Sharmari Benton's strength, Avery Cunningham's speed impress at NFL Pro Day

NFL scouts wowed in amazement after linebacker Shamari Benton bench-pressed 225 lbs.

The 230-pounder put nearly his own weight up 34 times. Colts running back Trent Richardson put it up 25 times in his combine days when he was with Alabama.

Thirteen NFL representatives crowded the CMU facilities in search of Chippewa talent Wednesday. Although not quite the NFL Combine, athletes showcased their skills in a Combine format.

Safety Avery Cunningham performed above average as well, jumping a 10-foot-5 broad jump.

“At this point it was clearing my head, I know I have the technique, I just wanted to clear my head and let muscle memory take over,” said linebacker Shamari Benton.

Benton and his teammates started their workouts on the broad and high jump inside the fitness room in the Rose Center before moving to the bench press.

“It just shows the hard work I put in with my five years at CMU and dedicating myself to the weight room,” Benton said. “I trained at D1 Detroit and got a lot of good training there and talked to a lot of family, which really helped my mentality.”

D1 Detroit is a high intensity athletic training facility owned by two Detroit Lions players, Tony Scheffler and Ndamukong Suh. They recently opened a new fitness center in Santa Clara, co-owned by San Francisco 49er’s Vernon Davis.

Safety Avery Cunningham didn’t just perform highly in the broad jump, he outperformed each of his teammates in the 40-yard dash, running a 4.5 flat. After his best 40-yard dash time, Cunningham showed his versatility by also running the best 60-yard shuttle.

“It went pretty well, I think I ran pretty well ... (I) thought everything went pretty good,” Cunningham said. “Once in a lifetime experience, having fun because there’s nothing like coming out and showcasing your talents for everybody.”


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