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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Benenoch opens recruitment; gets OU offer

By Max Olson and William Wilkerson

Four-star offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) has informed HornsNation that he has decommitted from Michigan State, opening up the possibility of a commitment to Texas.

Benenoch called his Michigan State recruiter on Tuesday night and delivered the bad news that many expected following Benenoch’s visit to Texas on Sunday.

“It was real difficult,” Benenoch said. “One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was make that call. The coaches on the staff are great people.

“I can’t feel good about it. It’s like breaking up with your girlfriend. No one feels good after it.”

A 6-foot-6, 321-pound prospect ranked No. 19 among guard prospects by ESPN, Benenoch has no plans to commit right away.

The offer he received from Mack Brown on Sunday was not the only reason he opted to decommit, and Benenoch said he is now also considering Oklahoma, Baylor, Arkansas and Texas A&M.

“It’s basically wide open,” he said. “I’m not looking to jump into any commitment. The next one I make is going to be it. It has to be the right choice and the perfect choice.”

Benenoch made the tough phone call to Michigan State’s staff after competing at an Oklahoma satellite camp in Houston. Following his decommitment, Benenoch received an offer from the Sooners late Tuesday night.

The Spartans will continue to recruit Benenoch and have asked him to take an official visit for their game against Notre Dame.

“I’ll try to make it up there, we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “Other than that, the furthest I’m looking to go is Oklahoma.”

Though he’d tried to avoid the topic while committed to MSU, Benenoch admitted Tuesday the Texas offer he received during a meeting in Brown’s office was a serious honor, and Brown urged Benenoch to take his time with his recruiting process.

Benenoch impressed Brown and offensive line coach Stacy Searels at UT’s camp with his ability to play anywhere on an offensive line. Searels told the mammoth senior-to-be he could play any position besides center -- where the Longhorns have true sophomore starter Dom Espinosa coming back -- if he opted to play at Texas.

Benenoch said the highlight of his camp experience was getting to bond with and go one-on-one against UT commit Jake Raulerson.

“It was fun getting to go up against him. He’s a great competitor,” Benenoch said. “It was a real back and forth. At the end of it, we gave each other a big hug. We made each other better, and that was good.”

He ended the day with a moment he’d long dreamed of: a meeting in Brown’s office and a formal scholarship offer.

“That was the biggest,” Benenoch said. “Getting that from UT is huge. I grew up a fan of the Longhorns. For them to be patient with me and go through this with me is huge.”