Hutchinson C.C. WR Malik Benson Drops Top 5, Visit Set with Tennessee

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    Hutchinson Community College wide receiver Malik Benson has been rapidly collecting Division I offers this spring after one season in junior college. However, after making a new announcement on Saturday, Benson’s list is now down to five.

    According to the tweet, the list for JUCO wide receiver Malik Benson includes five powerhouse programs: Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama, and Oregon.

    In Benson’s one season with Hutchinson C.C., the 6-foot-1, 185-pound wideout was electric as the Blue Dragons’ number one target. In total, Benson finished the season with 1,229 yards and 11 touchdowns on 43 receptions. That also comes out to 111.7 yards per game and 3.9 receptions per game.

    Once the season ended and the first domino fell from the Division I level, Benson’s recruitment this spring has turned into a wild west shootout. In the month of February, Benson received offers from Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State, Houston, Kansas, Georgia, Miami, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, and Arkansas. Then, in just the first three days of March, Benson added offers from Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State, Alabama, Penn State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. LSU was the most recent to offer on Mar. 9.

    Even before he announced his top five this weekend, a few teams had certainly emerged as Benson’s top choices based on his activity.

    On April 22, Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh and Alabama wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins met with Benson for an evaluation.

    In addition, it also looks as though Benson has a few significant visits coming up next month. According to 247 Sports, Benson has scheduled an official visit with LSU on June 3, an official visit with Tennessee on June 10, and an official visit with Georgia on June 17.

    With the Vols heavily scouting Benson, it’s clear to see the emphasis that Tennessee is putting on the wide receiver position. And, for the most part, it is working.

    Last week, Tennessee received a commitment from USC transfer and former five-star wide receiver Bru McCoy. The California native only saw one season on the field in his three years in Los Angeles, but McCoy has potent potential on the field. Tennessee is hoping that a change of scenery will help unlock the receiver’s talent.

    In addition, Tennessee is working hard to secure more receivers. The Vols are the favorite for five-star 2023 wideout Carnell Tate from IMG Academy according to On3 Sports and are also trying to secure his receiving teammate, Devin Hyatt, the brother of current Vol Jalin Hyatt.

    The college football world is a game of depth, and that is exactly what Tennessee is trying to build. In addition to Benson, McCoy, Tate, and Hyatt, Tennessee is also hosting former UCF wide receiver Jaylon Robinson this weekend in Knoxville for an official visit. Robinson and Heupel spent one year together at UCF in 2020, and the two had immediate and impactful success together.

    Hutchinson Community College has been a friendly place for Tennessee in the past. A number of former Vols have come from Hutchinson C.C., including RB Alvin Kamara, WR Cordarelle Patterson, and RB Tiyon Evans.

    Tennessee and head coach Josh Heupel are hoping that wide receiver Malik Benson will be the next.

    Malik Benson

    Malik Benson (#11) celebrating with a teammate (@Leek_leek5/Twitter) | Photo via On3 Sports

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.