Benson's attorney, Sam Bassett, says Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday night.
Benson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears in 2005. He played three seasons with the Bears from 2005--2007 and was part of the Bears team that lost in the Super Bowl to the Indianapolis Colts in 2007.
One of the top high school recruits in the country out of Midland, Texas, Benson was a key player in the Longhorns' resurgence under former coach Mack Brown.
Benson played at Texas from 2001-2004. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.
He won the Doak Walker award given to the nation's top running back in 2004.
Benson was one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history.
Social media posts expressing condolences began flowing in when the news broke.
Former Texas coach Mack Brown commented on an Instagram post dedicated to Benson saying, "We lost a great one way too soon. #RIP"
After a deadly bombing in Austin last year, Benson helped restore the home of the victim's family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.