Why Bredeson Excited About Michigan's Younger Offensive Linemen

Why Bredeson Excited About Michigan's Younger Offensive Linemen

Football

Why Bredeson Excited About Michigan's Younger Offensive Linemen

ANN ARBOR, Mich — This year, everything is different for junior left guard Ben Bredeson.

Last year, he was still the young guy, with half a year’s starting experience under his belt. This year, he not only has a year and a half’s worth of experience, but he’s now a team captain, and seen as not just a leader on the offensive line, but on the team as a whole.

That means his approach to the game has to be different.

But, he was prepared for those new challenges given to him, especially by a former team captain and offensive lineman in Mason Cole, who now plays on Sundays for the Arizona Cardinals.

The offensive line is a younger group than it was a year ago with Cole and former center-turned-coach Patrick Kugler in key positions. While it might be younger and a work in progress, Bredeson is taking advantage of his newfound role, and is paying forward the mentorship he once received.

“Yeah, it’s a little different,” Bredeson said. “A little different from last year, being one of the leaders on the line is different than last year, because we had Mason and we had Kugler, and those guys were seasoned in there. Now that it’s my time to step up and be the leader of the room, they’ve prepped me well. They’ve showed me how to do it. You’ve just got to work hard and show everybody what it takes to succeed. And then just be there to help. That was the biggest thing that I took out of being a young guy with some great older mentors – just the way they would help the people. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

And there’s a bevy of young talent we’re just now getting to see along the offensive line.

While the starting five have been entrenched, twice now, in blowout situations, we’ve seen the next group come in. Whether it be true freshman left tackle Jalen Mayfield or second-year players, Chuck Filiaga and James Hudson, the group has come in and played extremely well when asked to take the field.

Bredeson is excited about the next group’s potential.

“Jalen’s made huge strides, coming in especially as a freshman,” Bredeson said. “There’s a big learning curve, but I think we’re past that with him now. He’s doing really well in practice, and when he gets a shot in games, he’s going hard. Really happy with him.

“Chuck, the same thing. He’s made a lot of progress this year. Just gotten stronger. He knows the playbook really well. He can execute at things. I’m happy with just about everybody that’s gone out there.

“James Hudson has made great strides as well. He might be the best athlete of the O-line. Being able to see him go out there and do some good work is very promising to see.”

Hudson in particular is a player that many have been excited about.

The former Toledo (OH) Central Catholic four-star defensive end made the transition during the season last year to offensive tackle, and we can already see some of that progress mentioned in motion.

Bredeson explains what’s made him take that jump forward and what he needs to do in order to see the field more often.

“He was just raw, so kinda just refining the technique down for him,” Bredeson said. “And then getting consistency. Consistency with him has got to be the key. It (will be) huge. I think if we can clear those two things up, the sky is the limit for him.”

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