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4-foot-2 Texas high school football player overcomes disability for chance to shine on field

this is a discussion within the Everything Else Community Forum; There is no getting around it, Ricardo Benitez is not particularly tall. The 4-foot-2 senior at Plano West (Plano, Texas) was born without a femur in both legs. "Doctors told my parents I had a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral ...

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Old 11-19-2017, 12:36 PM   #1
 
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4-foot-2 Texas high school football player overcomes disability for chance to shine on field

There is no getting around it, Ricardo Benitez is not particularly tall.

The 4-foot-2 senior at Plano West (Plano, Texas) was born without a femur in both legs.



"Doctors told my parents I had a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral and it might be best to stop the pregnancy," Benitez said. "They said I had a hole in my heart, would be in a wheelchair the rest of my life and never play sports. But my parents saw me as a gift from God and went on with the pregnancy. I crawled until I was two and didn't start running until I was five."

Growing up, Benitez didn't want to just walk or run he wanted to play football. Other kids saw him as different and it ate at him. He wasn't medically cleared to play until the seventh grade.

But now Benitez is doing what he enjoys and what many said he would never do.

"I don't play football for publicity," Benitez said. "I would be mad as heck if teams let me score touchdowns (out of pity). I'm just a regular 17-year-old kid playing football because I love it."

Don't consider him as a sob story. An opposing player made that mistake and mocked him during a freshman game. Benitez lined up at nose tackle, bear-crawled into the backfield and took out the running back as seen in the video above.

He's even an inspiration to America's Team.

"Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett called and invited me to give a speech to their team last summer at OTAs," Benitez said. "I told them, 'There's no excuse why we can't be a great team this year. Look at me. If I can do it, y'all can do it. No excuses.'"

Call it a coincidence, but the Cowboys tied a franchise record with 13 wins last season. Superstars Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott both follow him on Twitter and the latter even retweeted a viral play of Benitez running a route and catching a pass at a camp last month.


Benitez missed all of last season after surgery to put a metal plate in his right leg to properly connect the tendons. But that doesn't stop the 105-pound receiver from bench pressing more than twice his weight (225 pounds).

He's now ready to compete in his first and final year of varsity football.

"I've been getting up at 5:30 a.m., four days a week this summer to lift with our team,'' Benitez said. "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."

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