Benton Smith reporter

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Benton Smith was born in Kansas City, Mo., and bounced around in the years that followed, living in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina, before moving to Lawrence in 2006. Along the way, he lived in Sanford, N.C., for a huge chunk of his life and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — an institution, he assures die-hard Kansas fans, which he attended primarily for its in-state tuition and journalism program. Shortly after moving to Lawrence, Smith began working part-time at the Journal-World, initially covering youth sports. Next, he covered Free State High athletics and area sports for the J-W, before taking on the position of sports editor for one of The World Company's weekly newspapers, The Mirror, in Tonganoxie. He worked there from 2008 to 2011, until returning to the Journal-World to lead its high school sports coverage. In 2013, Smith took on a new role with, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer.

Recent Stories

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Crowd pleaser: Beaty brings Jayhawks to stage at pep rally

Of all the challenges facing Kansas football coach David Beaty, stage fright isn’t one of them. Still, instead of flying solo Friday night at the athletic department’s annual KU Kickoff at Corinth Square, Beaty addressed the fans flanked by some of the more promising Jayhawks in his rebuilding program. By Benton Smith

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David Beaty's play-calling has stimulated a college offense before

Through his travels up the football coaching ranks, few obligations invigorated KU's David Beaty as much as calling plays for his team’s offense. When he took over as offensive coordinator at Rice, the program experienced significant gains in some key statistical categories. By Benton Smith

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Smart, skilled and 'nasty': Freshman Hakeem Adeniji instant hit on KU's O-line

When true freshmen arrived on campus this summer, Kansas offensive line coach Zach Yenser greeted the new blood in his unit with a straightforward message: “Don’t come in here with the mindset that you’re gonna redshirt.” Apparently newcomer Hakeem Adeniji latched onto that piece of advice and blocked with it. By Benton Smith

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Notebook: Improved receiving corps testing KU's cornerbacks

As much as assistant Kenny Perry loves seeing KU’s secondary expand its depth, this month at preseason practices the fiery coach also has enjoyed spotting the improvements on the opposite side of the ball. By Benton Smith

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Game of drones: KU football adds new technology to video preparation

The first time Brandon Stewart heard the faint buzzing emanating from the airspace above the Kansas football practice field, he assumed the worst. A senior cornerback, Stewart knew the team had expanded its video equipment to include a drone. It just took a few preseason practices for the Jayhawks to get used to the newest addition to the program. By Benton Smith

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David Beaty: Jayhawks need to give fans reason to fill Memorial Stadium

Every time the Kansas football team plays a home game, head coach David Beaty would like to see Memorial Stadium filled to capacity, with more than 50,000 spectators cramming into the nearly century-old venue. The second-year coach also understands the struggling program has a lot of work to do before that vision comes close to reality. By Benton Smith

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Jayhawks appreciate details as fans watch open practice

If David Beaty’s plan comes to fruition, his Kansas players will exit preseason camp more football savvy than when they arrived. In an effort to make the Jayhawks a smarter team, the second-year coach made a point this week to simulate as many specific game scenarios as possible. The KU faithful who made it out to Memorial Stadium Saturday morning for Fan Appreciation Day got to witness exactly what the coach meant. By Benton Smith

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David Beaty still contemplating KU's quarterback race

Coach cites Manziel, Reesing as examples for QB leadership

One of these days Kansas football coach David Beaty will be ready to name a staring quarterback. Friday just wasn’t that day. By Benton Smith

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KU's first-string O-line close to decided

While KU’s season opener is still a couple weeks away, offensive line coach Zach Yenser expects to know as early as this weekend which five Jayhawks he’ll ask to protect sophomore Ryan Willis or red-shirt junior Montell Cozart at quarterback against Rhode Island on Sept. 3. By Benton Smith

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Jayhawks point to improved depth as sign of progress

Each time David Beaty, preparing for his second football season at KU, gives an update on the progress witnessed at practices, his handy list of Jayhawks who have impressed him seems to grow. Likewise, players and assistant coaches often cite the quality and quantity of players competing for spots as a true sign of the program’s improvement over the last 12 months. By Benton Smith

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