Skip to main content

ASU Football: Eno Benjamin- ASU Prepared Him Well for the NFL

Former Devil Eno Benjamin credits the ASU staff for being NFL ready.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

For two seasons, Eno Benjamin was Arizona State's go-to workhorse running back. He carried the ball 523 times and marched up to seventh on ASU's all-time rushing ladder.

After his junior year, he declared for the draft, and he now finds himself in a new situation lower on the totem pole like he was as a freshman behind Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard.

He said having to watch the first-team reps go to the Cardinals veterans has been one of the tougher aspects of his transition from Tempe to Glendale. What has been manageable is the pace and intensity of practices, because Benjamin said that ASU coach Herm Edwards prepared him for that.

"I would say the speed is a little bit faster, but I think Arizona State, coach Herm and them, have done a good job as far as helping us practice like professionals and get an understanding of how it is to practice as a professional," Benjamin said on Thursday. "So, I would say that I'm adjusting just fine to the play speed and the pace."

Benjamin also said he got some practice in an up-tempo spread offense at ASU, which is helpful in learning coach Kliff Kingsbury's air raid schemes.

Edwards has brought in a coaching staff with plenty of NFL experience, which has evidently allowed Benjamin to avoid having to significantly catch up to the speed of the Cardinals.

Not only was Benjamin coached by Edwards for two years, but also John Simon, ASU's former running backs coach. Simon played three seasons in the NFL, and his teachings to Benjamin has lasted through the rookie's trials at Training Camp.

"I like to read defenses and have pre-snap reads," Benjamin said. "I should have an idea of where the ball is going before the ball is even snapped. And I think that helps me play faster. Coach Simon, my Arizona State running back coach at the time, helped me a lot as far as being able to read a defense and know what I'm looking at as far as it pertains to the play."

Benjamin was a seventh-round pick and is battling for a spot on the active roster come Week 1. He said he's doing whatever it takes to get on the field, on offense or special teams.

He's one of four Sun Devils on the Cardinals roster in camp, so if all goes right, then perhaps ASU fans will have several familiar faces to watch this fall with no Pac-12 football until 2021.