One day after the University of Alabama football team lost wide receiver Tyrell Shavers to the transfer portal, linebacker Markail Benton joined him there, as first reported by AL.com.
Benton was a Dime package linebacker for UA in 2019, ending the season with 19 tackles and a pass break-up; his production was limited by a hamstring injury that kept him out of a game. Benton graduated in December, giving him a chance at graduate transfer status with immediate eligibility.
Benton was going to be a redshirt junior for UA in 2020, but was suspended from the team in the spring for undisclosed reasons. If Benton had been reinstated in between April and now, UA coach Nick Saban had not said so, but Saban has not had an availability with local media since that April teleconference.
Benton was a four-star prospect out of Central High School in Phenix City, a top 10 prospect in the state of Alabama and a top 10 outside linebacker in the nation in the 247 Sports Composite.
In Benton’s absence, UA still has abundant options at inside linebacker. Last year’s starters, Shane Lee and Christian Harris, will return as sophomores, but both were filling in for injured veterans Dylan Moses and Joshua McMillon. Moses will be a redshirt junior and McMillon received a waiver for an additional year of eligibility, which he will use in 2020. UA also added inside linebackers Jackson Bratton and Demouy Kennedy in its 2020 recruiting class, both in-state products from Muscle Shoals and Theodore, respectively.