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2019 DL Keeanu Benton signs with Wisconsin

The Badgers grab another talented in-state recruit to firm up the trenches.

Jake Kocorowski

2019 DT Keeanu Benton

Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247Sports Composite Ranking
DL 6'4" 290 Janesville Craig (Janesville, Wis.) Three-Star; No. 74 DT

A staple of Wisconsin recruiting since Barry Alvarez took over in 1990 has been utilizing in-state recruits to bolster both the offensive and defensive lines.

I’ve often said that you can never have too many 6’4 290-plus pound players on your football team, and Benton paired with the other two defensive line recruits, Rodas Johnson and Gio Paez, are sights for sore eyes regarding the depth of the Wisconsin defensive line.

While it’s currently unclear if Benton will factor in as a nose tackle or as a three technique along the Badgers defensive front, his size and athleticism will be a welcome addition. Benton, athletically, reminds me a bit of Tyler Biadasz, a mid-three star recruit from in-state who was once thought to maybe play defensive line.


247Sports (composite): Three stars; Grade: .8453; No. 1221 player in the nation; No. 74 DT No. 5 WI

247Sports: Three stars; Grade: 84

ESPN: Three stars; Grade: 76; No. 73 DT; No. 112 Regional; No. 4 WI

Rivals: Three stars; 5.5 rating; No. 5 WI

Verbally committed on May 11, 2018.

Benton was the seventh commitment of UW’s 2019 class, and a very traditional type of player; an under-recruited, big body from in-state. According to 247Sports and Rivals, he only has two scholarship offers, one from Wisconsin, and the other from Iowa.

The Janesville product also is an accomplish prep wrestler, finishing as a state runner-up last year.

Not only does Wisconsin landing Benton keep a talented big from the Hawkeyes, but it continues to exhibit the emphasis and priority the Badgers have on retaining the top in-state recruits each year. Keeps the fans happy. Keeps the state coaches happy. Keeps the state players happy.

Video highlights

Bio (courtesy of

High School: Three-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals … first-team all-state by Associated Press as a senior … all-region and All-Big Eight Conference as a senior … named Janesville Gazette All-Area Player of the Year … finished senior season with 75 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 2 sacks and a fumble recovery … two-time state qualifier in wrestling, finishing as Division 1 runner-up at 285 pounds as a junior with a 48-2 record … coach was Adam Bunderson

Personal: Mother is La’Tasha Benton