April 3, 2014

With three years of experience under his belt, defensive lineman Michael Bennett enters spring camp as one of the most valuable assets on defense. Bennett, who resiliently overcame a groin injury in his sophomore season, has been a steadfast member of the Silver Bullets from his days as a true freshman and finished the 2013 season with 42 tackles, including 18 solo, 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. The Centerville, Ohio, product took some time after a recent practice to discuss the upcoming season, his emergence as a leader and the promising future for Ohio State’s young defensive line.

“We’re trying to be the Silver Bullets now. We want to get back to our roots and what the Silver Bullets used to be, something we have gotten away from the last couple of years. We are trying to play more as a defense and less as corners, safeties, linebackers and defensive linemen.”

“I think (the defensive line) looks pretty good. There’s a lot of stuff that has changed from the way Coach Vrabel taught, but I think the guys bought into Coach (Larry) Johnson’s style early on. Within the first two practices we really started to understand what Coach Johnson is about and how we need to start doing things.”

“I see (my teammates) getting better at every practice. These guys are showing a lot of promise and have really started to adopt the techniques we’ve been taught. We have the opportunity to have 9-10 guys who are not just substitutes but who are really good and could start just about anywhere in the country.

“(Coach Johnson) wants us to go 100 percent to the ball, every play. He is very adamant about going until the whistle blows and then getting right back on the line.”

“It’s always hard adjusting to a new coach. The coach has to learn to get to know you and the rest of your teammates. Coach Vrabel and Coach Johnson have very different styles of coaching, but they each teach the same thing.”

“I play wherever I need to be. Right now, they need me at nose, so I’m playing nose and trying to get really good at that.”

Previous Spring Spotlights:
Dontre Wilson
Pat Elflein
Taylor Decker
Tyvis Powell
Ezekiel Elliott