"With the 67th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select: Bennie Logan, Defensive Tackle, LSU." These were the words I had the honor to say back at Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the NFL Draft. This was certainly a special day for myself, but it was even a bigger day for the man of the hour, Bennie Logan. His NFL stint certainly had his fair share of ups and downs, however, he has taken lessons he learned from his collegiate career to elevate his game off the field to have a positive impact on our nation's youth. This past week I had the opportunity to sit down with Bennie to talk about his journey every step of the way.
Logan's draft day turned out to be a little bit more of an adventure as he would have liked it to be. Expecting to go in the 2nd round, Bennie fell to early in the 3rd. He actually thought that he was headed up north to the Buckeye State to be the next Cleveland Brown. "My agent called me up and told me the Browns are going to take me at 68 and all of sudden I get a phone call from a 215 area code. I was like where in the world is this from? It turned out to be Chip Kelly on the other line." The rest is history.
I asked Bennie out of all the prestigious coaches he has played under of which includes: Chip, Les Miles, Andy Reid, Mike Vrabel, and Doug Pederson, who had the biggest impact on him as a player and his answer may surprise you. Chip Kelly had the biggest impact on Bennie because not only of his special bond with him being the coach that drafted him, but his familiarity of style of play. In college at LSU, Les Miles would run the hurry-up offense in practice. That was the newest and most innovative thing at the time so they had to keep up and stay ahead of the curve. Chip Kelly was infamously known for his fast-paced play and Chip elevated Bennie that much more to get adjusted to the pro's. There is a coach that Logan mentioned that had even a bigger impact on him not only helping him grow as a player, but as a person. John Chavis was the defensive coordinator for the LSU Tigers during Bennie's time at the school accrediting him as the best coach he has learned from throughout his career. Chavis taught Logan the importance of being a man and doing not only the little details in football, but in life. "That's what makes success," Logan added.
Paying close attention to detail is what separates the good from the great players in football. At LSU, Bennie Logan deemed the #18 jersey symbolizing what it meant to be a Tiger both on and off the field. Transitioning to the NFL is a very difficult thing for young players to do and Logan had early success in his professional career doing so. His most memorable play came from not a sack or a run stuff, but a blocked FG. Bennie has had plenty of elite competition in the NFL going against some of the top offensive lineman in the league. The Eagles O-line group could possibly have been the best the years he spent with the squad and he had the privilege to go against them on a day in and day out basis on the practice field. Bennie told me his favorite offensive player was Eagles center Jason Kelce. Kelce taught him irreplaceable technique from the opposing side of the ball's perspective. "Without a doubt Kelce was my favorite player on offense." Bennie is still great friends with fellow defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and ex-Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry.
My final question I asked Bennie was what is next for him and what are some of his long-term goals. He is currently a defensive coach at a local high school in Louisiana where he gets to share some of the very important lessons coach Chavis instilled in him at LSU with the future stars of our beloved game. He wants to continue working with today's youth and keep inspiring them to do the best they can on and off the field. From the 30 minute conversation we had, I have no doubts that he will achieve that and much more in his lifetime.