IU freshman Matthew Bedford has been in Bloomington earlier than most of the other 2019 football signees.
Bedford came to IU in the spring to take classes and get acquainted with the team. As the summer workouts have ramped up and the whole team piles in, Bedford has felt comfortable with his college transition so far.
Coming to high school, Bedford said he worked on making adjustments to his technique to accommodate the team even better. He also had to adjust waking up at 4:30 a.m. to be at practice by 5 a.m., but is now fully adjusted.
His understanding of plays has grown from high school. He often just uses muscle memory to repeat the same actions.
“Looking at the plays, I first off have to understand the plays," Bedford said. "Once I understand the plays, I have to be confident in what I’m doing. After spring, when we started playing in practices, for me I had to keep my eyes open and diagnose the plays.”
Before coming to IU, he had a successful football career in high school.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 284-pound offensive lineman from Cordova High School in Cordova, Tennessee, was ranked 25th by Rivals in the state for his position and 80th nationally by 247Sports.
Bedford played in the 2018 East-West All-Star Classic and the 2018 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium. It was there where Bedford was able to play alongside one of his idols, Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith.
“Coming into AT&T with the Dallas Cowboys and playing there was amazing,” Bedford said. “Standing next to one of my favorite offensive tackles, playing the position he plays on the field, was just a surreal moment.”
In high school, it was uncommon to have any strong options past second-strings.
Now there can be multiple players vying for first and second-string positions. Each of the players on IU football is driven, which is something that drew Bedford to IU when he first came here.
“You can see that there is a standard," Bedford said. "That hasn’t changed. Guys want to compete.”
Bedford said senior offensive linemen Coy Cronk, Simon Stepaniak and Hunter Littlejohn have worked to incorporate the newer players.
Bedford's goal is to get as much playing time as possible during his freshman season.
Off the field, Bedford is the self-proclaimed best "Madden" player on the team. Bedford said his teammate, freshman defensive lineman C.J. Person, can give him a good fight.
Bedford said he knows that with his hard work and determination, he could be a vital piece for the Hoosiers during his debut season and seasons to come.
“I’m ready to get in there, honestly," Bedford said. "Right now, I’m doing the best I can to produce and prepare myself to be able to compete on a high level."
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