Bennett ready wherever Bucks need him

August, 8, 2012
8/08/12
3:57
PM ET
The key is finding a spot in the first four.

Michael Bennett doesn't care which one.

The sophomore defensive lineman is comfortable playing inside at tackle or sliding out to end, along with the ability to pull off a transition like that. And while it might be easier to focus on just one of those positions, specialization doesn't have nearly as much value to Ohio State as it puts together a starting rotation.

"I’m willing to play where the coaches put me," Bennett said after practice on Tuesday. "I know the three-technique and I know the end. Right now they have me at end, but it’s the beginning of camp.

"You never know."

That uncertainty isn't an issue for Bennett, whose versatility only strengthens and deepens a unit that's already on the short list for most talented in the nation.

The Buckeyes can use him on the interior along with Johnathan Hankins and Garrett Goebel without losing much beef with Bennett checking in at 6-foot-3, 277 pounds.

Or he can come off the edge since he's got quickness that doesn't often come in packages that size, allowing him to complement John Simon, Steve Miller or perhaps Nathan Williams once he returns from knee surgery.

Even without factoring in talented newcomers like Se'Von Pittman, Noah Spence or Adolphus Washington, earning a starting gig isn't going to be easy in the Ohio State training camp. Which is exactly why flexibility like Bennett provides will be invaluable.

"Michael was probably running with the first team through most of spring," defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said. "He really showed a lot, he performed well for us as a true freshman (last year), one of those intelligent guys that picks things up pretty quick. He’s going to have the ability, probably, to play more than one position for us.

"When you have versatility, we have a chance to use you a lot more."

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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