University of Alabama

Central alum Markail Benton growing game as true freshman at Alabama

Former Central Red Devil Markail Benton, shown here signing with Alabama last February, is growing his game in his first year with the Crimson Tide
Former Central Red Devil Markail Benton, shown here signing with Alabama last February, is growing his game in his first year with the Crimson Tide

Former Central linebacker Markail Benton might not see the field in Alabama’s national championship game Monday, but that shouldn’t overshadow Benton’s progress in 2017.

Benton is on track to redshirt in his freshman season with the Crimson Tide. The year has been one full of new lessons for Benton, who joined Alabama as a four-star linebacker in the Class of 2017.

“It’s been pretty good, watching these guys play football,” Benton said. “I’ve been learning the plays and taking classes. I’ve been having a good time.”

Benton said he’s gotten more physical in his first year at Alabama, adding that he’s also improved using his hands at the linebacker spot. Alabama outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi spoke highly of Benton’s progress from the fall up to this point.

“He’s been in the mix for us with the amount of injuries we’ve had,” Lupoi said. “He’s been preparing and practicing, and he’s approached it the right way with some hunger. It’s been good to see him grow up in a number of ways and mature throughout this season.”

Benton spoke highly of his time at Central, saying his time as a Red Devil turned him into who he is today. He said he came to Alabama because of the program’s status and the elite coaching staff, and the season has allowed him to learn more about both.

Benton said he was excited to see Alabama reach the national championship game in his freshman campaign.

“It means a lot to me,” Benton said. “I’ve never won a championship, so hopefully this will be my first one.”

Even though Benton may end his freshman season without playing a game, Lupoi sure made it sound like he is on the right track.

“I think he’s got a bright future with us,” Lupoi said.

Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports

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