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January 8, 2011
Ohio State commit Bennett injures arm
MORE ARMY BOWL: Announcements | Complete coverage
SAN ANTONIO - When the play moved past him, but defensive lineman Michael Bennett remained on the turf, writhing in the pain - it looked pretty bad.
When the Ohio State commit from Centerville (Ohio) High was surrounded by eight members of the training staff and a cart was brought out - it looked worse.
Moments later, things looked a lot better.
Bennett was the only serious injury of Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, likely breaking his left forearm midway through the third quarter. But after having his arm stabilized by an air cast, Bennett looked like any other high school kid while he was waiting to be lifted into an ambulance and transported to San Antonio's Methodist Hospital Emergency Room.
His biggest concern was finding his phone.
Bennett, however, is not your ordinary high school athlete. The 6-3, 275-pounder is the second-ranked defensive tackle in the country and No. 37 overall recruit. In this game, he was a key performer on the East defense, recording two tackles while getting credit for 1.5 sacks.
Bennett was hurt on a passing play that broke down. He was attempting to get to West quarterback Bubba Starling when he went down in the backfield. There, the helmet of a teammate appeared to come down on his arm.
After the initial moment, Bennett did what you would expect the son of two West Point grads to do, he regained his composure.
As he was being taken off the field, he could be seen saying: "I'm fine. It's broken. I'm cool."
Bennett, whose East team was trailing 3-0 at the time of the injury, didn't get to see his teammates rally for a 13-10 victory. But he figures to see plenty of future action on the football field.
Fortunately for him - and Ohio State fans - an injured arm should not have a long-term impact on his ability to play.