Heath Benedict, Two Time Little All-American, Found Dead

March 27, 2008

Heath Benedict, a former Newberry College offensive lineman and top NFL draft prospect, was found dead in his home Wednesday night. See photos and a biography of Heath below.

Heath Benedict, 24, was living in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was training for the upcoming NFL draft. Heath received a football scholarship to Tennessee, but the 6 foot 5, 330 pounder was unhappy there and was convinced by Newberry College to sign with them. He soon became a Division II All-American.

“Right now, we’re all just trying to figure out what to do,�? said Newberry College assistant football coach Ike Allred. “Obviously, we’re all just praying for Heath and his family at this time.�?

Heath was invited to last month’s NFL combine, and was projected to be picked in the third round.

Police in Jacksonville do not suspect foul play, alcohol or drugs. Cause of death is still unknown.

As a biography, Heath Benedict was born on June 30, 1983. He was 24 years old at the time of his death. He was born in Tilburg, Netherlands and attended Peddie High School in Highstown, New Jersey. While there, he was named a Parade All-American and even participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He received a football scholarship to Tennessee, but moved on to Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina.

While at Newberry, he garnered several Division II All-America honors in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

He was excited to move on to the NFL…he was quoted as saying recently:

“Newberry’s a great school. I really enjoyed my four years there and now I have the opportunity to come from there to the NFL. Everyone back there is just excited about the whole process. They’re behind me, 200 percent, all rooting. I’m always going to be grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I’ll always be a Newberry Indian.�?

A Memorial service for Heath will be held Tuesday, April 1, in Wiles Chapel at Newberry College.

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