole competition. If someone else tried to go against me he would try to tap them out and tell them that's my guy. It was fun and competitive."
Raulerson and Benenoch have a history, and while the action was fierce it never ceased being fun.
"It was fun. We go way back to NUC, so it was like a re-match," Benenoch said. "It was just two really competitive guys trying to make each other better. It was real physical but at the end it was all fun. I gave him a big hug after and we're good friends."
In addition to working against Raulerson, he also enjoyed working under the direction of Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels.
"He was funny. He joked around, but every once in awhile even though it was a camp he treated us almost like he would his own linemen. He would get upset and take his hat off and yell at us," he said. "It was fun, he was a good coach. I enjoyed the time I got to work with him. He's a good coach. He will tell you what you did wrong and he will tell you what you did right too. It was a really good experience for me."
Benenoch worked at both right guard and right tackle on the day and felt comfortable at both positions. Then when the camp was over he had one more experience - meeting Texas head coach Mack Brown in his office. It was a meeting that certainly left an impression.
"It was amazing," Benenoch said of meeting coach Brown. "I can't even find a word for it, but he had like a championship swagger about him. Like a charisma. It was cool getting to meet him and talk to him for a little bit. He's everything I expected and then some."
So what happened during that visit with coach Brown? Did he get an offer? What happens next? Benenoch is playing his cards close to the vest. However, it is pretty clear that his trip to Texas was a positive experience.