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.
As momentous as this past weekend turned out to be around the Kansas football facilities, with eight new recruits committing from the Class of 2020 — nine if you count Tuesday’s addition of three-star linebacker Taiwan Berryhill — it wasn’t completely extraordinary for the program. By Benton Smith
The Kansas football coaching staff hopes most of the recruits who have committed to the program over the previous few days will eventually sign with the Jayhawks and join the program in 2020. However, Tuesday night they also added a prospect who could help them out much sooner. By Benton Smith
An aftershock from a massive recruiting weekend for the Kansas football program vibrated Tuesday night, as the Jayhawks picked up yet another three-star prospect for their 2020 class. By Benton Smith
“You should see how we recruit. We recruit like we make a game plan,” Les Miles said. The approach implemented by Miles and his staff must be doing the trick, given the success of this past weekend, when eight new prospects verbally committed to KU’s 2020 recruiting class. By Benton Smith
Two days worth of recruiting victories weren’t enough for the Kansas football program this weekend, as the conveyer belt of commitments kept adding to the stockpile on Sunday. By Benton Smith
A lively weekend for the Kansas football program’s recruiting efforts kept jetting along Saturday night. Fewer than 24 hours removed from the first commitment of a dizzying span featuring high school prospect after high school prospect announcing his plans to join the Jayhawks, the weekend total for new Class of 2020 pledges hit seven. By Benton Smith
The weekend additions for Kansas football didn’t stop when the Jayhawks added two players to their 2020 recruiting class on Friday night — not even close. By Benton Smith
Both considered three-star members of the Class of 2020 according to Rivals, offensive lineman Garrett Jones and cornerback Ja’Cobee Bryant verbally committed to join Les Miles’ Jayhawks during their official visits. By Benton Smith
When the dust finally settles on Les Miles’ 2020 Kansas football recruiting class months from now, it’s possible the work currently being done during the summer will go down as the most crucial stretch of the process. By Benton Smith
According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, the father of a former LSU football offensive lineman who played for Les Miles received payments from a man who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $550,000 from a nonprofit organization.