Everyone knows Plano West (Texas) High wide receiver Ricardo Benitez is not tall, yet that doesn’t do him justice. He’s not physically tall. His attitude is.
Benitez stands just 4-foot-2, the result of a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral, in which he was born without a femur in each leg. As reported by MaxPreps’ Lynden Ostrander, despite that condition, Benitez never hesitated to pursue his passion for football. Now, entering his senior season, he’s finally preparing for a full varsity campaign.
“I’ve been getting up at 5:30 a.m., four days a week this summer to lift with our team,” Benitez told MaxPreps. “A lot of kids quit last season when they weren’t getting playing time. But they all know I’m not quitting. Coach told me I’ll be playing receiver this year. I know I’m not entitled to playing time and have to earn it.”
Benitez is serious, and he’s taking his direction to play as wide receiver quite seriously, as you can see in the video below from the recent SMU camp.
He’s also serious about trying to play football in college. The way Benitez sees it, he has nothing to lose; if he makes a college team he can be an inspiration. If he doesn’t, well, at least he tried.
First, he has a major culture change operation on his hands at Plano West, a once storied program which finished the 2016 season 1-9. If anyone can prove a catalytic influence, Plano West coach Scott Smith is convinced it’s Benitez.
“He’s the type of kid every coach wants on their team,” Smith said. “There’s never an excuse out of his mouth and he fires you up. Every kid on the team wants to hang out with him outside of football because of his upbeat personality. He’s as strong as any kid in our program for his size. If there’s something he can’t do in the weight room, he’ll do something that correlates. He doesn’t take any reps or plays off. He’s the soul of the team. Benitez is an average player who does above-average things because of who he is.”