Michigan Still Stands Out for Bredeson

During the spring and summer it was clear that Michigan was among the favorites for 2016 Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead OL Ben Bredeson, but the tumultuous start to the season in Ann Arbor brought that strong standing into question. Until now. After taking in the Wolverines’ victory over Penn State two weeks ago he insists U-M remains a major factor in his recruitment.

Michigan’s victory over Penn State two Saturday’s gave the Maize & Blue was a sorely needed piece of positivity after weeks of losses and bad presses.  Coaches and players alike hope that it’s the start of some helpful momentum on the field.  They hope to see the same bounce off the field in recruiting, and if Ben Bredeson’s visit experience is any indication their odds are pretty good.

“Everything went really smooth,” Bredeson said of his time in Ann Arbor.  “The visit was great overall.  I’ve been there a few times, obviously, but never for a game.  The atmosphere there… I think there was more than 113,000 there. I was there with my family and my brothers.  Obviously, my brother is a baseball commit.  We spent time with baseball people and then I went to the football stadium and did my thing.  It was a fun night.”

“I definitely picked the right Michigan game to go to.  It is kind of hard for me and my family to get out and see multiple games.  I know I only had one shot to see it, so I definitely picked the right one to go to.”

For Bredeson the pomp & circumstance was definitely a surprise considering all of the adversity the program is facing on and off the field.

“I was nervous in the beginning,” he admitted.  “Once the whole stadium got full and then once obviously Michigan started playing well and everyone got into it, it was beyond what I could have imagined.  I was at Notre Dame for the Michigan game, and that was fun.  (The Michigan – Penn State game) was comparable to that.  Those two stadiums, they just get loud because those fans are crazy about their teams.  It was insane. I loved it!”

That feeling served as affirmation of Michigan’s strong standing in Bredeson’s recruitment  Thought to be among his favorites when he began looking at his suitors in earnest early last winter, the Wolverines apparently haven’t slipped much if at all.

“Everyone’s heard the rumor that the coaching staff may get fired,” Bredeson stated.  “Anyone that follows football has at least heard it.  I talked to them and they’re trying to finish out the year.  They know what’s at stake with the Michigan fan base and what they want and they expect wins, winning seasons and undefeated seasons all the time, which is obviously not realistic every year.  The coaching staff was all excited, as they should be.  They beat a big team under the lights under front of all those people.  They were feeling good.  That’s when I was talking to them.  It was good to see them happy from a win.”

“I thought (the hot-seat talk with the coaching staff) was going to be a huge deal, but it hasn’t affected me as much as I thought.  Obviously (prior to last Saturday) Notre Dame was undefeated, so you can look at it both ways.  Michigan was struggling and Notre Dame was undefeated, and the Badgers were doing well too.  So two of the three teams that I’m really looking into are doing well, and then one wasn’t having their best season. (After the Penn State game) I was still looking at Michigan just as hard as I was before the season when they hadn’t done anything yet.  (The talk) didn’t really affect me at all, and much less than I thought it was going to.  I still love it out there, especially going to the game.  I love the coaching staff that’s there, but mainly the school and the program that is set up there.  That’s what I kind of fell for was the academic setup and the morals that are instilled in the program no matter who’s been there throughout the years.  That’s what I fell for at Michigan.”

Even so, how things shake out with the coaching staff will obviously have some effect.  Fortunately for the Wolverines Bredeson has a decision timeline that allows for things to have settled down by the time he is ready to make his choice.

“I’m just having a good time with recruiting and my team right now,” said Bredeson.  “We just started the playoffs, so I’ve kind of toned recruiting way down just because I’m focusing on my high school season.  In terms of a commitment, I don’t know yet.  There are schools that have stood out to me and Michigan is one of them that I’m really, really high on.  I wouldn’t consider myself close to a commitment yet. I haven’t been able to say that I don’t want to go to Notre Dame or I don’t want to go to Wisconsin or I don’t want to go to Michigan.  I just need time to figure out where the best place for me is.  I haven’t figured that out yet.  I’m not going to rush anything.  Once I get a solid feel for where I want to be, need to be for the next four years, and who I want to style myself with then I’ll pull the trigger.  Until then, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.”

When that time does come the Dairy State star has a very clear view of what his decision will come down to.

“People I’m surrounding myself with, the coaches, the players, the managers of what the team is, then the academic support and networking after college.  Those are kind of the big three (factors) there,” Bredeson said.  “I’m surrounded by good people at my high school and my family now and I want to do the same thing when I leave.  I want solid structure there and I want good academics so I get a degree that’s worth something.  Obviously with the networking after school going to a job interview with a Michigan alum or Notre Dame alum or Wisconsin alum and have my resume pulled from the pile just because I went to the same school there and I played football there is just something unique.  Those are my big factors really.”

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