Al-Rasheed Benton got a little banged up in the WVU football team’s season-opening game against Virginia Tech.
He most likely suffered a leg cramp in the second half against the Hokies, but he was still able to play through it. Although the Mountaineers lost to VT, Benton still earned some individual honors.
He was selected to the Pro Football Focus All-Big 12 Team after Week 1, joining WVU football teammates Gary Jennings and Colton McKivitz. Benton tied for the team lead in tackles with eight, alongside Hakeem Bailey. That was just one game. Benton will be one of the more consistent players on the WVU defense, so expect more of the same in games to come.
Benton is one of the most experienced and settled WVU football players on the team. He is a respected leader and understands his role on the team. Because of his unselfish attitude and solid on-field skills, Benton was featured on WVUsports.com’s Wearing the Jersey segment this week and he was given the opportunity to write a small newspaper editorial. The Daily Athenaeum is the award-wining WVU student newspaper.
One of the DA’s biggest and best issues is the one that comes out on the Friday before the home opener football game. With thousands of people coming to town for the weekend, the free publication is widely read during the football season.
Benton’s words were inspiring and exciting. He talked about his feelings of being a Mountaineer and why he chose to come to West Virginia out of a New Jersey high school back in 2013.
If any WVU student was unsure if he or she should attend the game against East Carolina on Saturday, a quick read over Benton’s column in the DA should entice any one to be at Milan Puskar Stadium, wearing all gold.
"When I committed to play football at West Virginia University, I knew I was committing to play for a university and fan base for whom the results mattered greatly — not only to the students and alumni of WVU but to the people of West Virginia.I picked WVU because of the belief in one another that West Virginians have. I wanted to be a Mountaineer. I am a Mountaineer."
Any game in Morgantown is special. This one has a little extra meaning because it helps usher in a new generation of WVU football. There is a lot of season left and, although the Mountaineers stumbled out of the gate, there is so much time to make it a successful campaign.
It starts again Saturday. Milan Puskar Stadium will be rocking like always. Benton wants that rocking, packed crowd to stay until the end so 60,000 strong can sing John Denver’s Country Roads.