May 14, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett was among 42 players announced today by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation of Newport Beach, Calif., as nominees for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy goes to the defensive player in college football who combines great character off the field with outstanding performance on the field. IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity performance, academics, community and tenacity.
Bennett is the son of Connie and Mike Bennett - each of whom is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point - and he is a force as an interior defensive lineman and a thoughtful, team-leader off the field. His 15 starts are tied for the most among Ohio State's defensive players, and just last weekend he led a contingent of Buckeyes to help kick off the annual Columbus City Schools Special Olympics at Whetstone High School.
Bennett, a consumer and family financial services major, has recorded 66 career tackles including 17.5 tackles-for-losses totaling 90 yards. He also has a team-high 11 quarterback sacks entering the 2014 season. He is coming off a fine 2013 season when he was named second-team all-Big Ten after starting 13 games and amassing career highs in tackles (44) tackles-for-loss and yards (11.5 for 62) and quarterback sacks (7.5). He ranked fourth in the Big Ten Conference in sacks and 15th in TFLs, and in conference-only games, he ranked second in the league in sacks (6.5) and seventh in TFLs (9.5).
Ohio State has a strong history with the Lott IMPACT Award. James Laurinaitis was the 2008 Lott IMPACT Award winner. A.J. Hawk (2005) and Quinn Pitcock (2007) were each finalists for the award while John Simon (2012) and Ryan Shazier (2013) have each recently been semifinalists.