Provided depth at defensive tackle, appearing in 10 games ... Tallied seven tackles ... Recorded sack at Louisville.
Successful conversion to defensive tackle, playing in all 11 games and starting three contests with 17 tackles, including 12 solos ... Recorded two tackles for loss and one QB hurry ... Made three tackles with two solos vs. Louisville ... Also recorded three stops vs. Iowa and Northwestern, adding a tackle for loss vs. Wildcats ... Had two solo stops vs. Wisconsin and Indiana, adding a TFL vs. Hoosiers.
Played in all 11 games, starting the last six games at defensive end with 36 tackles, including 22 solos, four TFLs and one quarterback hurry ... Had career-high six tackles and five solos vs. Southern Miss with one TFL ... Also piled up six tackles with four solos and two TFLs at Wisconsin ... Had four tackles vs. Washington State and Northwestern and three vs. Michigan State with one TFL.
High School Highlights
Had 70 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and six sacks as a senior ... Listed as one of the top 10 defensive line prospects in the Midwest by BlueChip Magazine and as one of the Top 11 prospects in the Midwest by SuperPrep ... Rated as one of the Top 20 defensive line prospects in the nation by SuperPrep ... An all-conference defensive end ... High school coach was Alec Anderson.
Born Jan. 26, 1978 ... Started as an offensive tackle and defensive end at Kankakee ... One of three former Keys to sign with Illinois in 1996 (along with Marcus Hood and Roy Sessions) ... Son of Michael Benson and Kathy Thomas ... Enrolled in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Tackles: 6 (twice, last at Wisconsin, 10/11/97)
Solos: 5 vs. Southern Miss, 9/6/97
Tackles for loss: 2 at Wisconsin, 10/11/97
Sacks: 1 at Louisville, 9/18/99