JANESVILLE — After standout careers at Janesville Craig High School and then the University of Wisconsin, Keeanu Benton now is headed to the NFL.
The defensive lineman was chosen with the 49th pick in the second round by Pittsburgh Steelers.
Benton earned all-state and all-conference honors at Janesville Craig High School and qualified twice for the WIAA state wrestling meet.
As a Badger, he started six games as a true freshman in 2019 (12 tackles, four for loss with two sacks in 13 games) and five games in 2020 (eight tackles in seven contests), according to his NFL bio.
Benton’s 2021 play in 13 starts was noticed by Big Ten coaches, who named him second-team all-conference (25 tackles, five for loss with 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups) as he helped lead the nation’s top rushing defense.
He was a third-team selection as a senior, recording 35 stops, 10 for loss with 4.5 sacks, and two pass breakups in 12 starts.