Former East Central star wide receiver Trinity Benson is turning heads in the Denver Broncos team camp this summer.

It appears the undrafted rookie free agent has at least a shot at becoming the team’s punt returner and landing a spot on the 53-man roster as a return specialist.

Benson would have a much greater chance of sticking with the Denver Broncos if he’d start making an impression with the coaching staff as a wide receiver, too. ECU fans have had the pleasure of watching Benson make plenty of acrobatic receptions during his playing days at a Tiger. Many in the ECU athletic department believe he has the talent to play on Sundays.

Now, the ball is in his court.

“He’s been doing a nice job as a returner,” Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon told USA Today after a recent practice session. “He has to do well at receiver too, though. That’s the one thing, some people think guys just make the team just on special teams. They have to be able to play offense and defense, also. Trinity, all these guys, have been doing a nice job. We have a lot of returners out there that we’re working out.”

The 6-0, 180-pound Benson totaled 1,086 all-purpose yards and scored nine touchdowns during a stellar senior campaign last fall. During his 43-game career in Ada, he returned 35 kickoffs for 642 yards. He had eight punt returns for 89 yards (11.1) in 2018. Benson was also named to the all-Great American Conference First Team selection as a senior.

By the way, in 2018 the Broncos were among the worst teams in the league by return average. So they need someone to produce in that position moving forward.

WE, and by we I mean those who got the chance to see him perform, know Benson’s an explosive player. Benson just has to give Denver personnel a little glimpse of that during the preseason.

So far, Benson has stood out among the Broncos’ other undrafted rookies and has also gotten the attention of Denver head coach Vic Fangio.

“He’s fast, he’s quick, he’s elusive,” Fangio told USA Today. “Again, if he can become an NFL receiver, meaning operate efficiently so those skills can surface, maybe we’ve found somebody.”

Benson will get his first chance to return kicks when Denver faces the Atlanta Falcons in tonight’s Hall of Fame Game. Benson won’t get more than one opportunity in that game, though.

“If they punt nine times, we’re going to have nine different punt returners, I guarantee it,” McMahon said. “I guarantee it I put a different guy out every time.”

The Broncos will have five total preseason games this month. Here’s hoping Benson makes the most of the opportunities he’s given.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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