Bredeson Breaks Down Michigan's Left Tackle Competion

Bredeson Breaks Down Michigan's Left Tackle Competion

Football

Bredeson Breaks Down Michigan's Left Tackle Competion

There are three positions along Michigan’s offensive line that aren’t inked in stone as of current: left tackle, right guard and right tackle.

The right guard position is a battle between incumbent starter Michael Onwenu and fellow third-year lineman Stephen Spanellis.

But the other two positions remain a quandary outside of the halls of Schembechler, with only our best guesswork at play as to who will take the field on September 1 against Notre Dame.

Fall camp has been officially underway for a full week at this juncture, and Ben Bredeson obviously knows a little something about the competition, being one of the only players on the OL who has all but guaranteed his starting position at left guard.

He played the last two seasons with Mason Cole on one side of him or the other, but now Bredeson himself is the grizzled veteran, and a leader on the line. And he’s looking for someone reliable to take over that spot on the end like Cole was a year ago.

There’s three players in the fold on the left side, Bredeson says — though all three have also been in competition for the right tackle spot as well. Two are familiar names — Jon Runyan Jr. and Juwann Bushell-Beatty, who both got time at right tackle a year ago. And the other? James Hudson, the second year player expected to be the heir apparent at the position — eventually.

Bredeson shared what he’s seen from all three, and what he thinks about the competition in general.

“Primarily we’ve been rotating Runyan, Juwann and James Hudson in there,” Bredeson said. “All of them – they have their unique playing style for all three of them. Like I said before with the other question of who’s playing next to you, you have to adapt to who’s playing next to you each time. But, they’ve all been doing really well, I think. Juwann has made some excellent strides in his pass game and in the run game. So has Runyan. And James has picked up the playbook really well. Increased his speed of the game, increased his technique. I’m really happy with all three of them.”

While it’s certainly not guaranteed that he’ll win the starting spot, fans are excited about Hudson’s prospects. However, some water was thrown on those coals a few weeks ago in Chicago, when Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said that he needed to be more consistent, based off what he saw from him in the spring.

Bredeson concurred with that sentiment, but says that Hudson has started to show his mettle at the left tackle spot.

“He’s become much more consistent,” Bredeson said. “There’s been some days where James was lights out, couldn’t get by him. And then there’s some days that that was not the case. Overall, he’s been able to stack a few days. So far through camp, we’ve had the pads on, I think four or five days now? He’s been stacking some good days up.”

Bredeson continued, noting that thus far through spring ball, he’s seen the marked improvement:

“The jump for James from spring ball to camp has been huge. I think from a maturity standpoint he’s growing up, been learning the playbook better. He’s really gotten into football. Really bought into the O-line. He’s been killing it.”

We’ll know more about who will take the field at both tackle spots when Michigan takes on Notre Dame in South Bend at 7:30PM on September 1.

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