BIRMINGHAM, MI - If there was a player who rose to the occasion at Thursday's MSU Elite one-day camp it was Shamari Benton, a safety from Birmingham Brother Rice according to neutral observers.
Rice, who accompanied good friend, and MSU commitment Chris Norman to the camp was thrilled by his performance which he believes will lead to an offer from the Spartans.
"I had the top performance," said Benton. "We did the combine and then I couldn't do the (whole thing) because I had to pick my mom up from work. But after I had the top performance, I talked to Coach Dantonio for a long time. We played catch. My coach just informed me that he just got off the phone with Dantonio and talked to him, so (we expect) something good to be coming soon," he explained.
"I think its real close. I not sure how far or how close but the way things are working right now. I think its right around the corner. I don't know if it's going to be in the next 24 hours or the next week," said Benton.
What makes Benton convinced that he's going to get that coveted offer for the safety position?
"Well I had the top performance and I showed them the things they needed to see, so I guess right now, it's just a matter of time."
But Benton isn't putting all of his eggs in one basket. He has a contingency plan, in fact, he said that as of right now, he has a different leader than you might expect.
"I have more camps and more teams coming up," he said, "but I'm really excited about MSU. This is my fourth time being up there."
"MSU is always there at the top of my list, but there are still other colleges that I'm very high on, like Illinois. I would say they are my number one."
But friend Chris Norman says he doesn't believe it.
"I know that Ali Alaboody and Shamari Benton are really, really trying to get an MSU offer and I'm really trying to push for it because they're exceptional athletes," said Norman.
"I feel if MSU offers them, they're probably going to be guaranteed commits," Norman said.
Benton admitted it might be hard to resist if MSU puts the full court press on.
"I'm not sure. I'd have to hear those words 'we're offering you an official scholarship' before I could say what I'm going to do," he explained.
While Benton tried to keep his cool when talking, it was easy to feel the excitement in his voice regarding his performance at the camp.
"I was ectastic, I actually really felt that during the time I was doing evertying right, that I couldn't be beat. IO was always running up to go again. I ran my fastest fourty and they told us that our times were going to be slower because they have slow turf, but I ran a fast time. I was upset that I had to leave early. I showed coach everything that he wanted and he coached me up a little bit.
Then came the sideline chat with Dantonio. "We played catch and got to talk a little bit and everything went well I was really happy."
Knowing how big Dantonio is on character and family values, did he sense the coach was zeroing in on what type of person he was?
Yeah, I think I passed the test. I know Coach Dantonio is a genuine person and so am I. You can kind of feel it when a person looks you right in the eye. I think I definitely passed that. MSU is a good place. A lot of my friends are going there like Chris Norman so MSU is always there on the top of my list.
GSN will be waiting and watching to see if any commits come out of this Elite class, but Shamari Benton remains as one to watch over the next few days.
Benton Looking Forward To MSU Offer
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