The five-player group is different than last fall, when Meyer found himself in an interesting situation after eight players received the lion’s share of the votes with little separation.
“It's the first time I've done something like this,” Meyer told reporters last August. “We had eight individuals receive a lot of votes, and all were within 12 votes of each other. So they'll lead us into each game as captains and at the end of the year a decision will be made as to who will be the season's captains.”
Miller will miss the season with a torn labrum, but he’ll still maintain a critical presence around the team. He won’t be able to make the trip to Baltimore after undergoing surgery from Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday, but Meyer said that he expects Miller to make the 70-man traveling squad for road games as long as his health permits it.
Although this scenario is obviously different, it’s the second season in a row that Ohio State will have a captain who will miss the majority of the season. Senior safety Christian Bryant broke his ankle against Wisconsin and missed the rest of the year.
Aside from the obvious choice of Miller, Bennett seemed like a likely pick at captain. The son of two United States Military Academy graduates, Bennett has been cited by his teammates as one of the leaders of the defense.
“I don't know if I'm a natural leader but I feel like I like to control of things,” he said at Big Ten media days in Chicago. “If a situation is going bad and no one wants to step up, I'll gladly step up and take control of it. I attribute that to my parents. They just have always been super strict and only expect the best. I tried developing those qualities so I have to give them all the credit for that.”
Curtis Grant, who held off a challenge from true freshman Raekwon McMillan for the starting middle linebacker role, has drawn rave reviews from both the coaching staff and players for the improvement he’s made from last season.
“This year his mentality was to be a guy who was about the team and to help everybody in our unit out and I think by doing that it made him a better overall player and leader,” linebacker Joshua Perry said. “He was able to pick us up when we were down. He took what he was doing in the film room and workouts and everything more seriously so that helped him develop more. His want to make our unit a better unit is something that helped him develop into a better player.”