Note: With all the cutting and pasting and such while putting together the countdown list, a couple names disappeared. One of those was Bredeson, whom I’m slotting in here at #9B.
Name: Ben Bredeson
Weight: 310 lbs.
High school: Hartland (WI) Arrowhead
Position: Offensive guard
Jersey number: #74
Last year: I ranked Bredeson #59 and said he would be a backup offensive guard. He started eight games at left guard.
TTB Rating: 88
Bredeson was a highly touted offensive lineman coming out of high school who was pegged by many as an offensive tackle. The coaching staff insisted he was pushing Grant Newsome for the starting left tackle job, but when the season came, Newsome was entrenched at left tackle. Meanwhile, then fifth year senior Ben Braden was struggling with a back injury to start the year, so Bredeson and redshirt junior Patrick Kugler filled in for a spell. Once Newsome was injured, a brief flirtation with Juwann Bushell-Beatty at left tackle turned into a position switch for Braden, opening the door for Bredeson to become a full-time starter at left guard. He played solidly and didn’t have a lot of busts, but he couldn’t get a push and could only offer a bunch of stalemates per game.
Believe it or not, Bredeson is Michigan’s second most experienced starter, behind just left tackle Mason Cole. Center Kugler, right guard Michael Onwenu, and whoever takes the right tackle position will have only a handful of starts among them. I imagine some of those stalemates will turn into wins this season now that he has some extra strength and experience, so I expect a solid left side of the offensive line with Cole and Bredeson. Michigan will probably be pretty heavy with running to the left, because those are their two best linemen. It would be great to see this unit take a step or two forward from their mediocre performance last season.
Prediction: Starting left guard