As Michigan retools for the 2017 college football season, much of the focus has been on fabulous freshmen, Wilton Speight’s job security, and the emergence of the Rashan Gary-Maurice Hurst dynamic duo.
Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports adds another name to watch: Offensive lineman Ben Bredeson.
The sophomore was one of CBS Sports’ top 15 breakout stars for the upcoming season, posted Tuesday. He was joined on the list by Notre Dame defensive lineman Daelin Hayes, an Ann Arbor Skyline product.
Bredeson appeared in 13 games as a freshman, including eight starts at left guard, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades in his first season.
“It’s rare for a freshman to come in right away and make an impact in the trenches like that,” Kercheval said. “With the Wolverines replacing well, pretty much everyone, Bredeson suddenly becomes one of the guys the offense must lean on for success.”
Hayes, also a sophomore, had 11 tackles in 12 games last season, but Kerhceval called him a “spring game star” who could provide plenty of help for the Irish’s pass rush.
“Notre Dame had one of the worst pass rushing units last season with just 14 sacks, and a lack of domination in the trenches was a big reason for the 4-8 record,” Kercheval wrote. “There’s a lot to prove for this defensive front, meaning Hayes has an opportunity to steal the spotlight this fall as a disruptive edge rusher.”