I had the pleasure of asking Central Michigan linebacker Shamari Benton some questions as he prepares for the 2014 NFL draft.
What did you learning during your time at Central Michigan?
During the transition from high school to collegiate athletics one of the most important lessons I learned was being consistent. As a competitor everyday has to be 100% and the coaching staff at CMU expected nothing less. Whether it was film study, practice or late in the fourth quarter the same amount of effort and attention to detail had to executed.
What was the highlight of your college career?
After fighting our way back from a losing record in 2012 our team was able to make it to the Little Caesar Bowl where we faced a talented Western Kentucky team. We battled hard and eventually won the game. After I was named Defensive MVP at the award ceremony. Then in 2013 during two-a-days I was elected team captain for the season by my teammates which was the highlight of my senior year.
What are your goals going forward?
I recently graduated from Central Michigan University with over a 3.0 GPA and now I am completely dedicated to the sport I love. I plan to train for my pro day on March 3rd and perform at a high level when the times arrives. My goal is to make a NFL team and contribute in anyway that they can utilize my talents.
How can you help an NFL team?
I have a great combination of speed and size that can allow me to play both inside and outside linebacker. Throughout my collegiate career I have had the opportunity to play a lot of games at both positions and have proven with consistent stats that I can produce at a high level. I also have the intellect to play linebacker and identify offensive formation and strategy. During my three years as a starter I set our defensive fronts and made the necessary audibles. I also have played on every special team throughout my career even as a senior captain because I am team guy that is willing to make sacrifices for success.
How can you improve as a football player?
I plan to improve in my Tampa 2 coverage ability this off season. Although at CMU we had it in our package we rarely ran it. I hope to master the necessary drops in order to make plays in that coverage.
What is your greatest attribute as a person and as a football player?
My greatest attribute as a person has to be that I am a loyal person. That’s a difficult attribute to find in most people and one that I am proud to be able to say that I have. As a football player the combination of my work ethic and ability really sets me apart.
How do you plan on preparing for the NFL?
I will be training with former NFL players in preparation for the pro day and team workouts in the future. I also plan to have speed development training and weight training as well.
The six foot, 235 pound Benton recorded 111 tackles this season, 2 sacks and one interception this past season.