2017 Season Countdown: #9B Ben Bredeson

2017 Season Countdown: #9B Ben Bredeson

August 23, 2017

Ben Bredeson (image via Twitter)

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
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 310 lbs.
High school: Hartland (WI) Arrowhead
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Sophomore
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


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Aug 23, 2017 at 7:02 AM

    Speed of play is a real thing. It’s tough to come in at the next level, where everyone is big, strong and had success at the last level and dominate right out of the gate. i thought Bredeson did a nice job surviving last year and definitely looked like he belonged.

    I think our offensive line has a chance to look much better than last year if only because targeting problems are graduated at both guard and running back.

    When it comes to this team, young corners are a bigger issue than are young offensive linemen.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2017 at 12:46 PM

      People have been saying this kind of stuff (the guys that suck are gone – therefore we will be better) for YEARS now. I don’t think it’s been true any year.

      The years we’ve improved have been the years where we’ve returned starters.

      Worth remember that those guys that sucked were well ahead of the guys that are expected to start now. A whole lot would have had to have changed since January for there to be improvement.

      I don’t mean to be pessimistic, just realistic. Drevno and Frey would have to be doing a helluva job to improve guys like Kugler, Runyan, JBB above guys like Magnuson, Braden, Kalis in 8 months.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 82
        Joined: 1/10/2017
        Aug 23, 2017 at 1:28 PM

        I basically agree with this. There’s often misplaced optimism when so-so starters are replaced.

        Look at Gedeon last year, though. In his last chance to start he turns in to a 4th-round draft pick after not being able to displace Bolden et al.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 6285
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Aug 23, 2017 at 2:05 PM

          I think that suggests that the coaches were more right than the fans about Bolden.

          Remember when Bolden was supposed to be an example of Hoke “playing favorites”. Harbaugh came and made the exact same decision. Michigan had an elite D with Bolden, and their DC got hired to be Maryland’s head coach — so I think they were proven correct.

          BTW Bolden is now coaching at Wash State under Mike Leach.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Aug 23, 2017 at 2:08 PM

            Gedeon always played, since he was a freshman. So that was a case where the difference between starter and backup probably wasn’t so big. We saw last year that the difference between our OL starters and backups was significant (Newsome was the weakest link but still significantly better than JBB). Bredeson did step up but the OL was still a weakness. I don’t think you can say that about LB in ’15 or ’16.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2017 at 1:05 PM

      I do agree that DB is a bigger problem than OL. There is plenty of uncertainty at both but the difference is we aren’t reliant on true freshman or walk-ons for depth on the OL.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Aug 23, 2017 at 9:11 AM

    That pic looks beast though

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 523
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Aug 23, 2017 at 5:16 PM

      It reminds me of the look on the face of the 2000 pound bull across the fence from me last night here on the farm in WV.

      I walked backwards and away from the fence …

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 23, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    See – now all those ‘overrated!’ comments I made are mitigated. Somewhat anyway.

    Good post. Bredeson is a critical player. Hopefully he makes a nice leap from last year, as you would expect from any true freshman getting solid coaching. It’ll be a bad sign if he stagnates.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    Aug 23, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Bredeson did do a nice job. Question. What is the difference between two corners who are in their second year versus an OL with a new guard and new tackle and a new center. I think you can hide more at the corner positions because of a potentially dominating DL and a blitzing scheme whereas on the OL it can cause both pass protection problems and run problems.

    Not saying weak corners aren’t a problem but I’d prefer weaker corners than a weaker OL since I can play cover 2 on occasion whereas a weak OL basically keeps my defense on the field the majority of the game. Not saying either of those positions are going to be weak and will wait till after the Florida game to make an initial judgement.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2017 at 10:07 PM

      5 positions vs 2 so of course, but if you count the entire secondary (Kinnell, Mettelus, Hudson + Corners) that’s 5-5.

      A great QB is the way you mitigate for a bad OL. Or creative scheming – which Harbaugh’s been doing more than he wants to the last 2 years.

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