Wisconsin Signing Class Preview - Keeanu Benton

Wisconsin Signing Class Preview - Keeanu Benton

Recruiting

Wisconsin Signing Class Preview - Keeanu Benton

MADISON, Wis – With the early signing period for high school football players beginning on December 19, Badgers Insider takes a closer look at the recruits expected to sign with the University of Wisconsin.

In this edition, we examine Janesville (Wis.) Craig defensive tackle Keeanu Benton.

Senior Season

As a junior, Benton registered 52 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Upping his 6-4 frame to 285 pounds, Benton made it a goal to be a more disruptive force in the middle of Craig’s defensive line. He succeeded with 75 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble.

The Cougars qualified for the playoffs after going 6-3 during the regular season, a two-win improvement from the previous season.

“After last year’s football I did wrestling, and I was 285 and close to weight for wrestling,” Benton said. “After wrestling I did lacrosse, so I could get into conditioning for football. After wrestling I use to go straight to football mode, so lacrosse got me in better conditioning. This summer I went to some workout programs, so I was in really good shape.”

Skill Set

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, Wisconsin has some options with him as they watch his body develop.

Watching him play against Madison La Follette, Benton delivered a tackle, a quarterback hurry and a sack on three consecutive plays in the fourth quarter of a tied game. Craig scored the winning touchdown on the next possession. His athleticism and footwork come from his time as a multi-sport athlete, who also plays lacrosse and wrestles. Last winter, Benton placed second at the WIAA Division 1 state wrestling tournament and finished 46-2 on the year

His footwork helps him get a good first step to explode off the ball, not to mention move around and through offensive linemen with ease. There aren’t too many players in the high school level that can matchup with him so he handles his point of attack well.

There’s no question Benton is a big kid, but he’s got a big frame that he will continue to grow into it. He’s already fairly strong with his hands, so the extra weight and some polishing will allow him to get stronger with his push up the middle in UW’s 3-4 defense.

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