Marcus Benjamin knows what it's going to take to crack the Arizona Wildcats' starting lineup.
"Hard work, actually knowing my playbook, knowing my technique, knowing my alignment," he said. "Knowing what everybody else is doing, knowing what I should be doing."
Benjamin stops there, but you get the point.
There is no shortage of responsibilities for the 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback, who is expected to replace Devin Ross in the Wildcats' defensive backfield starting this fall.
Benjamin has a few things in his favor: Coaches love his athleticism and were impressed by the way he played in backup duty last season. He was first on the UA depth chart when spring drills opened last week.
It's time meet Benjamin. Here are four things you need to know about the new UA starter:
• Benjamin's from "The Boot," and he's proud.
The 23-year-old was born and raised in New Iberia, La., a town 120 miles west of New Orleans. He attended Westgate High School, where he earned all-region honors.
Benjamin's hometown is never far from his mind - or his body.
He sports a tattoo of the state of Louisiana on his left forearm, with a star over New Iberia's place on the map. Above it, in cursive lettering, reads "The Boot."
The meaning, he said, is twofold.
"Louisiana's the shape of a boot," he said, "and if you come in and don't get along, you'll get booted out."
• He went west to get noticed.
Benjamin originally committed to LSU out of high school, but moved west - to Arizona Western in Yuma - after failing to qualify academically.
Benjamin, who will be a senior in the fall, played two seasons at Arizona Western, leading the Western States Football League with eight interceptions as a sophomore.
He finished his junior college career with 137 tackles and five major-college offers. He chose Arizona over Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas State and Minnesota.
• He fought on against the Trojans.
Benjamin played sparingly as a junior in 2009, but was clutch when called on.
He was inserted into the UA lineup against USC in Week 12 after Trevin Wade suffered a concussion. Benjamin deflected a pass and made a tackle on his first two plays.
The Wildcats, bolstered by the defensive stop, rallied to defeat the Trojans 21-17.
Benjamin received a game ball in the locker room.
"I get it all the time - people who saw me play in the USC game say, 'You stepped in when you were supposed to. You had a big impact in the game,' " Benjamin said. "It helped me out a lot, knowing they could trust me. Hopefully, I can give them the same thing this year - and a little more, too."
• He's always improving.
Benjamin admittedly needed a year to learn the UA defense. The Wildcats cornerback isn't about to waste his new opportunity.
He is a regular during secondary coach Greg Brown's office hours, and has improved in the "chalk-talk" portion of team meetings. He knows the playbook cold.
Benjamin has a fan in Wade, who said the junior "can start" if he keeps improving.
"He's just got to stay focused, not try to do too much and just do his job," Wade said.
"He'll be fine."