As the visitors pile up so do the commitments. After traveling to see Clifton and the UC campus this past weekend, WR/DB DaShawn Benton out of Grady High School in Georgia cast his lot with the Bearcats. Like Tennessee and Florida, Cincinnati has done a nice job cultivating the recruiting grounds of Georgia, nabbing Ralph David Abernathy IV, Alex Chisum, and Silverberry Mouhon, among others, in recent years. Out of Grady in particular the Bearcats were moving in on linebacker John Law who inexplicably committed to Chattanooga a month before National Signing Day last year and ultimately wound up at Appalachian State. So UC has some history with this school. This recruiting season it’s Benton who switched to Cincinnati after committing to Middle Tennessee State. He also received offers from Illinois, Indiana, and Memphis among others.
|Height - Weight||6'4", 255 lbs|
|High School||George Washington|
|247 Sports||*** - 84|
|Rivals||*** - 5.5|
|ESPN||*** - 70|
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ie1IQHnbQM]Benton plays the safety position in high school and does well in his role of playing center field in cover-1 schemes. He does a nice job following the quarterback’s eyes, recognizing receiver routes, and breaking on the pass. This has to be attributed to his time as a wide receiver. He also displays good ball skills attacking the football at its highest point and knocking it away if not bringing it in. Benton is a solid tackler as well. I’m impressed with his technique of attacking the ball carrier through his body rather than around his legs. Those are basic fundamentals that are requirements at the next level.
Generally I like when coaches recruit athletic two-way players and place them on one side of the football. Because of their experience on both offense and defense they better understand the nuances of both positions more than a player who stayed on one side most of his career. Hopefully this is the case with Benton. It sounds like he will start out on defense and his added knowledge of the intricacies of the wide receiver position should make him more mentally prepared for the defensive back role at UC. However safety and cornerback will be chock full of returning players in 2013. But I could see him potentially get some playing time as a true freshman on special teams or at nickelback. Otherwise, a redshirt will be in order his first year on campus.