Mike Bennett Named Most 'Valuable' Player at Ohio State

By DJ Byrnes on May 30, 2014 at 12:40p

Bennett is also a fashion icon in his spare time.


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. 


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toad1204's picture

and he has a pretty mean ugly Christmas sweater.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+12 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Go Elks! Couldn't agree more, make em pay Mike...make em pay.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

JHellman3's picture

It would help if we knew how the author defined "valuable".  In terms of revenue generated Bennett isn't close to Braxton. It would be hard to argue that losing Bennett would be a bigger loss than losing Braxton in terms of wins.  Great D Line depth, two unproven commodities as back up QBs.


gumtape's picture

He defines it as the highest draft potential. Bennett could be a top-ten pick. Right now Braxton Miller is looking at the 3rd round unless he improves his decision making.

High and tight boo boo

+1 HS
LoufromOSU's picture

I cannot see Michael Bennett being a top 10 pick.  The best comparison for him is Aaron Donald, who has extremely similar measurements (AD 6'1" 285 and MB 6'2" 288), who was the 13th pick of the draft.  Donald was the most dominating defensive lineman in the nation last season.  He went to the combine and blew everyone away, which he had to due to questions about his size.  Bennett is a nice player and great guy, and I hope he can attain these lofty expectations, but for the NFL he will be too small for DT and doesn't necessarily fit well at DE. 

There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you. - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Mortc15's picture

What's not to like about a guy who can be a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 DE? He's not going to be a Vince wilfork of a 3-4 defense. He is too small for that, but he can certainly be a huge addition to a d-line in the NFL. 


+2 HS
LoufromOSU's picture

Not saying he can't be a fine player, which he is (when he is healthy - another issue that the NFL teams will be scared of), just saying I don't see a top 10 pick in his future.  Decker, with his size and position, probably has the highest NFL draft ceiling on the team. 





There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you. - Woody Hayes

JHellman3's picture

Thanks.  Didn't have time to click on the links when reading the article.  Hopefully, Bennett and Miller perform well enough to meet those draft projections.  I have my doubts either goes nearly that high, but if they do that should mean another great season.  Go Bucks!


dubjayfootball90's picture

Big year out of Bennett is on the Horizon. Real Pumped!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+3 HS
Nappy's picture

Probably the best Twitter follow on the team. 

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

+7 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

Yes, most valuable player on Twitter, as well.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Ohio State fans have long known what they've had in Mike Bennett, and national figures are starting to recognize too.

You know I'm not sure I'd agree with that. I can remember numerous comments over the past few years that suggests that some Ohio State fans haven't appreciated just how good a player Mike is.

+5 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

Well, like any large fan base, Ohio State has its fair share of idiots in its camp.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Squirrel Master's picture

it is hard for people to see the player that played next to Jonathan Hankins and John Simon one year and then next to Noah Spence and Joey Bosa the next. The common thread in both those is that Bennett is the one who breaks up the middle forcing QBs into guys like Simon and Spence.

I would say Bennett is highly underrated! It took me till last year to recognize it, some still haven't though.

and a DT at 300 lbs who can bring a SDE level pass rush from the inside. Kid is a 3-4 DE dream for me and my Chiefs. Would love to have him next to Dontari Poe flanked by Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Sweet lord that would be awesome!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+7 HS
BroJim's picture

I like it!

I season my simple food with hunger

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Lovin the Christmas shirt!  Will strike fear in the hearts of O-Linemen when he knocks others out and they don't wake up until Christmas!!

Go Bucks!!

Seattle Linga's picture

Exactly - what are they going to say - they got beat by a guy in Christmas gear?

Shangheyed's picture

Clearly they have not seen any of my film yet....