Posted: 2:42 pm Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
By Jeff Greer
During the frenzy of national signing day, we had a chance to chat with Glades Central receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the second-ranked prospect in the area and one of the most sought-after recruits in Glades Central history. Benjamin signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Florida State in the fall on Wednesday. Here’s what he had to say after signing his letter.
(Wednesday) was the last day in an incredibly long process. How does it feel to finally be able to put on the hat, send that letter in and get it all over with?
It’s a relief. There was a lot of pressure from coaches calling me, or you walk into the store and people talking to me, saying, ‘Go here, go there.’ Basically, it was kind of confusing.
So when it came down to it, I just picked where I felt I could see myself for four years, and I see myself in Tallahassee. I love the coaching staff and (FSU head coach) Jimbo (Fisher). I look at (FSU receivers coach Lawrence) Dawsey like a dad. I never had a dad in my life so I talk to him a lot about personal stuff. So, I love Florida State.
What’s this moment like for you and your family, and how big is this for the community here in Belle Glade to see you and some of your teammates go off to play college football?
I think I play a big role in the community. The young kids out here look up to me and stuff like that, so I just want to be a positive role model. I’m happy that I got to go to college. I’m probably the first guy in my family to go to college on a football scholarship. My family’s real happy, too.
Glades Central has a pipeline of receivers that come through every year. This year, you and (Marshall-bound) Davonte Allen are carrying that torch. Tell me — what does it mean to be a receiver at Glades Central?
Those are big shoes to fill, a big role. Numerous receivers come out of this area — college, NFL, some Hall of Famers. You know you have to work hard every day. You have to picture those cats and what they went through. You have to work even harder. You have to stay a little late after practice, you have to know your routes, you have to get everything together mentally and physically. It’s just a real big role playing receiver at Glades Central.
Everyone today is talking about Florida State as the big winners this year. How much of a factor was that — seeing guys like (Dwyer tight end) Nick O’Leary going there — in your decision to pick FSU?
I talked to a whole bunch of cats before they committed. They kept asking me if I was going there. I was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to be teammates with you.’ Once I saw all those cats coming in and signing and jumping on that bus, I felt like goodbye. This class is gonna change Florida State.
O’Leary says you guys are thinking about roommates …
Yeah … We’re gonna be roommates.
That’s one of the biggest roommate duos we’ve seen in a while. (Benjamin is 6-foot-6, 220 pounds; O’Leary is 6-4, 235 pounds.)
We’re gonna be crazy on and off the field (laughs).
Last thing I’ll ask … how happy is (former Glades Central coach and FSU star Jessie Hester) that you picked his old school?
That’s my coach. He played at Florida State. I think deep down he really wanted me to go to Florida State, but he didn’t bring it up a whole lot. He let me choose on my own. Lucky for him I fell in love with Florida State, so I think he’s pretty happy about that.
For more on national signing day, check out the Palm Beach Post Recruiting Central page.