Former Badger DT Keeanu Benton drafted No. #49 overall to Steelers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WMTV) - Former Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton has found a new home.
The Janesville native was drafted No. 49 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Coming out of high school, Benton didn’t have any offers to play at the next level. That is until his wrestling coach at Janesville Craig, Mark Mullen, called Wisconsin Athletic Director Chris McIntosh and said UW needs to take a look at Benton. From there Benton met with then head coach Paul Chryst and was offered a full ride scholarship to play at Wisconsin.
Benton played all four seasons at Wisconsin, making six starts his freshman year as a nose tackle where he tallied 12 tackles and two sacks.
As a senior Benton started all 12 regular season games, and finished with 36 tackles, 10 for loss and 4.5 sacks. Benton was named an All-Big Ten third team selection following the 2022 season.
At the NFL combine Benton recorded a 29.5″ vertical jump and had 25 bench press reps. NFL.com projected Benton as a second round pick, with an overall score of 71.
Prior to the draft, Benton’s former high school Janesville Craig had a sendoff party to celebrate his success and cheer him on in his future career.
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