Colorado football 2014 commit Sam Bennion is excited to sign a letter-of-intent to Buffs on Feb. 5. Unlike the majority of CU's recruiting class this cycle, he'll be signing from an international location.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Logan, Utah, product graduated from high school earlier this month and leaves Wednesday morning for six weeks of language classes and Spanish immersion at a center in Mexico City.
After that, he'll head to Concepcin, Chile, for the remainder of the two years.
Bennion will be a freshman at CU when he lands on the Boulder campus in January of 2016.
"There won't be too many 20-year-old freshmen," Bennion said with a chuckle.
First comes a mission trip for the Utah defender who recorded 63 tackles and 9 and 1/2 sacks for 11-1 Logan this past season.
"I'm ready to go ... I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm excited," he said in an interview with BuffZone on Tuesday night as he finished last-minute preparations for his trip.
Bennion pledged to the Buffs in August over offers from his home-state Utes as well as Ivy League schools Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. Bennion later received interest from Oregon, USC and Washington but stuck with CU.
"I'm very happy; I'm quite confident in my decision with Colorado," Bennion said.
It was a decision that was reaffirmed by an official visit to Boulder over the Dec. 6 weekend.
"It was really cool. They introduced us to the plan of new facilities that they're building. It was a really cool and interesting experience to see their program ... their coaches and meet some players there," he said, noting academics were the deciding factor.
"They're great academically. They take their academics seriously there and the people that they are recruiting are really good, high-character people who work hard and love the game and also want to do other things besides football like studying and getting a degree in something useful," Bennion said. He said biology was a strong suit of his in the classroom.
Before he puts on the pads for the Buffs, Bennion will head South for his mission. He hopes to work out as much as he can to stay fit and ready to play college football.
"In my schedule, they planned a set time to exercise and work out. I'll try to, at least, gain some muscle weight while I'm down there so I come back strong and ready," he said.
Bennion added he'd be able to work on his footwork by picking up futbol in a soccer-passionate country.
Communication will be limited, but Bennion said he'll be able to email his family.
"My access to media will be limited," he said.
"I'm not sure, my dad will probably send me updates over email," Bennion said when asked if he'll be able to follow CU's football program.
He said he also plans to keep in contact with CU's staff and strength and conditioning coach, but he's not 100 percent sure what to expect.
"I'm not exactly sure what to expect; a lot of work, a lot of planning ... Learn how to live on my own and learn how to live with other people. Be able to talk, just talk to strangers and get to know people better," Bennion said.
One thing's for sure: On Feb. 5, he'll sign his letter-of-intent to CU from Mexico City.
"I'll just fill it out," he said. "I'll have my mission companion take pictures of me while I do it. Something to look back at."
Any other thoughts for Buffs fans before he somewhat goes off the grid for the next two years?
"I'm excited to be a Buffalo," Bennion said. "They'll just have to sit tight. I've got to focus on my mission right now."