Offensive linemen and running backs have unique and special relationships in football.
The big linemen are the guys who fight it out with defenders to open holes and create pathways for their teammates who carry the ball. Many running backs (at least, the smart ones) are quick to publicly thank the overlooked linemen after stellar performances. They know their successes depend on the guys blocking up front.
Pope offensive lineman Grant Ramsay and McEachern running back Rajaan Bennett were in the beginning stages of creating that special relationship. The two had grown close in recent months. Understandingly, Ramsay cried when he heard about Bennett’s death on Thursday.
“I had just gotten home from working out at the gym and was about to get in the shower to get ready for school when … when I got that call,” Ramsay said in a low voice.
“I was crushed … I broke down. I had played with (Bennett) in an all-star game, and spent some time with him after that. On signing day, we pretty much hung out together the whole day. This is a hard blow to take. It’s really sad about Rajaan.”
Ramsay said he spent most of Thursday walking around in a daze. “Rajaan was a great all-around running back, nearly perfect. He had a great football future. And, you know, he was even a better person.
“I’ve been talking or texting with other Vanderbilt recruits, and it’s hard for us to make sense out of it all. Rajaan had just begun to live his life. He had a whole life in front of him.
“The whole situation doesn’t seem fair. All we can do now is pray for his family … It’s going to take a long time to get over this.”
Related stories on the death of McEachern running back Rajaan Bennett (click on each link)