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Benton Smith

KUsports.com 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 diehard 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 KUsports.com, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer shortly after the World Company sold the Lawrence Journal-World and KUsports.com to Ogden Newspapers.

Since the sale, Smith has become an even more important member of the KUsports.com team, expanding his coverage to include writing columns at men's basketball games and continuing to oversee our coverage of KU football, which included the hiring of Les Miles as KU's new head football coach in late 2018.

Recent Stories

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Les Miles tells fans Jayhawks 'need to play dominant football'

Les Miles didn’t have any grand announcements or bold declarations to make Friday night while addressing a large contingent of University of Kansas fans at the athletic department’s annual KU Kickoff at Corinth Square. Nor did the head football coach want to share any such information with a small group of reporters before he took the stage. By Benton Smith

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'4.2 is definitely noticeable': Jayhawks raving about returner Jamahl Horne's speed

The secret is out. The fastest man on the Kansas football roster isn’t a widely known running back or even a touted young prospect from the program’s most recent recruiting class. His name is Jamahl Horne. He redshirted in 2018. He plays receiver. And at one offseason workout, he blew his teammates away. By Benton Smith

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Talented freshman LB Steven Parker acclimating quickly with help of Emmett Jones

Emmett Jones coaches the receivers on the University of Kansas football roster. But not a day goes by without Jones staying in the ear of outside linebacker Steven Parker. By Benton Smith

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Report: Joe Dineen out for remainder of preseason

A hand injury he suffered during Denver’s Monday Night Football exhibition earlier this week is expected to keep former Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen out for the remainder of the NFL’s preseason.

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'Miles To Go' set to debut on ESPN+ on Aug. 29

Any Kansas football fans who have looked forward to getting some behind the scenes glimpses of Les Miles and the Jayhawks through a new ESPN+ series will have to wait another week — and then binge watch the first four episodes before the season kicks off. By Benton Smith

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Les Miles notes standouts from final full contact practice of preseason

Kansas football coach Les Miles left a steamy preseason practice early Tuesday afternoon not drowning in sweat, rather once again in a buoyant mood. Following what Miles disclosed would be the last camp practice during which the team tackled throughout, from start to finish, he opened his press conference by talking up some top offensive performers. By Benton Smith

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Report: MAC concept for football scholarship rule change mirrors idea pushed by KU's Jeff Long

An idea pushed this past spring by University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, which would allow a football program to sign as many as 35 players in one recruiting class and 50 over a two-year period, may be picking up some steam nationally. By Benton Smith

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Notebook: D.J. Eliot shares thoughts on camp standouts, D-line and 'Hawk'

Now that D.J. Eliot has 15 spring practices and two-plus weeks of preseason camp behind him, Eliot is much more familiar with the defensive personnel on the Kansas football roster than he was when he agreed to become the defensive coordinator for head coach Les Miles. By Benton Smith

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Les Miles: Jayhawks 'need to improve' with season opener approaching

Dating back to the spring and continuing on through the summer and into preseason camp, first-year Kansas football coach Les Miles has leaned into letting those who are listening know that he feels positive about his new team. So much so that it almost seemed out of character on Friday at KU’s media day when Miles referenced some shortcomings while answering questions about the team’s goals. By Benton Smith

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Notebook: KU prepared to play 2 centers

When the Kansas football team makes its debut under Les Miles in a couple of weeks, it looks like the Jayhawks are prepared to take an either/or approach when it comes to the starting center. By Benton Smith

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