2016 Recruiting: Ben Bredeson Comment Count

Brian June 13th, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Josh Metellus, S Khaleke Hudson, CB David Long, CB Lavert Hill, LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB Devin Bush Jr., LB Devin Gil, LB Josh Uche, DE Ron Johnson, DT Michael Dwumfour, DT Rashan Gary, DE Carlo Kemp.

Hartland, WI – 6'5", 307

JCPG ahs_Bredeson-fb_4099

Scout 4*, #36 overall
#1 OG, #1 WI
Rivals 4*, #60 overall
#2 OG, #1 WI
ESPN 4*, #50 overall
#4 OT, #1 WI
24/7 4*, #67 overall
#8 OT, #1 WI
Other Suitors ND, OSU, WI, Bama, Stanford
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Twitter. Brother on the baseball team. Parade AA.




I didn't copy and paste Mason Cole's recruiting profile for this post, but I may as well have: Bredeson is a powerful and agile offensive lineman who could hypothetically play any of the five spots, but fits best as an interior lineman because he lacks the pass-rush-engulfing height and arms that top flight left tackles generally have. But don't take my word for it. Scout:

"…has shown he can play some tackle too but we still see him as a big time inside guy in Ann Arbor."

Tim Sullivan, Rivals:

Bredeson is likely bound for the interior of the offensive line in college, but looked better as a tackle than expected. He does have the thick build of a guard, but primarily in the lower body. Long arms and an upper body that can still use additional strength give him the look of a tackle.

Son of A Coach:

I think Bredeson is good enough to play offensive tackle, but I think he could develop into an All-American level guard at the next level.

Touch The Banner:

Bredeson has good but not great size for the offensive tackle position, and his body may be a better fit for offensive guard. … could slide in at all five positions. He can stay low enough to maintain leverage at the interior positions, and he has the foot quickness to block guys on the edge. I do not see him being an elite left tackle prospect like, say, Taylor Lewan because Bredeson just lacks the length and athleticism that Lewan had.

You get the idea. Michigan agrees with the above assessments: As of December Bredeson was scheduled to start out at left guard. Tim Drevno's evaluation on his MGoBlue bio mentions that he is a "guy who can hold point especially on a three technique," again implying that Michigan sees him as an interior lineman.  Lorenz also reported that he was working on his snapping in case Michigan wanted to try him out at center. Bredeson has the athletic ability to play tackle but is a guard in an ideal world.

Michigan may not be able to provide him that ideal world. Contenders for the open slot at RT next year are… uh… I mean… yeah. Juwann Bushell-Beatty has been playing a lot of guard despite being the most tackle-shaped guy available, which is a situation with Ben Braden echoes. There was rumble that Nolan Ulizio was looking pretty good, and could be a tackle. Mason Cole could flip back out if absolutely necessary. That concludes likely contenders. Michigan does not have great options in 2017.

Bredeson might be a good option even at that early stage. I know we're pretty skeptical of "he's so college-ready" reports after Kyle Kalis, but, I mean, a lot of people think Bredeson is an advanced technician. Son of a Coach:

He’s very technically sound at this point in his development as a run blocker. He plays with good pad level and drives his feet on contact. His hand placement is good the majority of the time and he works to finish. … effort to sustain blocks is something that really stands out about his game.  … violent pop at the point of attack. … He moves well to get to the second level. Really does a great job engaging and driving linebackers.

Clint Brewster named him the "most polished" kid in the class:

…has the footwork and hand technique of a college level offensive lineman. He keeps his hips down and his elbows inside to create power behind his hand-punch and really strikes people. He does a great job with leverage and using his body strength to overpower people.

There is also a slightly overheated report from Scout's Notre Dame site goes with "not a whole lot to critique" in its "room for improvement" section. While that's nice the report also ends with an assertion that going up against Bredeson is "like wrestling a bear" and that he "uses his hands like anvils." This is credibility-sapping, especially if you're a bear. Or an anvil, I guess.

On the other hand ESPN's evaluation is almost completely derailed by qualifiers about how he "flashes" things and "can" execute:

Prospect with very good height and bulk at this stage … displays very good playing strength. … Doesn't display a powerful punch and needs to continue to refine placement, but can do a nice job of with his hands of striking up and latching on and locking out on first contact. Can maintain a good base with ability to stay in front of rushers once locked on. … can be a strong multi-year starter for a Power-5 O-Line.

Until that last line there's not much to suggest they like him much at all since the entire evaluation is spackled with qualifiers about how he's not an NFL OL yet. It is what it is.

In addition to his relatively advanced technique, Bredeson brings an impressive physical package:

  • Scout summary:  "Outstanding overall prospect with good technique and ability to bend. Has good flexibility in his lower body and has no issue winning leverage battles even against shorter defensive linemen. Plays with a mean streak and finishes his blocks strong. Can still polish up his pass pro … but has all the tools and the intangibles to develop into a top flight college lineman."
  • Blast-from-the-past Tom Lemming: "this guy is a brute … an exceptionally aggressive, athletic big guy. I know the Wisconsin staff thinks he might be the best offensive lineman to come out of that state since Josh Oglesby [the No. 10 player nationally in 2007] and Joe Thomas [a four-star in the Class of 2003]. Everyone thinks he has NFL future written all over him."
  • Steve Wiltfong, 247: "…can absolutely bend, an agile lineman who is technically sound. Good agility and balance." Also: "top-of-the-board interior guy that has quick feet and frame that will add a ton of power as he continues to develop. Bredeson plays hungry on every snap, not one lazy play on film. He’s a technically sound player with long arms and a plus athleticism in the trenches."
  • Anon Scout person, at UA: "…has drawn rave reviews and has been one of the few to test and stop Rashan Gary."
  • Evan Sharpley, 247: "…showcases tremendous technique highlighted by the exceptional use of his hands. Defenders have a difficult time with him because he is able to create space with his lengthy frame. Ample athleticism to move around the line."
  • Tim Sullivan, Rivals: "outstanding quick first step off the ball … very tough finisher, burying the defensive lineman on almost every rep that he has the opportunity. … against truly talented edge rushers, he may not have the overall agility to fend off a speed move or its counters. … has the speed to get downfield, but sometimes finds himself in space hesitating instead of making a second-level block."

I should clarify that those reports about Bredeson stopping Gary were impressive because he could do it at all. His wins there were intermittent, not consistent.

The encouraging thing in there are many assertions that Bredeson can "bend" and has plus agility. Those physical attributes, especially the hard-to-teach and impossible-for-some ability to drive off the ball low, are rare. Many high school OL are big guys who can't get under their opposition and end up dumped in the backfield on the regular. Bredeson does not appear to have that problem.

The only remaining question marks are the problems that have bedeviled Kalis thus far in his career: can he be consistent mentally? How many errors does he make attempting to execute a rather complicated offense? If the answer is "a lot" then he'll end up a disappointing starter but a starter nontheless. If the answer is "very few" dude will be righteous.

Etc.: Wisconsin fans were pretty pretty mad that one guy managed to escape their clutches.

Why Mason Cole? Explained in the post. Bredeson is higher-ranked—Cole was just outside the top 100 most places—but Cole's well on his way to outperforming his ranking, in part because he must be in the 90th+ percentile mentally. Very few OL can slide into a starting lineup as a true freshman and not have that be a disaster. Thankfully, Bredeson does not have to do that.

If Bredeson does hit the All-American ceiling many project he will have he could end up playing a lot like Steve Hutchinson. Those are big expectations, but Hutchinson was also 6'5" and got up to around 313. He was the last truly great Michigan guard. Bredeson appears to have all the necessary material to hit the same level.

Guru Reliability: Exacting. UA game appearance, healthy, more or less total agreement in both scouting reports and rankings.

Variance: Low. I almost never issue a "low" for OL since even super-sure things like Patrick Kugler get buried on the regular, but Bredeson seems like an exception. Size, bend, and technique are all repeatedly praised. Versatility means he's not going to get stuck behind guys like Kugler has.

Ceiling: High. Could easily end up one of the top guards whenever he's NFL-draft eligible.

General Excitement Level: High. Big-time get for Drevno; Bredeson will probably be the first Harbaugh-era lineman to remind you of his work with the Cardinal.

Projection: Bredeson is one of the rare OL you could justify not redshirting since he's almost certainly headed for a starting job in 2017. Harbaugh took a redshirt off Grant Newsome last year when it became clear that he was a heavy favorite to start as a true sophomore, so there's precedent for such a move. You know me—I'd prefer a redshirt unless a kid is going to significantly contribute, especially at OL—but I won't complain too much if Bredeson is the sixth OL on goal line packages and the like.

It would be a major upset if Bredeson did not lock down a starting job in year two and leave Michigan a three or four year starter. His competitors in 2017 will be his classmates, who he's ahead of, and whoever of Dawson/Runyan/Kugler/Ulizio ends up panning out. (For purposes of this conversation I'm assuming a center who's amongst the best five OL kicks Cole to a guard spot or RT.) It's unlikely that three of those guys are better than him.


GoBlue C4

June 13th, 2016 at 1:49 PM ^

I'm not worried at all about the 2017 Oline. Having Cole and his versatility covers alot of issues and Michigan should have a ton of competition.

1. Cole
2. Newsome
3. Bredeson
4. Dawson
5. Kugler
6. Onwenu
7. Ulizio
8. Runyan
9. JBB

I understand that there will be a lot of new starters, but there is a lot of talent there to work with and enough depth for competition past the top 3 who are pretty much locks to start


June 13th, 2016 at 2:01 PM ^

parts. Seems like Newsome/Ben/Cole/Nolan/Runyan/Dawson have individual potential - but we need 5 quality starters to gel by 2017. Cole & Newsome are likely the only guys with real experience by then. The lack of reps as a unit will put a high premium on nailing the lineup in spring for max reps in spring and fall camp.

Really low floor and moderate ceiling?


June 13th, 2016 at 4:33 PM ^

I watched Ulizio intently during spring game, and I was very very pleased..... Ulizio I believe will be a ver solid guard.

with Newsome, I wasn't pleased at all, and am hoping it was due to being thrown in green, as he is young.

After this season we seem fine in the interior, but seem to be short 4 tackles.  I would think there'd be a grad transfer or two at tackle?  Or not... I guess if they were that good, they'd go pro.


June 13th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

This is great news. We've known Bredeson is good for a long time. What so many fans fail to see is how critical line play is on both sides of the ball. When RR changed the emphasis on the OL, Michigan cratered. Having a stable full of strong OL guys is essential to the future success of the team. We have bemoaned our lack of star RB's. The issue is more one of the lack of star OL. And this is one group where you've got to have five solid guys. When you have five solid OL guys, it changes the whole offense. We need more of these.


June 13th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

Another day, another good MGoBlog poster with lots of points presenting something puzzling ...

"When RR changed the emphasis on the OL, Michigan cratered."

To put it mildly, I think there were other reasons (historically bad defenses, a dynamic QB who didn't have touch, etc.) for Michigan's demise. RichRod had a decent hit rate with O-line recruiting and (indirectly) development. No, he didn't recruit enough of them, but he did bring us future NFLers Lewan, Schofield, and Omameh. (Diehards would count Jake Fisher, too.)


June 13th, 2016 at 2:01 PM ^

Obviously, there were many reasons for Michigan's demise, including those mentioned above. I am not a stats guy, but I think the ones to ask on this question would be Seth, Brian, WD, and others who track this. I do believe that the issue with RR was that he didn't recruit enough of them. I just think you need to recruit 3 - 5 solid guys on the OL year in and year out, and we didn't have that. You can blame our secondary, our wonderful QB who wasn't the best passer, and a number of other things. I would include among those things not having enough quality offensive linemen.

Mr Miggle

June 13th, 2016 at 3:40 PM ^

Despite needing the athletes to run a completely new offense, he took six OL in his first class. That's probably because Lloyd's OL recruiting fell off at the end. RR's did too. His last full class was mystifying. RR's OL recruiting affected Hoke, but had nothing to do with his own lack of success here. He followed up the first six with Lewan, Schofield and Washington. Adding more in the 2010 class, or obviously the 2011, wouldn't have made any difference in hs last year here.

True Blue Grit

June 13th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

The latter part of RR's OL recruits were insufficient and left Michigan with a significant void Hoke had to try and fix quickly.  2012's class was solid, and 2013 was great.  But, that latter class has been a big bust with 4 of the 6 gone.  This is why Michigan has been struggling to get back to a stable group of OL spread pretty evenly across all 4 classes.  I think until this situation is finally fixed, Michigan will struggle to reach it's full potential under the Harbaugh regime.  We're getting there, but this 2017 class will be a huge key IMO. 


June 13th, 2016 at 2:03 PM ^

You're talking for 2017:

C - Mason Cole - Sr 4 year starter

T - Grant Newsome - Junior - 2nd year starter

T - Nolan Ulizio - Junior - 1st year starter (with other action)

G - Ben Bredeson - Highly rated 2nd year (SO/RS FR), probable first year starter

G - Mike Onwenu Highly rated 2nd year SO-RS FR/David Dawson - 5th year senior

Do I think this likely to be as consistent a line as 2016? No. But that's a lot of talent, and possibly two seniors and two juniors, plus Bredeson.

Also, 2017 incoming class looks to have the potential to have 1 or 2 5* (top 30) OL. Could one of those guys step in and do a Mason Cole? It's possible.

This does not worry me.



June 13th, 2016 at 2:28 PM ^

I think M fans need to dial back the expectations on the 2016 OL.  Bowl game was very encouraging, but extrapolating that out through 2016 is a stretch.  Remember this was an OL that couldn't run the ball for long stretches of last year, it's losing its best piece, and the most important position is being manned by true sophmore with little experience who's looked pretty bad in open practices.  It's great to have 4 starters back.  But Cole is the only standout so far.  Braden will find it very difficult to solve his bend/lunge issues, Kalis has just been OK, and Magnuson stays in front of people but lacks strength.  Maybe year 2 in the system gets them better, and improved RB play makes better use of the holes provided. 

But they're probably going to be just OK.  Risk is that they could be bad, given lack of depth.  Couple that with QB questions, and the O is a risk.  Yes the RB's, WR's, TE's all look great (with a chance to be special, especially the latter two), and the playcalling has been very good.  But one of the QB or OL have to outperform what should be lowered expectations if this offense is going to be playoff-worthy.  Even with a great defense. 


June 13th, 2016 at 5:28 PM ^

agree with most everything you've said. I'm a bit more optimistic, I think, but I did use the word 'consistent'. I think 2016's OL will be what it is pretty early, and there probably won't be a ton of ups and downs. Newsome should improve with experience.

2017, depending on exactly who plays, could have more overall upside and improvement, but also have some rough patches, especially if Owenu and Bredeson start together.



June 13th, 2016 at 5:47 PM ^

I know, I just chose your comment as a landing spot for the 2016 OL generalities.  My post was too long, but what I was going to comment re. your post, is that the 2017 OL could be better than 2016.  So I do agree with you.  There's too much uncertainty to say either way, but I'm not as worried about 2017 as others.  I'm worried about depth certainly, and I'd like to see a dominant OL return soon to Michigan, but not worried about a large drop off from 2016 to 2017.  And a large part is due to my 2016 expectations being held in check.  

I'd love to see them prove me wrong, they're veterans they could put it all together early and keep it rolling.  But the best chances for a breakout offense lie with a QB who can get the ball to Chesson, Darboh, Perry, and Butt (and Bunting and Wheatley and hopefully Hill wins that FB spot and terrorizes the flat), giving enough down-to-down balance that defenses are hesitant.  Then we can see this OL occupy defenders while Deveon pulverizes them and hopefully Isaac or other runs right by them.  

Perkis-Size Me

June 13th, 2016 at 12:54 PM ^

Still a bit surprised we managed to pluck him out of Wisconsin. I know Wisconsin probably isn't going to contend for a title anytime soon, but hey, its the homestate school, and Wisconsin really knows them some offensive linemen. That and running back seem to always be the two positions you NEVER have to worry about in Madison. 

Of course, I'm not complaining with the results. Drevno and Harbaugh are going to build a great offensive line here. 



June 13th, 2016 at 1:01 PM ^

Not sure the 6th O lineman would ONLY be used in goal line situations.  Michigan was extremely lucky last year in terms of health on the offensive line, and I think we got kind of spoiled by that. A couple of injuries and we are scraping the bottom of the barrel.  It would be a huge help if he were ready to go as a true freshman.


June 13th, 2016 at 1:02 PM ^

Some of those comments from the Wisky site are funny.  So much hate for Harbaugh out there...  They had to be hating it when UM excelled to 10-2 last year, out-performing UW all the way!


June 13th, 2016 at 1:13 PM ^

Moar OL please! I won't critique Harbaugh's recruiting strategy, because I'm sure he has thought this through, but is our OL depth chart getting better?

Also, obligatory: seems like a real OG.


June 13th, 2016 at 1:25 PM ^

IMO, in two years we will be a step above our current OL, especially in the interior.  Bredeson and Onwenu have the potential to be the best guard combination since the '90s, maybe ever.  I'm not sure which of the two I like more, they are both elite maulers!  Knock on wood that they will prosper and stay healthy throughout!  They both have much higher ceilings than Braden and Kalis because they are both better athletes and technicians coming in as freshmen.  And unfortunately, Braden and Kalis had to slog through several of the worst Hoke years when the godawful playbook and lack of deception guaranteed that the OL would be blown up on almost every play regardless of training, preparation or coaching.  

Now all we need is a legit blue chip tackle in the mold of Lewan, and a successor to Cole (looking out two years) and we will have all the tools for McCaffrey and/or Peters to lead us on a serious run to the NC.  


June 13th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

Man, I'm sure hoping Drevno & co can supply whatever was lacking with Kalis, Magnuson, Dawson, and Kugler in previous years. It looked like we had the potential to have the top oline in the country with the way we were recruiting, and then Fox and Bosch departed, and 3-4 years later wer'e still hoping for simple freshmen mistakes to start disappearing from 5 stars, and coaches sons aren't even sniffing the field. Harbaugh Uber Allies have already made progress: Glasgow turned into one of the top centers in the draft, Cole is a stud, and Braden made major strides in year one. Here's hoping for an even better year 2. 


June 13th, 2016 at 2:33 PM ^

I agree that the 2017 will be reloading the offensive line with new but high potential talent. It'll be interesting to see how that develops under Harbaugh and Drevno. As others have pointed out it seems like we were here under Hoke with the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes and that line in 2012-2014 was pretty ugly. It doesn't necessarily mean we are doomed though. If player development under Harbaugh/Drevno is better than it was under Hoke/Funk then I think even with a raw like in 2017 it could be "serviceable" and then by 2018-2019 we could be at outstanding.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


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