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Time for Benton to Fulfill Great Expectations

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Can DeAngelo Benton finally have a break out year in 2012? (<em>photo:Hal Yeager, Birmingham News</em>)
Can DeAngelo Benton finally have a break out year in 2012? (photo:Hal Yeager, Birmingham News)

The five star recruit had been saying all along that he would be a Tiger. Most everyone expected him to be one too - a Bengal Tiger. After all he had committed twice before to LSU.

And on National Signing Day he did become a Tiger - although not a purple one. On February 4th, 2009 DeAngelo Benton signed to be an Auburn Tiger.

It was a move that shocked most of the signing day watchers as Auburn had already signed a five star receiver out of Austin,Texas named Emory Blake.

Benton and Blake helped solidify a top 10 class for first year Coach Gene Chizik in 2009.

The 6'3" 205lb wide receiver from Bastrop, La. arrived on The Plains with Great Expectations from fans and coaches alike. Trooper Taylor predicted he would rewrite the record books at Auburn.

However, those expectations have some how not materialized. His first two years he was behind steady starters Darvin Adams, Terrell Zachary, and Kodi Burns. Then the injury bug began to plague him.

It just seemed like every time De Angelo had an opportunity, an obstacle would get in the way. He was sidelined at different times with injuries to his hand, his fingers, his ankle, and his wrist. Its hard for a receiver to impress the coaches in practice when he can't go full speed.

Most players that arrive with the fanfare that accompanied Benton would have gotten discouraged and checked out long ago, seeking another school to ply his skills. But that's not who DeAngelo Benton is. He has remained patient and bidded his time. Could 2012 finally be his break out year?

While Emory Blake is an entrenched starter, the other slot will see competition from a stable full of talented receivers.

Nevertheless, Benton has some things in his favor besides patience and perseverance; he also has talent, but more than that - he has maturity.

And if those two things mean anything, this could be DeAngelo Benton's year. At any rate it's his last chance to fulfill those Great Expectations.