WVU Adds To Defensive Line Of The Future With Justin Benton Commitment

Justin Benton

West Virginia added another big building block to its defensive line of the future when Georgia standout Justin Benton announced his commitment to the Mountaineer program on Saturday afternoon.

The 6-foot-2, 275-pounder chose WVU over home state school Georgia and Penn State but that was just the final step in a lengthy recruiting battle that saw the Newton High School star become the subject of intense interest by numerous Power 5 schools. Among those offering were Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. Future Big 12 members Houston and UCF, along with Memphis, were also on board with scholarship tenders.

The Bulldogs and Mountaineers wound up as the final favorites, but an official visit to the WVU campus two weekends ago apparently sealed the deal for the Benton, who made connections with several current and future Mountaineers on the visit.

Justin Benton Player Page     |     WVU Football Class of 2023 Commitments

Playing last year for IMG Academy (he’s moving back to Newton for his senior season this fall), Benton displayed hard-charging aggressive play from both defensive tackle and defensive end spots. He fires off the ball and initiates contract with hard strikes to his opponents, but typically avoids getting tied up as a result. Creating movement as a result, he is able to exploit resulting space and get into the backfield to disrupt plays early.

“My get off has improved a lot since I started playing football,” he told Instel Media. “It can get better, but it’s about an 8.5.”

As a sophomore, he had 93 total tackles, including 55 solo stops, leading the Rams in sacks with 12.5 and tackles for loss with 24.5. He also tallied a pick and 22 quarterback pressures.

Raw power isn’t the only piece of Benton’s game, however. He displays good quickness off the ball, and often gets a leverage advantage by getting to a preferred point of attack when crashing down from the edge or rushing the passer. He can turn the corner effectively with outside rush moves, and can track rushing plays to his side of the field all the way to the sideline.

Benton completes the package by playing with good pad level for a high school player, and also flashes the ability to dispose of blockers and get into position to control his gap. He’s not a “reacher” when getting to the ball, and continues to move his feet when making tackles, driving through contact and wrapping up effectively.

WVU now has three very good complementary defensive linemen in its Class of 2023, with Benton joining South Carolinians Cam Jackson (6-4, 300 lbs.) of Spartanburg High School and Eamon Smalls (6-2, 300 lbs.) of Beaufort High. Benton’s commitment pushes WVU to 11 verbals in the class.

Home Page forums WVU Adds To Defensive Line Of The Future With Justin Benton Commitment

  • This topic has 8 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated by Butlereer.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #183918

    West Virginia added another big building block to its defensive line of the future when Georgia standout Justin Benton announced his commitment to the
    [See the full post at: WVU Adds To Defensive Line Of The Future With Justin Benton Commitment]

    #183924

    Pundits on all the other services  saying a UGA lock.  Shows how much they know.

    This is going to turn out to be one of our top classes.  Brown putting together something special.

    #183925

    Seriously, Brown and co. have a great looking class coming in. Im impressed.

    Whatever else has happened 2022 and future look real positive.

    #183927

    I really like the recruiting up front and the linebackers in this 2023 class so far! This is how you build a defensive squad like we had in 2007: Keilen Dukes, Scooter Berry, Johnny Dingle, Julian Miller, Doug Slavonic, Chris Neild, JT Thomas, Marc Magro, Reed Williams, Anthony Leonard, Johnny Holmes, Mortty Ivy, Pat Lazear, Najee Goode, Quentin Andrews, Charles Pugh, Boogie Allen, Ryan Mundy, Nate Sowers, Eric Wicks, Sidney Glover, Ridwan Malik, Keith Tandy, Ellis Lankster, Vaughn Rivers, Kent Richardson, Antonio Lewis, Larry Williams

    #183928

    Have a deep, talented team–and substitute fresh guys in!

    #183930

    Hopefully they can continue strong with this class. Nothing exceeds like success!

    #183932

    No doubt, I may get flamed for this, but here is the thing.  That 2007 defense that you referenced was not that good.  They were way undersized at most positions and lacked the kind of overall team speed you would prefer to have.  Which is one of the reasons that we used the ole crackerjack, hide our deficiencies 3-3-5 Stack.  Don’t get me wrong, those young men really showed up, especially in the biggest game on the biggest stage.  Just saying that if we are being honest, they certainly weren’t a bunch of 4 star guys.  Which is just another of the reasons that the huge upswing in recruiting under HCNB could reap major benefits that translate into wins on the field.

    #183973

    Sportswriter hype. How many will leave the fold? How many will be busts? How many additional wins will these kids translate to ?  Hope they pan out but right now, just type. Ws matter, not hype.

    #183976

    Madrev, I agree with you 100%.  ’07 team u dersized, not highly recruited,  IMO not as deep as so.e think.  But they played in a scheme that worked well.

    This recruiting class starts with highly rated athletic kids. #18 class by some outlets.  So far this class is void of the 2* / low 3* reached we’ve seen in past years.  It all starts with a great recruiting class. Brown has a good start.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home Page forums WVU Adds To Defensive Line Of The Future With Justin Benton Commitment

Home Page forums WVU Adds To Defensive Line Of The Future With Justin Benton Commitment