Benton Smith ( reporter)

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 die-hard 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, as a digital editor, blogger and writer and that role changed again in 2016, when Smith was promoted to KU football beat writer.

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After second-year Kansas football coach David Beaty addressed a crowd of fans Aug. 26, 2016, at the KU Kickoff at Corinth Square, in Prairie Village, he posed for photos with fans.

Kansas sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. crouches low to the ground to sign a young fan's poster on Aug. 26, 2016, at the KU Kickoff at Corinth Square, in Prairie Village.

KU Sports Extra hosts Tom Keegan, left, and Matt Tait, right, recently were fortunate enough to catch up with Santa Claus himself, and St. Nick divulged what KU fans were asking for this holiday season.

A Kansas University football uniform and helmet are on display at the Omni Dallas Hotel for Big 12 Media Days, in Dallas, Texas.

Kansas University junior forward Perry Ellis walks through drills at the Jayhawks' shoot-around Wednesday afternoon at Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Missouri. Ellis didn't go full-speed at the session, but coach Bill Self said the injured forward, who will wear a knee brace the rest of the season, did earlier in the day at a practice in Lawrence.

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