The Class of 2010 was one of the best of the decade in the Greater Cincinnati area. With such a large crop of talent graduating this May, we begin to look at what players will take over as the stars of the local high school gridiron next season with our series, Rising Stars.
Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Cincinnati are just five of over 25 offers that Centerville senior-to-be Michael Bennett has already fielded and more are likely to come.
His 4.95 forty and 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame have college coaches foaming at the mouth and lead to his opponents on the high school gridiron frequently getting overmatched. A 4.41 shuttle coupled with a 315-pound bench press max only further make the case.
A two-way star, Bennett received most of his notoriety on the offensive side of the ball as a tackle. He helped Centerville to a GWOC Central title in 2009 by opening up gaping holes and providing stellar pass protection.
Despite the fact he's being recruited primarily on offense, many scouts feel that Bennett has even greater potential on the defensive side of the ball.
"Most of them are saying that I could pick, but others are only talking o-line," Bennett told Rivals.com. "I think it is mostly because I only had a couple plays on defense. Last year I did not play that much defense, so I only have eight or nine plays on defense on my film. I like defense the most because it just seems more natural."
Not only is Bennett a big kid, but he has a big motor. As a junior he often had stretches of games where he would take over the line of scrimmage. He is a smart player and backs it up in the classroom with a 3.2 GPA.
Bennett will likely commit prior to the season beginning which will allow him to focus on a final high school goal, winning a state title and repeating as division champions.
FINAL TAKE: Bennett is one of the best players at any position in Southwest Ohio's Class of 2011. There's no doubting that he's going to make a huge splash at the next level. If game continues to flourish look for it to translate into an even better year for Centerville this time around.