The powerhouse high school program in the state of Wisconsin is Hartland Arrowhead in southeast Wisconsin, winners of the last two division 1 state championships by a combined score of 80-38. It's a program that has produces a number of college athletes and it's a program that will likely produce the next great lineman in the Midwest.
Having impressive scouts on the football field and in college camps, Ben Bredeson was ranked the number one offensive guard in Scout.com's top 300 for the 2016 class, which was released Wednesday.
It's a badge of honor for the 6-5, 255-pound junior, who was the only player from the state of Wisconsin ranked, but certainly not a defining moment.
"It's cool to look at it, but I'm not going to live by it," Bredeson, who also earned a four-star ranking, told BadgerNation. "It's an honor and I acknowledge that it's a cool thing when you go to your profile and you see you're the number one offensive guard, but I don't put too much weight on it. I don't think I'm better than the other guys because I am ranked higher than the others."
One thing Bredeson does acknowledge is the ranking is a reflection of the hard work he and his classmates have put in over the past two years. What makes that run of success even more impressive is that Bredeson says the type of workouts (weights, cardio, etc.) aren't any different than what other high schools around the country do. The only difference is the program lives by the motto of working harder than the competition.
"There's a lot of work involved, a lot o stuff that happens off the field that shows up when you play the game," said Bredeson. "I've been blessed to play on two state champion teams, so getting all that recognition for that certainly helps. I think that's how it all got started."
The recruiting attention has started getting bigger since the winter when he received his first scholarship offer from Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen. Since then, Bredeson has picked up offers from Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers and Tennessee.
While he hasn't taken many college visits, he drove up to Wisconsin Wednesday just to check in with the coaching staff.
"I haven't been there in awhile and I haven't seen the academic program yet, so I just wanted to check that out and check in with the coaches to see how everybody was doing," said Bredeson. "I got to see George (Panos), Billy (Hirschfeld) and Conor (Sheehy) there, so it was good to check in with those guys. It was a good trip."
In addition to Wisconsin, he visited Michigan twice, Ohio State and Tennessee. He also is hoping to visit Michigan again, Notre Dame and Northwestern in the coming weeks and months, but doesn't plan on making a decisions in the near future.
"I am just trying to finish out high school first and college will take care of itself," said Bredeson. "It's my brother's senior year, so I am trying to send him off on a good note with another state championship. That takes a lot of work there and I've been working hard on keeping up with the high school goals."