Wisconsin Commit Keeanu Benton Pushing Craig Into The Playoffs

Wisconsin Commit Keeanu Benton Pushing Craig Into The Playoffs

Football

Wisconsin Commit Keeanu Benton Pushing Craig Into The Playoffs

MADISON, Wis. – Adam Bunderson has only been at his post as Janesville Craig’s head football coach for two seasons, so he admits that he’s pretty green to the college recruiting process. But by his own admission, he knows not all kids are as cut-and-dry as senior defensive tackle Keeanu Benton.

“He’s a pretty special kid,” Bunderson said, stating the obvious.

Benton, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound 2019 Wisconsin commit, has been a big part in the Cougars (5-2) sitting one game out of first place in the rugged Big Eight conference and preparing for the WIAA Division 1 playoffs for a second straight season.

In five games in which his stats are available, Benton has 43 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Four times this season Benton has helped the Cougars defense give up 10 points or less.

“He takes pressure off of everybody else because he’s so big,” senior tailback Tressin Kussmual said. “He’s a big reason we are winning games.”

It helps to have a touch of versatility, too. On the defensive line, Benton typically lines opposite of an offensive guard’s outside shoulder (a three technique). However, Benton can play straight on of an offensive guard (a two technique) or blitz off the edge. Needless to say, Craig has some options with an athlete who was also the state runner-up in the WIAA Division 1 285-pound weight division last season.

“I am trying to be a great leader for my teammates while helping my own self,” Benton said. “I want to help my teammates, along with me, learn their positions. I know a few positions and I want to help them so it can all come together in the game.”

That mindset was on full display in Craig’s recent 17-10 victory over Madison La Follette. With La Follette poised to take a fourth-quarter lead, Benton delivered a tackle, a quarterback hurry and a sack on three consecutive plays. Craig scored the winning touchdown on the next possession.

“After they scored a touchdown, some of my teammates really got down,” Benton said. “I was telling them to stay up, so I had to stay up myself and I had to show by example and get after it.”

Committing to Wisconsin in May and taking his official visit in June, Benton has enjoyed no pressure in his recruitment. Joining North Carolina’s Gio Paez as committed defensive linemen in Wisconsin’s 13-member 2019 class, Benton says he’s not letting anything derail his senior season.

“I give them my all,” Benton said. “Even though I was cramping, me at 80 percent is better than some people at 100 percent.”

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