Since he was a kid, Max Bredeson has been in love with Michigan.
Growing up in Hartland, Wisc., Bredeson’s admiration wasn’t driven by proximity, nor was it a love for a particular player or the program growing up. Rather, a close relationship with his brothers and their experience drove his fondness.
“I think it was recruiting — when Ben was being recruited — that’s when I fell in love with it,” the sophomore tight end said Tuesday. “I was just a kid running around. They dressed me up in the jersey, too. They were trying to pitch me, too, because obviously with Ben. But I loved Michigan right away.”
As the years went on, from watching his older brothers, Max’s desire only grew.
Both his brothers donned the maize and blue at the same time — Ben an offensive lineman and Jack a pitcher on the baseball team. Trips to Ann Arbor and games watched from the stands gave Max a glimpse into the world of Michigan athletics and what being a Wolverine would entail. He just hoped the chance to take the field himself would come one day.
But Max never had a guaranteed offer. He was a two-sport athlete in high school, playing baseball and football like his brothers, but didn’t get many looks from football scouts due to the limited time he spent playing the sport. In his senior year, though, he made it a priority; in return, Michigan gave him his chance as a preferred walk-on.
“Kinda weird path,” Max said. “I only played like six high school games and definitely Michigan was always my dream. I had one other preferred walk-on in high school to Ole Miss. … but obviously, being here — seeing Ben’s games, seeing Jack’s games over in baseball — (I) definitely knew Michigan very well, picked here and I fell in love with it, and glad I made the choice.”
Another part of Max’s abnormal recruiting process was a full position switch. In high school he played quarterback, but that’s not what the Wolverines saw as his future. Just weeks before joining the team, Max received a call asking him if he’d be interested in switching to tight end.
Though not his primary position, Max was “all for it.” Through his first season and entering this year’s camp, it required adjustment. But over time, the learning process sped up.
In the 2022 season opener, Max made the first reception of his collegiate career, a three-yard gain. And against Hawaii, Max had an impact, notching a highlight moment just a game later. A strike over the top from sophomore quarterback Davis Warren found Max, who broke a tackle and was off to the races. Max ripped off a 56-yard gain, putting the Wolverines in the red zone.
It was a huge moment for Max.
“There was something special here that was really cool,” Max said. “(I) watched so many games here. Looking at the family section, I just remember sitting there watching it, so it was definitely special.”
It was a big moment for the entire Bredeson family, too.
After the game, Max received a call from both of his brothers, who congratulated him and exchanged a few jokes.
“Ben kind of joked around with me, because obviously he played here, and he was like he never got his name announced over the audio so he was joking around with that one,” Max said. “Jack was just happy because he watched all of Ben’s games — it’s different watching like a skill position (versus) offensive line, but they’re both just really happy.
“… (I’m the) third one, last one out of us here. So it’s cool for them to both watch as alumni.”
Reflecting on it, Max’s smile at the podium Tuesday undeniably showed his happiness, too. Though never receiving a stack of offers, Max ended up exactly where he wanted to be, and he had his first big moment wearing the same colors his brothers wore.
And given the chance to do it all over again again, Max wouldn’t change a thing.