Tuesday, July 6, 2010


CENTERVILLE — Centerville (OH) High School and Ohio State class of 2011 commit, Michael Bennett, is one intense player when you watch him on film.

(left, Michael Bennett)

The 6-foot-3, 280 pound defensive tackle from the Dayton area, dominates the interior line like no other, using his unbelievable motor and athleticism to embarrass opposing offensive linemen.

Yes, I am well aware that what I'm about to write is saying an awful lot, but Bennett's game to me resembles that of the late NFL hall of famer, Reggie White. Bennett just bullies the opposition with his strength, explosiveness and unrivaled intensity, much like White did during his playing days.

Bennett, who plays at the same high school as former OSU star A.J. Hawk, said he doesn't pattern his game after any one player, though. He just plays ball the only way he knows how — all out.

"I don't know of anyone in particular I try to play like," Bennett told The Buckeye Times on Tuesday. "I just kind of try to do whatever works."

Well, that simple style has worked wonders for the big man. In fact, college football giants like Alabama, Florida, USC and Notre Dame, among others, were all knocking on Bennett's door, hoping that he would bring his dominating style to their respective campus.

However, it was Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes who would get the early call (last May).

Bennett said he didn't want to prolong his decision any longer — he knew right where he wanted to be.

"I committed to OSU so early because I made my decision," Bennett laughed. "I wasn't going to wait if I'd already decided."

Bennett said he loved everything that is Ohio State, from their tradition to their location.

"I like the atmosphere that surrounds the team, the facilities, the school, the opportunities it opens up for me, the level of excellence I'll be held to on and off the field," Bennett said.

"And it's close to home."

Bennett, who plans on majoring in pre med at Ohio State, said Tuesday that his goals — just like his decision to play for the Buckeyes — are simple: He wants to be the best.

"My goals for high school and college are the same ... I plan to be the best at my position, no question," Bennett said. "If I accomplish that, then I don't need any other awards or honors. Those will come with being the best."

Bennett also plays in the same league as star quarterback and OSU commit, Braxton Miller. Miller's Huber Heights Wayne team is the rival school to Bennett's Centerville squad.

Bennett and Miller are considered two of the top players in the Buckeyes 2011 recruiting class, and are looking forward to being teammates at Ohio State. But ... Bennett says there won't be any backing off on his end this fall when the two powerhouse high schools do battle on the gridiron.

"Braxton isn't my teammate yet," Bennett laughed. "He'll be just another Wayne quarterback when we play them!"

I wouldn't expect it any other way from Bennett.

I told you ... he's a bully!

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