USAAAB: Bennett Looking to Start Fast at OSU

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Centerville (Ohio) defensive tackle and Ohio State commitment Michael Bennett is part of a strong East defensive line. He talked about his Buckeye future with

Four-star defensive tackle Michael Bennett is part of an East squad at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that has had some spirited battles on the lines.

It has allowed the Ohio State commitment to test himself against some of the nation's best, and so far, he believes he is more than holding his own.

"I think it's going really well. I hurt my toe yesterday, but it's just a nail thing, so I can probably take that off and I can be fine by Saturday, but I was excited how I did against all these big guys."

Bennett played in a tough conference and saw great competition, which did help him prepare for what he has seen this week, but he said he has still noticed a step up.

"In my conference, we have a lot of really good people, but you're not going to have an All-American offensive line completely. These guys are huge and they're good, not just like sloppy. I have to see how I do against these guys, but I feel I'm responding well."

One of those offensive linemen is future teammate Brian Bobek, the East's staring center.

"He plays hard," Bennett explained. "He plays low. He's not the biggest guy on the O-Line, but he's still pretty big. As a center, he doesn't hit me too much, but he hits hard. I like it. I'm happy he's going to Ohio State."

Bennett had his eyes glued to the television last night watching the Buckeyes take down Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. It was the culmination of a successful season from Jim Tressel and company.

"I thought they've been really good. It's really unfortunate with what happened with Wisconsin. Their defense, I love it. They run around, fly around and hit people."

Defense is the name of the game for Bennett. He played both ways in high school, but wants to stay at defensive tackle at the next level.

"For me, its definitely going to be defense. I'm going to push it real hard. I don't want to go back to offense 'cause I think defense is more fun."

That will also give him a chance to play right away, as the Buckeyes lose a couple bodies there.

"They told me to expect to play, but I think they told that to everybody, just because if you come in expecting to play, you can, but we're having Larrimore leave and Heyword's leaving, two big guys at my position, so I think I can play and I might be able to start if I keep working hard."

Beyond the football and the chance to play as a freshman, Bennett also says Ohio State fulfilled everything he wanted in a school.

"There are a lot of great programs, but Ohio State balances everything. They balance great academics, great sports, obviously and the coaching staff is great and care about their players and make sure they're quality people."

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