Background and college
Born born April 25, 1985, in Mayo, Maryland, Bender attended Nicholls State University. In 2004 Bender took over as the starting LT and never looked back, starting every game and becoming an All-Southland Conference selection. In the 2005 season Bender started every game and became an All-Southland Conference first-team and All-Louisiana second-team selection after allowing only 1.5 sacks, 76 pancake blocks, and 8 touchdown resulting blocks. In his final season of 2006, he was once again named to the All-Southland Conference and All-Louisiana teams after recording 87 pancake blocks, 8 touchdown resulting blocks and 0 sacks allowed.