In the film room...Ben Bredeson

With Ben Bredeson, it’s the best of all worlds. He has the power to be a drive blocker, the balance to explode out of his stance yet stay on his feet upon contact, the footwork to seal the edge on an outside run, and the pass-blocking technique to offset quickness from the edge.


• Assets: A physically tough, mature and athletic offensive lineman with the total package to compete for a spot at any one of the positions along the front. An aggressive, attacking run blocker who brings his strong lower body/backside through his blocks. Has the quickness of foot to explode into a down block as well as get to the edge to seal an outside route for a running back. Not only shows quality footwork, but also has the power to drive through and complete the block.

Shows excellent balance as a run blocker even with such an aggressive, explosive first step, which can sometimes put an offensive lineman in a top-heavy mode. Uses his hands as weapons. Hands are a hammer-like force on defensive linemen. Once he gets his hands on a defensive lineman and gets into his upper body, it’s over.

A surprisingly adept pass blocker for someone so big and strong. Doesn’t have to strain to seal the edge with his feet. Sits nicely in his pass block, and then unleashes those powerful hands. Doesn’t just get hands on a body, but really punches with force. Many of his shots to the upper body stun opposing defenders, putting them on their heels.

• Room for improvement: Not a whole lot to critique. Can be a bit mechanical in his pass-block setup at times, which might create some issues with speed rushers, but even that’s a stretch. His footwork is so good that he can compensate quickly. Hard-pressed to offer criticism of any single facet of his game.

• Scholarship offers: Notre Dame. ACC: North Carolina State; Big Ten: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin; Big 12: Iowa State; SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee; Pac 12: Stanford

• Early line: Bredeson established fairly early in the process that he’s a Midwest recruit with a national talent level. A top three of Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame emerged early with Ohio State entering the competition.

Alabama’s mid-February offer along with interest from Auburn and Tennessee expanded his horizons to the SEC. Bredeson has talked about visits during the fall season, so if the recruiting process stretches out, he could consider a more national selection, although it isn’t necessarily trending that way.

Bredeson called Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh “a real genuine guy.” In mid-January, Bredeson expressed his happiness with the fact that Harbaugh had retained long-time defensive coordinator/line coach Greg Mattison. Mattison was Bredeson’s main contact with the Wolverines during the early portion the recruiting process.

Bredeson downplayed the coaching transition at Michigan. “Nothing has changed,” Bredeson said. “You fall in love with a school. Michigan was Michigan before Harbaugh and it’ll be Michigan after Harbaugh.” Bredeson’s brother, Jack, a right-handed pitcher, is expected to play baseball for the Wolverines.

Home-state Wisconsin, even with the transition from Gary Andersen to Paul Chryst at head coach, remains in the running. The Badgers’ reputation as an offensive lineman’s school has a strong appeal. Stanford – with its great reputation for developing offensive linemen -- cannot be excluded from the list of possibilities.

Bredeson is visiting Notre Dame this weekend, along with another highly-rated offensive lineman -- Liam Eichenberg (Cleveland, Ohio).

“We talk all the time,” said Bredeson to Irish Illustrated’s Jake Brown of his relationship with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. “He’s a great guy. We’re both extremely interested in each other. I’m definitely going to get back to Notre Dame a few times this spring or summer, and then for some games this fall.

“We keep tabs on each other. Notre Dame is a serious contender and I love it down there. It’s a top option for a reason and they bring in top talent for a reason. It’s something I’d like to be a part of possibly.”

• ND’s 2016 offensive guard recruiting: As the No. 1 guard prospect in the country, Bredeson sits atop the six at his position offered scholarships by Notre Dame, most notably Parker Boudreaux out of Orlando, Fla. Others include Michael Onwenu (Detroit), Thiyo Lukusa (Traverse City, Mich.), Gavin Cupp (Leipsic, Ohio), and Tyler Pritchett (Auburn, Ala.).

• ND’s 2016 offensive guard depth chart: Starting right guard Steve Elmer will be in his final year of eligibility in 2016 while Quenton Nelson and Alex Bars – both playing left guard this spring – will have three years of eligibility remaining. John Montelus and Colin McGovern will be seniors and down to two years of eligibility. Jimmy Byrne will have three years left while Trevor Ruhland likely will have four.

• Summary: Going one-on-one with Ben Bredeson in the trenches is like wrestling a bear. The guy just overwhelms undersized defensive front players. When the level of the competitor increases, Bredeson matches and exceeds the effort of his opponent as he fights to impose his will and win the one-on-one battle.

Bredeson uses his hands like anvils. He jolts the opposition with that punch, and he has the upper and lower body strength to execute everything he wants to do to a foe. Just when you think he might best be suited for an interior offensive line position, he gets to the edge from his left tackle spot and shows the quickness of foot/technique to seal the edge as a pass blocker.

This is an outstanding offensive line prospect. His overall strength probably could be better utilized from left guard through right tackle. But if for some reason you had a line so talented that you wanted Bredeson to play left tackle, his footwork is good enough to do so.

There’s a reason why the recruiting services are split on where Bredeson could play on the next level. That’s because this kid can do it all. On top of the outstanding physical attributes, he plays the game with the right demeanor. He’s aggressively nasty up to a point, stops before it turns into too much of a wrestling match, and then resets to do it all over again.

Most of the film that’s out there on Bredeson is of his sophomore season. Hard to imagine just how good this kid will be as a senior at Arrowhead High School. He could step onto a college campus today and immediately compete at a high level.

Scout.com ranks Bredeson as the No. 1 guard in the country and the No. 21 overall prospect. If he were listed higher than No. 21, you’d get no argument here. Bredeson should end up playing on Sundays.



IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories