Incoming freshman BU player has something to prove

Ricardo Benitez.
Ricardo Benitez.(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 27, 2018 at 10:56 AM CDT
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Baylor’s Football team will most likely improve on the field next season, but improvement in the locker room is nearly a guarantee thanks to an incoming freshman.

Ricardo Benitez was born with a rare disease, femur hypoplasia bilateral, which means he doesn’t have femur bones.

His calves connect to his hips.

He will graduate from Plano West High School in early June but his football journey began when he was in the seventh grade.

Then he had to go through seven pediatricians in order to find one that would sign off on him playing football.

He played one down that season.

Every year since he has made it his goal to play more and more each year.

He recorded a tackle his freshman year and played a handful of downs his senior season.

Benitez is ecstatic for the challenges that await him in the Bears program.

"I'm ready for the competition, I’m ready to go get it," Benitez said.

Ever since he first strapped on the pads, Benitez has never let his condition stop him from doing any practices, workouts or games.

He said he will be even more determined when he steps foot on campus.

“I’m not going to Baylor because anyone feels sorry for me,” Benitez said.

“I’m not going to Baylor because they give out handouts. I’m not going to Baylor because they want a feel good story. I work. I work so hard each day.”

Benitez said he’s spent this past off season training.

He’s hit the weight room every day and has been on a strict diet to make sure he is in top physical condition for his first practice.

"I don't want to be average, I want to be great,” Benitez said.

“I want people to look at me and see there's no adversity in their life that could ever stop them from achieving their goals.”

He said the moment the coaches called him and offered him a spot on the team was one of the best moments of his life.

“(Coach Fran Brown) called me and said, we don’t want you because of your disability,” Ricardo said.

“We want you because you can help this team win.”

He will be studying kinesiology in the fall and wants his impact to be felt in the classroom as well.

His next goal, bringing a National Championship home to McLane Stadium.