In the wake of Donald Sterling potentially cashing his Los Angeles Clippers in for a cool two billion dollars, NFL.com's Mike Huguenin ran a rehash of The Wall Street Journal's college football value rankings from January.
(Ohio State was pegged No. 4 in the country, at $674 million, trailing only Texas, Notre Dame and a certain school up north.)
That in and of itself isn't news, but Mike Huguenin went beyond that, naming each program's most 'valuable' player. I figured, given the value an elite quarterback brings to a university, Braxton Miller was the obvious answer.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
Mike Bennett, c'mon down here big fella and collect your prize. Here's what Huguenin had to say about the leader of Ohio State's defensive line:
Most "valuable" player: Senior Michael Bennett should be one of the top three defensive tackles nationally and the leader of what easily should be one of the nation's top three defensive lines. He was a reserve in each of his first two seasons, playing end and tackle. He became a starter in 2013 and emerged as one of the best interior linemen in the Big Ten. Bennett is aggressive and physical. He moves well laterally, too. And there aren't many tackles nationally with his type of pass-rush skills. He had 38 tackles, seven sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 2013.
I agree with everything Huguenin writes, except Ohio State will have "one of the nation's top three defensive lines." In my expert internet opinion, I expect Ohio State to have one of the nation's top one defensive lines.
As for Bennett, it's been quite the rise for him since Jim Heacock plucked him out of Centerville in 2011. He checks every box NFL teams are looking for in today's NFL, and outside of quarterback, defensive tackles are probably the most sought-after position.
Ohio State's schedule will be much tougher in 2014 than 2013, but if Bennett can match or even exceed last year's production, then he could easily be the first defensive tackle off the board in the 2015 NFL draft.