Freshman Pushing for Playing Time

DeAngelo Benton is making progress as he looks to become a regular at wide receiver for the Auburn football team.

Auburn, Ala.--With the Auburn Tigers into their second week of football practice, DeAngelo Benton is positioning himself to earn a lot of playing time at wide receiver.

The freshman from Bastrop, La., says he has made a huge amount of progress in getting ready to play football since he arrived on campus in May. "I wasn't in very good shape when I got here, but Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall) worked with me and I am ready to go," Benton says. "I am in good shape now."

Benton caught a pass in Auburn's first scrimmage of the preseason on Tuesday evening and says the offense had a solid performance. "I thought we did some good things and I thought I played pretty well," he says.

A prospect who originally signed with LSU as a high school All-American, he had to attend to prep school for academic reasons. He played at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia in 2007 and again re-signed with the Bayou Bengals after that. However, he didn't qualify to enroll at LSU for the 2008 season.

DeAngelo Benton makes a catch in practice.

In February he made the decision to play for Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers. He qualified in the spring and has been on campus all summer and notes that everything is going well in the classroom and on the football field. "I have got the rust out now," he says.

Benton notes that he feels good about his decision to attend Auburn. "I had a lot of pressure on me back home, but I was the one that had to make the decision because I am the one who is going to school, not everybody else, so I just signed where I wanted to be at and left everything behind me."

He says after he signed with Chizik's team, fans back home in Louisiana didn't give him grief about his choice. "They knew it was my decision," he explains.

Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says that Benton has a great chance to play this year and notes that the three other freshmen wide receivers, Emory Blake, Travante Stallworth and Anthony Gulley, are having a good preseason camp.

Benton agrees with his coach. "I think all of the freshmen receivers have a chance to play this year," Benton says. "It's an exciting time for us."

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