Strengths: Ben Bredeson played Friday with a lot of fire, part of which was caused by being lined up across from Waukesha West senior defensive end Marcus Kelly, who is committed to Northern Illinois and is a good friend of Bredeson’s.
The 6-4, 250-pound Kelly is quick off the line and has good technique, likely making him one of the better prospects Bredeson will go against this season. Considering Kelly’s name hardly appeared on the final stat sheet, Bredeson appeared to do his job with good technique (hand placement, footwork, etc.) and strength.
Since last season, Bredeson looked a good deal stronger than he did last season and plays like it. Adding approximately 25 pounds to his frame to weight in around 280, the 6-5 lineman is much better with his run blocking. Numerous times Friday he was able to explode off the line to neutralize Kelly to allow a play to develop or delivered blocks when he pulled and was out in space.
“I worked really hard on my weight over the summer,” said Bredeson. “I’m glad it’s paying off. That goes hand-in-hand in passing blocking when they are running at you. My strength this year is way better than it was last year.”
Weaknesses: At times Bredeson was too fast and too aggressive off the line of scrimmage, which caused him at times to not cleanly seal off his blocking assignment. That battle with Kelly was fascinating and pointed out strengths and weaknesses in both players. For Bredeson, some of those weaknesses was taking a wrong first step here or there which allowed Kelly to get the upper hand and push Bredeson into the backfield.
“I want to always push myself to get quicker and beat the other guy by one more step,” said Bredeson. “I’m focused on that first step explosion this year. I view myself as quick, but I want to get extremely quick.”
Arrowhead struggled moving the ball against West, but that wasn’t due to Bredeson.
Overall: Bredeson was tested to a high degree against West and performed admirably. His performance validates his ranking as the top player in the state of Wisconsin in 2016 and one of the top players in the nation at his position. Although Scout.com lists him as a guard, Bredeson primarily played left tackle and shifted to right tackle on occasion. Either guard or tackle appear to suit him, depending on how he grows over the next year-and-a-half.
Highlights vs. Waukesha West