Shamari Benton Has Something to Prove

To say that the success of the alumni from a college football program doesn't have an impact on recruiting would be foolish. In the case of Michigan LB/S Shamari Benton, that's certainly not the case; he is well aware of Iowa's recent success at placing its safeties in the NFL, especially Bob Sanders. Read about that, and more in this update...

Shamari Benton of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield, Michigan has spent the last few years playing linebacker.

But at 6-0, 183, he knows that a position change is in his future.

"I haven't played safety yet, but I think that is where I am going to end up in college," Benton said. "So at the Nike Camp, the national 7 on 7, they want to see if I can play it. Next year during my senior year, I will start there and also play it at 7 on 7 camps. That way some schools can project me there and I have been practicing at it. I am a defensive athlete. I feel I can play linebacker or even a corner. I am good at coverage."

Benton hasn't seen the scholarship offers come pouring in just yet, but everyone expects that to happen at some point. He has offers from Central Michigan and Bowling Green.

"A lot of colleges are keeping in touch, and the Iowa coaches have been calling for a long, long time. Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Indiana have been in contact as well."

Benton has already turned some heads this spring with his performance at 7 on 7 camps. Scout.com's Allen Trieu had this to say after seeing Benton in action back in late March:

"One player who came in with questions to answer was Birmingham Brother Rice's Shamari Benton. A linebacker in college, Benton will be a safety in college, but there were questions about whether he had the speed or coverage ability to make that transition. He certainly quelled those doubts with an outstanding performance. He looked fast and instinctive and showed great ball skills making a few nice plays in coverage including a handful of interceptions throughout the day."

Benton knows that showcasing his coverage skills will be the key as to just how many high major programs come through with offers

"There is a lot of hitting at linebacker, but I have been practicing and I think that I will be able to develop safety skills. Some people are surprised to see how well I move at safety for not having played it. The Northwestern coaches said that."

Benton has been spending quite a bit of time communicating with the Iowa coaching staff, and he has developed a solid relationship at this stage of the recruiting process.

"We are getting to know each other and talk about the recruiting process. Coach (Phil) Parker talked about some things that can make me better; he said that he loves my intensity.

Benton is also very familiar with Iowa's tradition of its safeties hearing their names called on NFL draft day. When asked if he knew about that recent string of success, he was unable to contain his excitement/interest over one former Hawkeye.

"Of course; Bob Sanders! If I could compare myself to any player, it would be him. He hits hard and brings the heat. The coaches (from Iowa) I talk to on the phone coached Bob Sanders; that's a pretty good thing."

Benton, who would like to choose a college prior to the start of his senior season, has an idea as to what he will look for when he begins to make his campus visits.

"I am going to talk to the players and see what they think about heir time, talk to position coaches and see how the program is run. You see it on TV and it's different in person.

To see video of Benton in action, CLICK HERE


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories