Bredeson on U-M Academics, OSU Offer

Four-star sophomore OT Ben Bredeson visited Michigan for the second time in three weeks this past Friday, this time with an offer in hand. Bredeson keyed in on Michigan's academic opportunities before heading south to the Buckeyes campus, a visit where he received his fifth offer.

Michigan hosted Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead four-star offensive tackle Ben Bredeson on Friday, marking his second trip to Ann Arbor in less than three weeks. On his first trip for Michigan's Spring Game, Bredeson was offered a scholarship, making him only the sixth sophomore to hold an offer from the Wolverines.

By taking in an extended practice and scrimmage on April 5, Bredeson has seen how Michigan football operates up close after watching the Wolverines on television for so many years. His second visit, however, had an entirely different focus as the talented sophomore surveyed the academic options at Michigan.

"When I got there I was with my mom and my little brother," said Bredeson. "The whole trip was more about the academics this time. The first time I was with my dad and it was more of a football thing. This time it was more academic and just seeing what everything would offer academically if I would go there. That's what the majority of the trip was. Then my mom and I all saw the stadium again so there was a little bit of football, but the majority was academic."

One of the highlights from the academic presentation for the Bredesons was Michigan's Michigan Professional and Career Transition (M-PACT) program. This program is designed to assist Michigan graduates in finding work after school and has proven useful for athletes in the past.

"What we mainly talked about the whole time was that M-Pact program," said Bredeson. "My mom was really impressed was it and I was too, they did a great job with it. It was definitely a big deal that Michigan has that. A lot of schools don't, so that's a big bonus for them."

The Michigan coaching staff made it a point to outline just how athletes at the University of Michigan are assisted with their academics. This was one of the topics that dominated the day as the Wolverines staff met with Bredeson.

"I talked to coach [Brady] Hoke for a while again," said Bredeson. "I talked to coach [Darrell] Funk for a while this last time just because we didn't get a chance to talk the first time so I talked with him for a while. Then coach [Greg] Mattison showed me around the campus, so I got to spend a lot of time with him. Those three were probably the main ones."

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has been Bredeson's primary recruiter up to this point, and the two have formed an open relationship during conversations on the phone on the past few weeks. Mattison took this chance to show Bredeson, who could turn into one of the top 2016 prospects in the Midwest, what Michigan has to offer.

"We just drove through it and then we at dinner right downtown so my mom liked it a lot," said Bredeson. "It's a nice little city and it has a nice little downtown area so that was a big bonus because it's not a huge city with big high rises and stuff—which is more of my thing with a smaller feel that I like more. I like the city of Ann Arbor being just around Michigan [the campus] as well, too."

With the laid back environment of the Ann Arbor campus playing in Michigan's favor, Bredeson has begun to think about whether he would be comfortable in that environment for four, potentially five years.

"I could see myself going there," said Bredeson. "Michigan is a contender because I like them and I like what they have to offer. I like what I have to offer them and I think it would be a good fit. I'm not going to commit or anything crazy so soon, I still have two years left to see everything. If Michigan is the school then I will go there. If it's not, then I'm not, and I'm going to go to the school that I feel the most comfortable at and will be the best fit for me."

After receiving the academic tour at Michigan, Bredeson headed south to visit the Wolverines' main rival—Ohio State. This visit resembled what Bredeson initially saw at Michigan during the Spring Game. Bredeson is currently working on developing a better relationship with the Buckeyes coaching staff.

"It was short," said Bredeson. "It was more like the first time I was at Michigan, just the basics. The academic [presentation] was impressive. Then I went and walked around campus and saw the building and saw the facilities and talked to some coaches there. Then at the end I got to see the stadium, and it was a great visit overall."

The highlight of his Ohio State visit can be traced back to the moment that head coach Urban Meyer extended Bredeson his third Big Ten offer and fifth offer overall.

"They actually offered me," said Bredeson. "We were in coach Meyer's office and we were talking and that's where he did it, right there. It was a big deal. It's pretty special."

With Michigan and Ohio State both showing high interest at this juncture, Bredeson is going to use a methodic approach in his recruitment with both schools. He sees multiple opportunities to visit both schools in his future, and while visit dates are not concretely developed, he is tentatively planning on return trips as early as this summer.

"[Visiting Ohio State] will probably be the same deal with Michigan," said Bredeson. "My brother might have tournaments out there. If I get the chance I'll stop by, but if not I might make a special trip out there just like I might make a special trip out to Michigan. I'll have to figure that out with mom and dad. Right now I don't have anything planned. I'd like to get back to both schools over the summer, but obviously right now I don't know if I could and I don't know when."

Bredeson stated that he is not in a rush to commit anytime soon, and his recruitment will be one to monitor as subsequent division one programs continue to get involved with the high profile recruit.

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