The Wolverine

February 2020*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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18 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2020 BY JOHN BORTON T he Wolverine's preseason listing of Michigan's top 25 football players is all about hope and expecta- tion. The postseason version fo- cuses on results. Many factors can play into the bot- tom line, including injuries, the unex- pected rise of younger players and a host of other factors. Usually, some- one high on the former list winds up leading the latter. Not so typically, one of the forgot- ten warriors — an offensive lineman — can rise to the top. That's precisely what happened this year, following the postseason top 25 vote among the staff of this publication. Senior captain and guard Ben Bredeson fought his way up to the top spot, playing and leading well in his final year in a winged helmet. He came to Michigan from his home state of Wisconsin, but quickly made Ann Arbor his home. Although he didn't wind up with the championship ring to which he aspired, Bredeson noted the Wolver- ines accomplished a lot. "I feel like we did a lot of great things as an offense and as a team," he said. "Obviously, we came up short in a few games, but we did have some big wins — wins that you'll remember for the rest of your life. There are a lot of positives." Those positives are reflected in the top 25, featuring many All-Big Ten performers. The postseason list also reveals: • A dead-even split between offen- sive and defensive performers in the top 10, marking the second straight season that has happened. • A senior quarterback not taking the top spot, unusual in itself, espe- cially for a productive one. • The majority of top 10 perform- ers are set to depart for NFL hopes, including one who could have peti- tioned to be in maize and blue one more season. Bredeson knows he wouldn't have missed his last year as a Wolverine, despite a swing and a miss on sweep- ing U-M's three rivalry games in his fourth year of starting. "It's the way you want to go out, winning some of the rivalry games," he said. "Obviously, you'd like to win them all, and beat Ohio State and finish the trifecta at home. But those THE BEST OF 2019 U-M's Postseason Top 25 Rolls In Senior left guard Ben Bredeson was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and a third-team choice by the Associated Press. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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