Folsom High senior Andrew Benavides is listed on the Folsom High football roster as 5-feet, 9-inches tall with a weight of 175 pounds.
Despite being one of the smaller players on the team, he was one of the team’s top offensive weapons, catching 56 passes for 1,223 yards and 20 touchdowns and was recognized as an all-Metro player.
His talent and skill, along with a ton of hard work, has earned him a full scholarship to attend and play football at Idaho State University. Not many athletes his size earn full football scholarships to Division I schools, which says a lot about his ability.
“Based on his size alone, not many guys get scholarships that are 5-9,” Folsom football coach Kris Richardson said. “He might have been one of our smaller players, but he was also one of our biggest in terms of production. It speaks volumes of how good his is, as his productivity was hard to beat. He worked his tail off.”
Benavides said Idaho State coaches contacted him late in the season and came to meet with him about three weeks after the season. Just last weekend Benavides returned from a trip to Pocatello, Idaho, to visit the university and he was sold.
“The trip was a blast,” Benavides said. “All the guys were awesome and the coaching staff was amazing. I’m really excited to play college football.
“I was hoping to earn a scholarship, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get one.”
Other schools interested in Benavides’ services included Montana State, Humboldt State, Southern Oregon and Sacramento State, but Benavides chose Idaho State.
“They run the spread like us and they said they’re looking at me as a slot receiver,” Benavides said. “Obviously, I like that position.”
Benavides joins fellow receiver Brandon Babineaux and quarterback David Graves, who have earned scholarships to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Hawaii, respectively.
“Andrew ran around and scored a lot of touchdowns for us and hopefully he’ll be able to do that for Idaho State too,” Richardson said.