SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – From the small town turf to Friday night lights on the big stage, a western Massachusetts native is making his debut in the world of professional football.

22News spoke with Springfield born and raised Benton Whitley who just signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

You were born and raised in Springfield, started playing the game right here locally and now this chance of a lifetime. Tell us what led you to this point.

“It was a lot of hard work, but also had a lot to do with the support system I had around me growing up. Both my family, teammates, coaches… you know, I had a lot of love and support. Coming up in western Mass, in Springfield and outside Springfield, all of it really came together culminating with me and my success throughout high school, middle school and now throughout college,” said Whitley.

Bring us back to that moment when you found out who had achieved what you worked so hard for… getting that call that you were joining the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It really all started with the draft and I actually ended up going to LA first. I went as an undrafted free agent, got to compete during training camp and it was an awesome experience. Ended up on the practice squad and then was getting settled into LA and then I suddenly got a call from my agent, about heading out to Kansas City, which is a huge change of pace but is an opportunity of a lifetime because being signed is definitely better than being on the practice squad. I took and ran with it and now I’m here,” said Whitley.

Benton Whitley comes from a family known in western Massachusetts for their strong academic and athletic accomplishments in football, wrestling, martial arts, gymnastics, boxing, and overall physical conditioning.

He graduated from Minnechaug Regional High School in 2017 and was captain of his high school football team. He then went on to graduate from Holy Cross in 2022 with a degree in biology & environmental science. He got his start in 5A youth sports (Academic, Athletic, Arts, Achievement Association) founded by former State Representative Raymond A. Jordan.