UM freshman Bredeson pushing to take Newsome’s job
Ann Arbor – Michigan’s football season begins in less than two weeks, and four of the starting five spots on the offensive line have been solidified.
But left tackle remains up for grabs.
Sophomore Grant Newsome had been penciled in to start at left tackle, but 6-foot-5, 310-pound freshman Ben Bredeson has been pushing him in practice. If Bredeson wins the job, he will be the second freshman to start at the position, with Mason Cole, now playing center, the first.
In June, Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno told reporters that if Michigan had a game that day, the starting five would include Newsome. With the freshmen in camp, Drevno no longer can be definitive.
“I don’t want to say, ‘Well, these are the starting five,’ because things could change,” Drevno said Monday. “We’ve got some good talented young freshmen, some second- or third-year veterans that are in there that have done a good job. Right now, Erik Magnuson is the right tackle, Kyle Kalis is the right guard, Mason is at center, Ben Braden at left guard and we’re battling it out here with the left tackle spot.”
Newsome hasn’t been able to solidify the spot because of the competition. Bredeson, from Arrowhead High in Hartland, Wisconsin, was ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 1 player in Wisconsin in the 2016 class by Scout.com.
“It’s been an unbelievable battle,” Drevno said. “As we recruit these kids and get more talent in this program, guys are really competing. It’s just not just the offensive line, it’s the quarterbacks, the receivers, the running backs, the defense. Everybody is competing and wanting to be the best. It’s a fight every day.”
Drevno is not concerned about handing over the left tackle spot to a freshman. Newsome is a sophomore, and has some game experience, so regardless, that position will be handled by a young player.
“It doesn’t worry me at all,” Drevno said. “There are things that could change here in the next couple of days, but you forge ahead and you keep working and you can never hold you back as a coach. You feel it in your gut, you know it’s right, you do it.”