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Monday, February 4, 2013
Ducks land running back with late pitch

By Brandon Oliver

After exploding on the scene as a senior, RB Kani Benoit (Phoenix/Thunderbird) slowly started to gain interest and offers. New Mexico, Colorado State, Toledo, Wyoming and UNLV all offered, while Arizona State, Illinois, Oregon and Vanderbilt showed interest but had yet to offer. Last week, the Ducks picked up their interest in Benoit again and he returned the favor.

"I just committed to Oregon," said an excited Benoit. "Coach Campbell called and said, 'Hey man, you're in,' so I committed right then and there."

It all came about when Benoit received an unexpected call from the Ducks last Thursday.

"Coach Campbell called me out of the blue to ask if I wanted to take an official visit to Oregon," Benoit said. "I wasn't going to pass on that opportunity, so I took it, and it went better than I could have hoped."

The Ducks had been waiting on TCU commit Trevorris Johnson (Houston/Alief Taylor) to make a final decision, but they felt they no longer had a shot with Johnson, so Benoit was next in line.

"They were waiting on another kid to make his decision, but they didn't want to wait any longer," Benoit said. "They were up front with me the whole time about offering other kids before me. I understand how it works, and I don't have any hard feelings. The bottom line is that I am now an Oregon Duck, and I couldn't be more excited."

Previously, Benoit thought he had committed to Colorado State, announcing that on local television in Arizona. The next day, the Rams contacted the 5-foot-11, 200-pound back and told him there was a miscommunication and they didn't have a spot for him in the class. With limited options remaining, Benoit gave his verbal commitment to UNLV. Then last week, Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell called and asked Benoit if he wanted to take an official visit to Eugene.

Benoit is commit No. 18 for the Ducks, who could see a couple of additions and subtractions from their recruiting class before Wednesday.