Benton Feeling Badgered

Shamari Benton has been putting in work and it is paying off. The Birmingham Brother Rice safety picked up a new offer this week and more appear to be inevitable after a couple of outstanding camp performances where the time he spent improving his coverage skills was evident.

Shortly after returning from three camps at Wisconsin, Toledo and Bowling Green, Shamari Benton let us in on some good news. The Brother Rice safety had been offered by Bowling Green and the other two schools are close to doing the same.

"I went down to Toledo and worked with coaches 1-1," he said, "I've talked to them on e-mail and they said they would have meeting on me as a staff and see how it is. I only practiced with defensive backs coach, the defensive coordinator wasn't there, so he has to come back and be part of the decision."

As for Wisconsin, Benton feels there his performance was strong enough to warrant an offer, saying, "I balled out at Wisconsin. I went there for a whole day, ran my forty and jumped well. I learned a lot, I learned how to jam better. I got the red carpet treatment there."

A high school linebacker, Benton has been steadily improving his coverage skills and that was apparent in Madison.

"They put me up against top receivers and I kept shutting them down and that answered a lot of people questioning if I could cover. They actually like me at cornerback . They said I could play corner for them. I'm turning into more of a versatile player. I just started to do the safety thing and getting good enough to be looked at at cornerback too."

Benton also went to Illinois, but arrived late and only was able to run a forty and do fifteen minutes of drills. He did say he was high on the Illini and will contact them in the near future along with the Michigan State Spartans, another team he has had interest from.

"I don't know if they'll offer another safety or not. I'm not sure with MSU, I don't know if they'll offer me or not, but one thing I do know, they'd rather have me on their team than play against me," a confident Benton said.

As for the Badgers, he says with a couple of their targets committing elsewhere, he feels he is in line for an offer soon and should know in the next three weeks or so. One thing he is certain of is how much he enjoyed his visit and how much that moved Wisconsin up in his book.

"I love Wisconsin, I'm not going to lie about it. I love the facilities, they're constantly building and putting in new offices. I really liked it down there and the coaches like me. It's good to have a place where you like them and they like you. Wisconsin might be the place for Shamari Benton."


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