|6 DaShawn Benton|
A physical and punishing defender who hopes to parlay strong special teams contributions into a more defined role in the secondary as a sophomore ... Will open second active campaign penciled in as a top reserve behind Detric Allen at the boundary cornerback position, but could also handle key coverage responsibilities on both kickoff and punt squads ... Logged three stops and forced a fumble during the first spring scrimmage (March 31) ... Did not record any statistics in second contest, but finished drills with a tackle during the Purple-Gold Game on April 12 ... Turned in one of the top bench press lifts among all defensive backs during spring strength and conditioning testing with an effort of 320 pounds.
2013: Experienced action in 11 games as a member of special teams unit and as a backup in the Pirate secondary ... Booked 10 tackles (eight solo) ... Ranked fourth on the squad with eight special teams stops (seven on kickoff returns, one on punt returns) ... Posted multiple stops on three occasions, with a career-best three (all solo) at NC State ... Added a pair of tackles (both solo) in a regular season matchup vs. Tulsa at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and again vs. Ohio during the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl ... ... Credited with lone pass breakup against UAB ... Nine of 10 stops came in the last five contests ... Had single tackle totals against Southern Miss, UAB and Marshall.
High School: A two-way player at Grady High School, starting in the secondary on defense and as a wide receiver on offense ... A prime contributor to a Knights team that produced a 9-4 overall record and a 4-1 league ledger under the direction of Ronnie Miller ... Rated as a three-star prospect and among the top 65 cornerbacks nationally by Scout.com as a senior ... Earned second-team all-state honors as a pass catcher in 2012 ... Had 25 receptions for 870 yards and eight touchdowns ... On the defensive side of the ball, registered 61 stops (37 solo), forced three fumbles, picked off four passes and recorded six pass deflections ... Also had special teams role, returning a pair of punts for 78 yards ... Recovered a pair of fumbles during second round playoff action against Monroe Area, returning last pick-up 80 yards for a touchdown ... Made 12 catches for 560 yards and eight TDs as a junior ... Credited with 39 stops and one forced fumble in 2011 ... Participated in the IMG Madden 7v7 Combine ... Testing prep numbers of note included times of 4.90 (40-yard dash) and 4.18 (20-yard shuttle), a 240-pound bench press, a 350-pound squat and a 31.4-inch vertical jump ... Also considered Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana and Mississippi State ... High school teammate of fellow ECU signee Darren Dowdell.
Personal: Full name is DaShawn O'Neal Benton ... Born January 29, 1994 at Atlanta, Ga. ... Brothers Joseph Benton and Isaiah Wilson both played football at the prep level ... Hobbies include music and working out ... Has not officially declared a college major.