College: Ohio State
Birthday: July 11, 1979
Strengths: LeCharles Bentley can play center, guard or tackle at a high level, which is quite an accomplishment considering many thought he’d be too small to really excel in the rough-and-tumble Big 10 when he arrived on campus as a freshman.
Undeterred, Bentley has added nearly 40 pounds since then and has impressed coaches with his selfless move from one position to the next with no complaints. Bentley is hard-nosed and driven, and uses his lower body strength to drive opponents off the ball, making him a better fit at center, where he started 12 games last season. He’s smart and goes all out on every play, giving maximum effort.
Bentley also has a wonderful work ethic. He’s made ahead-of-schedule returns from two injuries the past two years, and coaches credit his dedication in the weight room and at the trainer’s table to his early comebacks.
Areas of concern: You want your linemen nasty, but Bentley’s possibly a bit too nasty. Last December, a teammate filed a lawsuit against Bentley, charging the then-junior with assault and battery after an altercation that led to the plaintiff (a former teammate of Bentley’s) missing the season. The case is set to go to trial January, 2002. It wasn’t Bentley’s first and only offense. He had another altercation with a teammate in November, 2000.
Bentley’s expected to be Ohio State’s full-time center again this year, but there is concern he hasn’t played any one position long enough to really master it. Bentley and the coaches feel he’s a natural at center, though, so another solid year there and he should be set.
Bentley’s also not the strongest guy, and has trouble moving his man if he doesn’t get early leverage on him. He’s quick, but not lithe and has trouble staying with a play — he’ll explode off the blocks, but gets worn down the longer a play either lasts or is drawn out from sideline-to-sideline.
Is he sponge-worthy?: Possibly. Bentley’s an offensive lineman with versatility, as he can play guard and tackle as well as center (but likely can’t handle left tackle on the pro level). He’s hard-nosed and driven, but also very intense, and his altercations and history of injury could be a deterrent.
He has a lot of potential and his coaches love his intensity. If Bentley can channel those two aspects, he has tremendous upside.
LeCharles Bentley Return to The War Room
OSU lineman goes to court, files suit against teammate The Columbus Dispatch reports on the lawsuit filed against LeCharles Bentley.
Bentley driven The Columbus Dispatch profiles LeCharles Bentley as he settles into the center position.