Michigan’s Ben Bredeson takes some hits, gives more back


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Yes, Ben Bredeson has seen the video. He knows the shot of freshman defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon tossing his aside during a 1-on-1 drill, before devouring a helpless running back and slamming him to the ground went viral. Fast.


Bredeson got up from that drill rep and went on to the next one, and the next one. He’s gotten the better of Solomon at times during Michigan’s preseason practices, whether or not any of the public has seen the video evidence. Bredeson took his lumps last season as a freshman and persevered well enough to play in all 13 games, including starting the final eight games at left guard and be named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

Another lump in practice against one of the top freshmen in the country doesn’t faze Bredeson.

“We’re glad to have [Solomon] on our team and, yeah, he got me,” Bredeson said Friday night, after the Wolverines finished their latest practice in Week 3 of camp. “It’s just part of the game. You get beat once in awhile. We trade shots every day. We’re taking a lot of reps against each other. I win some, he wins some. It goes back and forth.”

The Michigan offensive line needs to replace starters Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden from 2016. Bredeson is the lone starter returning who will be in the same position, with senior Mason Cole expected to move from center to left tackle.

He’s only a sophomore, but Bredeson has a lot of expectations of success and leadership being heaped on him. Aside from Cole’s 38 career starts and Bredenson’s eight, only two other offensive linemen have starts at Michigan: center Patrick Kugler and tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty each have one start. There are five freshmen in the position group this season who need extra attention beyond what offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tim Drevno can give.

“It’s hard to call myself a veteran,” Bredeson said with a chuckle. “I’m one of the younger guys on the team but the young freshmen I’m trying to make sure they know what’s going on and what’s expected. Coach Drevno will explain things to them, and if they have any questions from there I’m always willing to answer them.

“The little things, too. Little quirks you pick up over the year on how to do things you pass on to them. We’re always helping them out. It’s always a big Q-and-A session as we figure out how to do things.”

Freshman orientation

That’s the position Bredeson was in this time last season. The Hartland, Wisc., native played in the Under Armour All-American Game after his senior season in high school and was a first team All-USA Today pick, but he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived on campus last summer.

“Closer to the end of training camp is when it started to become a reality that I could see the field,” Bredeson said. “That got me real excited and made me want to go harder.”

Bredeson made his first start at Rutgers in Michigan’s 78-0 rout of the Scarlet Knights, when Michigan rushed for nearly 500 yards and nine touchdowns. What Rutgers suffered that night was much more embarrassing than getting beat on one preseason drill and having it go viral.

Going up against Solomon, sophomore Rashan Gary and the rest of the defensive line on a daily basis is a continuation of the lessons Bredeson has learned, practicing against the likes of Taco Charlton, Chris Wormley and Ryan Glasgow. Those three are now in NFL training camps.

“There’s not a lot of people like that,” Bredeson said. “Chris Wormley is a big dude. I don’t know if I ever touched his chest. It helps a lot going against guys like [Solomon] and Mo [Hurst], you’ve got [Bryan] Mone in the middle and then you’ve got Rashan out on the edge. When you have guys like that on your team and you’re going against them every day, it’s essentially a game every day in practice.”

The post Michigan’s Ben Bredeson takes some hits, gives more back appeared first on Land of 10.

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