ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Ben Bredeson has been hearing about the Wisconsin-Michigan game for a few weeks now — and well before it evolved into a top-10 matchup between the Wolverines and the Badgers.
No. 4 Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten Conference) hosts No. 8 Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium. It’s a pairing of nationally ranked teams that few saw coming … except for Bredeson’s former classmates and friends from his hometown, who may have had a certain hunch about Saturday.
“I’ve been getting texts since the beginning of the year, from a bunch of people,” said Bredeson, an offensive lineman for the Michigan football team and a native of Hartland, Wis. “They were really excited about the game. Not anybody that’s on the team (at Wisconsin), but just friends from back home. A third of my graduating class all went to Madison, so I’ve got a lot of friends at the school, and a lot of people are excited about it.”
Bredeson, a true freshman, has had plenty to handle in his first season at Michigan. In addition to juggling classes, meetings and practices, Bredeson is getting plenty of game action, rotating at left guard.
This weekend, he’ll face the team he grew up watching. The Badgers, Bredeson said, are a rite of passage in Wisconsin.
“It’s the thing you watch,” Bredeson said. “It’s just the tradition of living there.”
Bredeson also understands the significance of Saturday’s game, not just from a poll perspective, but also from a personal perspective. Bredeson said Wisconsin was his first scholarship offer and can pinpoint the date the Badgers coaching staff made that offer: March 1, 2014, in his sophomore year of high school.
One factor, though, swayed Bredeson.
“I came here,” he said, motioning around him, Tuesday night inside Schembechler Hall. “I saw this. I just fell in love with Michigan during the recruiting process, and this is the place for me.”
Bredeson also has a family pull in Ann Arbor. His brother, Jack, is a sophomore pitcher on the Michigan baseball team.
Watching the waistline?
Jourdan Lewis returned to Michigan’s lineup Saturday in a 49-10 win over Penn State, after missing the first three games with back issues and a muscle strain.
Lewis said as a result of the injuries, he’s had to tend more to his body to take care of himself.
“As a freshman, I never had to pay attention to anything like that,” Lewis said. “I just had to go out there and play. Now, I have to go warm up about 30 minutes before I go out there. I go out there and try to stretch a little bit, but it’s different, being a senior, after you’ve played so many games.”
In recovering from his injuries, which he said stemmed from core issues, the All-America cornerback changed his sleep patterns, began doing self-myofascial release exercises by using a foam roller and was more cautious of the things he ate.
Fewer wings, fewer French fries and more greens, he explained.
There’s a purpose to Lewis’ mindfulness of his health.
“It’s getting prepared for the next level,” Lewis said. “Getting your body right for every situation you’re going to face.”
Mine, not yours
Freshman tight end Devin Asiasi scored his first college touchdown on his first collegiate catch, a 3-yard pass from Wilton Speight last Saturday, less than a minute into the second quarter of Michigan’s win against Penn State.
Asiasi disclosed one detail about the play: Speight’s pass wasn’t drawn up for him.
“It was supposed to go to Jehu!” Asiasi said, referring to senior wide receiver Jehu Chesson. “He told me that I took it away from. But it’s all good in there. We got the points. We got the W.”
Say it right
Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel had to issue a clarification of how he pronounces his name. It’s “KINN-el,” like the word “kennel” with an “i,” instead of “kinn-EL,” as many were mispronouncing it.