Markail Benton sees 'laid back' Nick Saban

Markail Benton is among the most sought after juniors in the country, with offers from coast to coast. But while at Alabama on Friday, he took in a different approach compared to the usual from Nick Saban and company.

Friday was a bit different at Alabama. While it was again hosting many of the nation's elite prospects, the approach with a few dozen on campus wasn't typical.

"It was good, we were just chilling with other players and players on the team," Markail Benton said. "We were talking to coaches, playing in the player's game room, playing basketball with the coaches, just having a good time.

"Maybe they've done that before, but it's my first time ever being there for that."

The cookout event resonated with many on campus, including the Phenix City (Ala.) Central linebacker, because of the lack of intensity surrounding it. There was minimal to no recruiting from the Alabama coaching staff.

"Spending time with the coaches stood out," he said. "(Nick) Saban even played basketball with us. It was the arcade game. It was the most laid back I've seen him.

"I liked that it was a chilled day and about having fun, not too much about recruiting."

Benton, who admits Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Georgia are standing out to him at this point of the recruiting process, did take in some recruiting while on campus. It came from a fellow linebacker who was once battling for the top spot in the state rankings much like the rising-junior will over the next cycle.

"Reggie Ragland. He's a very laid back guy," he said. "He was just like, 'this is the place to be, this is the place to win at.' Knowing that 'Bama is a place that wins and knowing that they produce great players, why not take in a little advice?"

Benton plans on taking his time with the process, though he could make a decision before his senior football season next fall.

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