MOBILE, Ala. (WDAM) - Waynesboro is considered a blue-collar town.
Billy Ray Jones was a blue-collar guy. He taught his kids the importance of hard work at a young age, especially Benito.
When he wasn’t working with his father, Benito was working on the football field. His four years at Wayne County led to a scholarship for four more years at Ole Miss. Just days before his collegiate debut, Benito’s father passed away.
Since that day, the hard work has only intensified – to the point where Benito’s being talked about as a potential NFL draftee in April’s draft.
Benito is taking advantage of his opportunity at the 71st Senior Bowl on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama.
“The thing about Benito is football was important to him but life away from football was important to him,” said former Wayne County head coach Todd Mangum. “Before his dad passed away, he and his dad would work cows and hunt. He’s always had that dream or that aspiration to be an NFL player.”
“Being with coach Mangum, he told me a long time ago, ‘Big guy, you keep playing the way you are you’ll be on the front of magazines one day before you know it,’” said Benito, who earned All-SEC second-team honors at the defensive tackle position this season. “Just like that, it’s like a flash of eye and I’m already here. [The] Senior Bowl, looking at it in high school I just always wanted to play in this game.”