Michigan bolstered the strongest position in its 2016 recruiting class Wednesday, landing a verbal commitment from four-star offensive lineman Ben Bredeson.
The Arrowhead (Wisc.) High product reportedly held scholarship offers from more than 15 major programs but had identified Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Alabama as his finalists.
Michigan likely benefited that Bredeson’s brother, Jack, is set to join the Wolverines’ baseball team as a freshman this year.
Bredeson’s commitment continues an impressive run on the recruiting trail for Michigan. The Wolverines have now landed nine commitments in June, including from four-star offensive lineman Michael Onwenu. Bredeson, Onwenu and Erik Swenson, another four-star Michigan commit, could serve as the foundation of an imposing offensive line, which Harbaugh will need to drive the pro-style offense he ran at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers. The talent coming in at the position should inspire optimism given Michigan’s recent struggles up front.
The 6’4”, 280-pound Bredeson is highly regarded for his toughness, versatility and quickness.
Bredeson is the highest-ranked prospect to verbally commit to the Wolverines since Harbaugh became head coach last year, according to Rivals.com’s ratings. While some believed Harbaugh would dominate on the recruiting trail right away, prior to Wednesday the Wolverines hadn’t poached any top-50 prospects from other Midwest heavyweights such as Ohio State and Notre Dame. Bredeson, No. 49 overall and the No. 4 offensive tackle in the class of 2016, spurned both of those programs—as well as a host of others—in favor of Michigan, despite its limited on-field success in recent years.
Bredeson took an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor at the end of May before ultimately choosing the Wolverines over his home-state Wisconsin, a program renowned for churning out NFL-caliber offensive linemen. He also visited Michigan in October, before Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach.
"I want to meet the new staff," Bredeson told Rivals.com in early May. "That is a big thing for me because I haven't met any in person except for (offensive coordinator Tim) Drevno and (defensive line coach) Greg Mattison obviously. We'll see how it works from there and maybe get with some of the players, see how I fit with them.”
Bredeson is the 15th player to commit to Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class, which now ranks 10th in the country, according to Rivals.com.