View Full Version : Invited Walk-Ons

06-14-2008, 03:16 AM
Andalusia Star-News

Benson invited as walk-on at Troy

By Andrew Garner
Saturday, June 14, 2008 12:10 AM CDT

Andalusia High School offensive lineman LeDerryus Benson will start the next phase of his football career as an invited walk-on for the Troy University Trojans football team this fall.

Benson, who weighs 310 pounds and is 6-foot-3, benches 355 pounds and runs a 5.2 40-yard dash, said the reason why Troy was the best place for him was the proximity to Andalusia.

"It's close to home and it's an up and coming school that has played some pretty big schools," Benson said.

Benson said that right now, he is mentally getting focused on what he has to do at Troy to be successful.

"I am just ready to get to work," he said.

Benson has been playing football since middle school and has loved the game ever since.

"It's been a while, as long as I can remember," he said. "I have always wanted to play football, but my mom wouldn't let me play until I was in middle school. I've played on the defensive and offensive line since middle school."

As to whether he would like to play professionally, Benson said that he "would like to."

"I would like to, I am just enjoying playing football right now when I can," he said.

During his high school career as a Bulldog, Benson has played under many coaches. But he credits not only coaches, but other teammates that have helped him establish his hard work ethic.

"Coach [Tom] Causey taught me my work ethic and other people that I've played with in high school have pushed me to do the best I can," he said. "Coach [Dodd] Hawthorne has as well."

Benson added that it was not that difficult to play under many coaches during his time at Andalusia.

"It wasn't that difficult," he said. "I played with the same ones most of the time, but when Coach [Heath] Harmon came in, it was a little different. It was a new offense and a new coaching staff."

Benson had received offers from Georgia Tech and Alabama State before deciding on Troy.

"Troy is closer to my family and it's a bigger school," he said. "I wanted to go somewhere big and closer to my family."

Benson played as a lineman in high school in the tackle position, but he said that he would probably be playing guard in college.

Benson said he is moving up to Troy tomorrow (Sunday) and will start practicing with the team in August.

Benson is the son of Willie Ray and Mary Benson of Andalusia.

06-14-2008, 03:18 AM
Andalusia Star-News

Brannon Bryan hopes to follow in father Tim's footsteps at Troy

By Justin Schuver
Saturday, June 14, 2008 12:03 AM CDT

Brannon Bryan has grown up around Troy University his entire life. It should come to no surprise then that Brannon would choose to walk-on for the football team for which his father Tim once played.

What might be a surprise is that Brannon arrived on that decision on his own.

"Dad never pressured me to go to Troy," Brannon said. "I knew that if I didn't get an offer anywhere else, I was going to walk-on at Troy. Even if I'd gotten an offer at a smaller school, I probably still would have gone to Troy."

Tim smiles when asked if his son ever felt pressure to attend Troy or play football. Tim walked on to the Trojans in 1977 and played until 1980, earning all-conference honors his senior year.

"Absolutely not, that was the farthest thing from the truth," Tim said. "The last thing I'd want for him to do would be to do something that I wanted him to do. Now if he was interested in playing football or attending Troy, then I'd be all for it.

"Troy is where my heart is, and we've supported the program forever. It's great that he likes Troy too, as far as I'm concerned."

Brannon played linebacker for Andalusia High School from ninth grade up until his graduation this year. Previous to that, he played middle school football and on various city league teams, where his father was often the coach.

"Dad never treated me differently from any of the other players," Brannon said. "In fact, he might have treated me even a little harder."

Tim concurred.

"If he was treated different, it's because I was even harder on him than the other players," he said. "Both of my sons (Brannon and Andrew) will tell you that I'm pretty objective. I don't give any preferential treatment. If anything, I was even a little tougher on them when I was coaching."

Brannon will move to Troy this weekend and he will have a familiar face there. LeDerryus Benson, and offensive lineman on the Bulldogs, will also be walking on at Troy for his freshman year.

Although Brannon does not call the campus of Troy University home just yet, it already feels like a second home. He said that his family has always supported the Trojans, he has been to more home football games than he can count and has known Troy head coach Larry Blakeney "forever." Tim has told Brannon lots of stories about playing college football, particularly trying to make clear that the first season might be difficult.

"He set me down and talked about how, after I get there, that first year I'm going to start thinking, 'You know, I don't have to be here,'" Brannon said. "But he said if you can just make it through that first year, then you'll be okay."

Tim is particularly excited that his son will not only get the chance to possibly play Division I college football, but also get to learn experiences that will help him throughout the rest of his life.

"If he can succeed at this, then I tell him that the rest of life will seem easy," Tim said. "Once you've adapted to the game and the work it takes to play the game at that level, then there will be no job later in life that seems to difficult. That's what I want him to learn from this.

"I'm really proud that I went through it, I feel like I went in there a boy and came out a man, and I attribute my success today to my experience there (at Troy)."

Brannon thanked his father for raising him through the first stage of his life, and feels that Tim's lessons will serve him well as he moves onto being an independent adult, both on and off the football field.

"My dad has been an inspiration," Brannon said. "He's been a big part of the reason I am what I am now and the player that I am. He's always pushing me and has molded me in all aspects of life."

Tim and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 27 years. They have two sons, Brannon and Andrew, 22. The family has lived in Andalusia since 1999.

06-14-2008, 03:25 AM

Lederryus Benson | OG

Hometown: Andalusia, AL
Andalusia High School
Ht: 6'1" Wt: 315

Brannon Bryan | ILB

Hometown: Andalusia, AL
Andalusia High School
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 210

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2007 ASWA All-State football team



QB - Jeremy Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, Sr., 6-0, 200
RB - Michael Berry, Andalusia, Sr., 6-0, 200
RB - DeMario Pippen, Central-Tuscaloosa, Sr., 5-10, 195
RB - Dominique King, Deshler, Sr., 5-8, 155
WR/TE - Tana Patrick, North Jackson, Jr., 6-3, 224
WR/TE - Marsellous Wilder, Central-Tuscaloosa, Sr., 6-3, 190
WR/TE - Tysean Thompson, Thomasville, Sr., 5-10, 155
OL - Lederryus Benson, Andalusia, Sr., 6-2, 310
OL - Labarron Bender, East Limestone, Sr., 6-2, 270
OL - Mike McArthur, Madison Co., Sr., 6-3, 295
OL - Blake Rogers, North Jackson, Sr., 5-11, 210
OL - Justin Byers, St. Clair Co., Jr., 6-3, 285
PK - Jesus Garcia, Saks, Jr., 5-10, 180
ATH - Trett Hardman, Fairview, So., 6-2, 200

Honorable Mention:


Linebacker: Frankie Crabtree, North Jackson, Sr.; Mytez Madden, Saks, Jr.; Jose Mills, Deshler, Jr.; Caleb Crane, Cherokee Co., So.; Brannon Bryan, Andalusia, Sr.; Akeem Green, W.S. Neal, Sr.; Darrin Nalls, Fayette Co., Sr.

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Birmingham News

Alabama sports writers name 42 finalists for 2007 Mr. Football Award
Posted by rsims November 21, 2007 5:00 AM

ASWA 2007 Mr. Football Finalists


CLASS 4A LINEMEN: Lederryus Benson, Andalusia, OT, 6-2, 310, Sr.; Tana Patrick, North Jackson, LB/TE, 6-3, 224, Jr.; Katrell Watters, Thomasville, LB, 6-0, 235, Sr.

... Lederryus Benson, senior linebacker for Andalusia, joins Berry as one of 42 finalists for the ASWA Mr. Football award. Benson will be considered as one of three finalists for Class 4A Lineman of the Year. The ASWA will hold its annual Mr. Football/Player of the Year banquet at Birmingham-Southern College on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at noon. The banquet is sponsored by the Birmingham News. A back and lineman of the year will be chosen in each classification and the AISA with Mr. Football coming from one of those winners. All winners will be announced at the luncheon. ... Andalusia Star-News