As soon as Tampa Bay Tech receiver Richard Benjamin announced one week ago that he would actually give his college commitment today, all signs pointed to UCF. And Monday, Benjamin made it official by picking the Knights.
At one time, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Benjamin claimed 34 verbal offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami. But recently Rivals had UCF and Vanderbilt as Benjamin's front-runners, while 24/7 Sports, another recruiting service, listed Clemson, USF and UCF among his top schools.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Monday that "Benjamin contacted UCF a few weeks ago to let the Knights coaching staff know he was interested in being a part of the program."
Benjamin, a three-star prospect according to Rivals and 24/7, played his freshman year at Tampa Bay Tech before transferring to Middleton for his sophomore and junior years. He attempted to transfer back to the Titans prior to his junior year, but stayed at Middleton when his mother objected to the move. He did enroll back at Tampa Bay Tech in January.
Last season for the 0-10 Tigers, Benjamin rushed 58 times for 501 yards and caught 26 passes for 450 yards. Benjamin recently competed as a member of undefeated Team Tampa squad at the IMG Madden 7-on-7 National Championship in Bradenton.
In the Twitter age, it's not easy to keep commitments secret for long.
Last week, a Bright House tweet strongly suggested that Benjamin’s commitment was the previously promised “BIG BIG BIG” UCF recruiting news that had to be delayed due to scheduling reasons. And when East Lake QB Pete DiNovo committed to the Knights on Tuesday, Rivals analyst Chris Nee tweeted, “Dinovo in for #UCF. (St. Johns Bartram Trail OG Tylar) Reagan and Benjamin will be soon enough.” BrightHouse later announced that DiNovo would be at the studio to watch Benjamin “choose” between UCF, USF and Vanderbilt.
Originally, BrightHouse's Ryan Bass said that Benjamin's announcement would air live. "CONFIRMED: #TBT WR Richard Benjamin (@BenjaminR_2) will make college decision LIVE on @BHSN Ch. 47/1147 July 9 at 4p. #UCF #USF #Vanderbilt" at he tweeted last Monday at 1:03 p.m, a little less than an hour after talking about scheduling plans.
Bass has since deleted that tweet.