We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.
No. 63 Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett went through one of the worst seasons in recent Ohio State history as a freshman, but by the end of his career, he was leading the Buckeyes to a national title.
As a rookie, Bennett went 6-7 as the Buckeyes limped to a losing season in the first year of the post-Jim Tressel era. After that however, Bennett experienced plenty of success.
DT Michael Bennett
b. Feb. 24, 1993 (Centerville, Ohio)
- National Champion (2014)
- First Team All-American (2014)
- Second Team All-Big Ten (2014)
- Team Captain (2014)
- Academic All-Big Ten (2012)
Bennett played in eight games during Ohio State's 12-0 season in 2012, starting in place of an injured John Simon in the season finale against Michigan. A season later, Bennett started 13 of Ohio State's 14 games, collecting seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as the Buckeyes finished with a 12-2 record.
Bennett saved his best season for last. During Ohio State's championship run in 2014, he amassed seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles as the Buckeyes came away with the first title in the playoff era.
The Centerville, Ohio product played the final three games of his career wearing No. 53 to honor teammate Kosta Karageorge, who went missing just prior to Ohio State's game against Michigan, and was found dead days later as a result of suicide. In a 59-0 win over Wisconsin, Ohio State's first game since Karageorge's body was recovered, Bennett recorded a career-high 4.0 tackles for loss and forced a fumble on Heisman finalist Melvin Gordon, which was recovered for a touchdown by Joey Bosa.
Bennett was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since entering the professional ranks, Bennett has struggled with injuries, playing in just 14 games in three seasons with the Jaguars.