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Bengals In Attendance During BYU Running Back Harvey Unga's Workout

With Cedric Benson's season possibly shortened due to a suspension after a recent assault charge in Texas, the Bengals could be left with Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard to maintain the position of feature back by committee. Cincinnati very well could use the younger, unproven talents of Cedric Peerman if the league announces their decision on Benson's fate.

Regardless, I believe the biggest issue for Benson, while not focusing on the upcoming season, is whether or not he's signed beyond this season.

Many are justifiably hesitant to give Benson an extension. Some argue that having one good season is hardly justification for a costly extension. In other words, wait and see what happens this year before offering him an extension. A counter-argument to that argument is that if you wait, and he has a great season, then all you've likely done is added millions to his demand, perhaps even negotiating yourself out of position to re-sign him in 2011 and beyond with other contracts that need to be addressed with players like Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall, Chad Ochocinco, Brandon Johnson among others.

However, the Bengals aren't sitting idle in either of the above scenarios. They may need a running back immediately depending on the league's decision regarding Benson's assault charge. They may need a running back long-term if Benson doesn't return to Cincinnati.

As a result, they are one of twenty teams that checked out BYU running back Harvey Unga on Thursday, who is preparing for the upcoming supplemental draft. Per Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribute:

Here are the numbers from the workout:
Unga measured in at 6-foot-1 and 244 pounds. His standing high jump was 35 inches and his long jump was 9 feet, 6 inches.
He bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times.

"When I came in to work with Dave Stroshine, I did 12 the first time I got in there," Unga said. "I'm happy with that."

Most importantly, Unga's 40 time was in the 4.64 range. I asked three scouts who timed Unga's second 40, and one had 4.64, one had 4.63 and the other had 4.65. The first 40, ran in the opposite direction (toward the mountains) was a 4.72, according to the only scout I got a chance to ask. His time in the first 10 yards was 1.65 seconds, and 2.75 seconds in the first 20 yards.

Unga had expected to play for BYU this year, but "withdrew from BYU this spring, citing an honor code violation." Some suspect it was due to premarital sex with his fiance who recently gave birth their son. Administrators for the school said he couldn't return until "January of 2011 at the earliest." Unga was an All-MWC First Team selection, starting ten games for the Cougars at running back and setting BYU's career rushing record.

The 2010 NFL Supplemental Draft will be held on July 15 this year.