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.
A senior Kansas football captain, Bryce Torneden was named Wednesday a national semifinalist for the 2019 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award.
Bye weeks usually involve plenty of reflection for most football teams, so the Kansas Jayhawks’ most recent stretch of down time wasn’t unique in that regard. But the KU offense had so underperformed its expectations in its most recent loss that a hard, long look in the mirror basically became a priority. By Benton Smith
It was 15 years ago Wednesday that Les Miles last was inside Boone Pickens Stadium, in Stillwater, Okla., for a college football game. On that mid-November Saturday back in 2004, Miles led the Oklahoma State football team, ranked No. 25 in the country, onto the field. He’ll return, of course, this coming Saturday, in charge of the Kansas Jayhawks this time, and looking to knock off the No. 25-ranked Cowboys. By Benton Smith
The Kansas football program’s 2020 recruiting class looks a little less crowded as of Monday, when a potential signee announced a future with the Jayhawks was no more. A three-star offensive lineman from Iowa, Jackson Stoefen shared via Twitter that he no longer is committed to the Jayhawks. By Benton Smith
The days remaining in the 2019 Kansas football season are disappearing quickly. And as the Jayhawks’ game week preparations for Oklahoma State started rolling on Monday, the need fur urgency wasn’t lost on anyone. Before a weight-lifting session inside Anderson Family Football Complex, an impromptu group talk among players epitomized the current vibe in the building. By Benton Smith
The Kansas football defense will finish out the season without one of its starting defensive backs. That much head coach Les Miles would admit Monday, even if he refused to publicly rule out a late season return for a starting linebacker. By Benton Smith
Following a letdown of a performance by the entire Kansas football team in front of a sold out stadium a week ago, the Jayhawks’ defense headed into a bye week with no shortage of concerns. With only three games remaining on their November calendar, it didn’t take any deliberating by safety Mike Lee to identify the most worrisome development in KU’s 28-point loss to Kansas State. By Benton Smith
The bye week came with some good news for Kansas football offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji, who discovered Thursday he will have a chance to showcase his skills to NFL draft coaches and evaluators in January. His head coach, Les Miles, had a little fun, too, in delivering the word to Adeniji. By Benton Smith
It had only been two games, but the Kansas football offense performed so well under new coordinator Brent Dearmon that the Jayhawks began looking at themselves differently. This was the type of team, they were convinced, that should regularly put up 500-plus yards of offense and 30-plus points. By Benton Smith
As the first Kansas football team coached by Les Miles heads into the final three games on its schedule, a pair of outspoken receivers remain vigilant in spreading the message that the season doesn’t have to end in November. Senior receiver Daylon Charlot said the Jayhawks as a whole felt like they let their fans down in a 38-10 loss to Kansas State this past weekend. Despite their disappointment, Charlot voiced publicly the notion that he and other team leaders keep clutching to tightly. By Benton Smith