Visiting Soon

GSN caught up with safety prospect Shamari Benton (Birmingham Brother Rice) and inquired about his absence from a recent Michigan State Junior Day event. Read on to find out why he had to miss his weekend visit, when he rescheduled for, who he's hearing from and more.

With dozens of prospects on hand for Junior Day last weekend in Spartanland, one absence was conspicuous: Birmingham Brother Rice's Shamari Benton.

Family obligations may have kept the 6-foot, 183-pound safety from traveling to East Lansing, however, he has remained in communication with the Spartan coaching staff.

"I just got an e-mail from (running backs) coach (Dan) Enos saying he understood why I couldn't attend and hopes I will visit soon," Benton said. And visit soon is exactly what he will do. Benton plans to attend another Spartan Junior Day on March 16.

Recruiting talent from Brother Rice is nothing new to the Spartans. They have mined the talent-rich school, one the state's top prep programs, and previously landed current Spartans Charlie Gantt (TE), Caulton Ray (RB), and alum Gordon Niebylski (OL).

Right now, Benton says his recruitment is still wide open but his top choices are Michigan State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa and West Virginia.

Despite missing out on the event last weekend, Benton likes what he sees from the Spartans.

"I like that a bunch of people I know are going there," he said. "A lot of good talent is going there and I want to be a part of that talent." The talented players Benton refers to are 2009 verbal commits Chris Norman (LB, Renaissance HS) and Edwin Baker (RB, Oak Park HS) and 2008 Spartan signee and former Brother Rice teammate Ray.

Although the Green and White have not offered yet, Benton expects one soon — perhaps on his next visit.

"A lot of places online said I was going to get an offer when I visited this weekend," Benton said. "I feel confident they'll offer soon."

While a Michigan State offer seems imminent, Benton has no timetable for his decision. "I'm going to commit whenever me and my family feel comfortable," he said.

For right now, though, Benton is just enjoying the recruiting process. He plans to attend Michigan's Junior Day in mid-March and also hopes to get down to Notre Dame in the near future as well.

Stay tuned to GSN for updates on this exciting 2009 prospect.

Joe Torok contributed to this story.

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