Ben Gedeon recently hung around some of his closest friends.

They talked about the glory days when they were all standouts for the Hudson High School football team.

"It went by so fast," Gedeon said. "It seems like only yesterday when we played Whitmer at Cedar Point Stadium."

Gedeon was referring to a game that took place in 2012. It was Gedeon's last game with the Explorers.

Hudson suffered a 39-28 defeat to Toledo Whitmer in the second round of the Division I playoffs.

Five years later, everything seems like a blur for Gedeon.

His life is only going to get even crazier now.

Gedeon, a 2013 Hudson graduate, was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the NFL Draft April 29.

The former standout University of Michigan linebacker was the 120th overall pick.

Gedeon was watching the draft on television with his family in Hudson when he got the phone call he'll never forget.

"The Vikings called me a couple of picks before I got drafted and told me they were going to draft me," he said. "It didn't hit me until I got off the phone."

Gedeon has certainly felt comfortable on the football field.

He guided the Wolverines to a 10-3 overall record and third-place finish in the Big 10 Conference East Division.

Gedeon really blossomed during his senior year in Ann Arbor.

He led the Wolverines with 107 tackles, including 41 solo tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two passes defended.

As a result of his performance, Gedeon earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and received the Roger Zatkoff Award as the Wolverines' top linebacker.

"It was awesome playing for Michigan," Gedeon said. "There is nothing like playing in the Big House. I will definitely miss that experience."

Prior to his collegiate days, Gedeon was a force as a linebacker and running back for Hudson, which has become a powerhouse in recent years.

As a freshman, Gedeon played on the junior varsity team but also saw considerable action on the varsity squad at both inside linebacker, running back and quarterback.

Gedeon started at running back and linebacker from his sophomore year on. He had 105 tackles and five sacks and he accumulated more than 500 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards and 300 passing yards. He made the All-Ohio third team.

Gedeon had 120 tackles as a junior. He also carried the ball 196 times for 1,418 yards and had 27 total touchdowns.

As a senior, Gedeon earned Associated Press Division I All-Ohio first-team honors at inside linebacker. He also amassed more than 1,300 yards of offense and scored 14 TDs.

Gedeon was first introduced to the game as a youth when he played for the Hudson Hawks.

"The coaches at Hudson do a great job at the younger level all the way up to the high school level," he said. "The town has rallied around it."

Gedeon joins a team that wasn't too far away from reaching the playoffs.

The Vikings finished 8-8 and third in the NFC North Division in 2016.

Minnesota, which featured a talented defense affectionately known as the Purple People Eaters back in the late 1960s, has been to four Super Bowls in its history.

"I know they have a lot of tradition," Gedeon said of the Vikings. "They've had some great linebackers."

Gedeon, who said he plans to fly to Minneapolis this weekend, knows the draft is just the beginning of a lengthy process. He has yet to sign a contract and there is no guarantees he will make the team.

"I'm excited to get there," Gedeon said. "I'm definitely ready to go. I'm going to try to learn from the veterans and do whatever I can on special teams and linebacker."

Gedeon certainly had the tools to be an NFL player pretty much since birth.

His two older brothers, Alex and Sam, both played college football and have been an inspiration to him ever since he first gripped a football.

"It's a dream come true," Gedeon said. "Growing up, I always wanted to play in the NFL. I grew up watching my brothers play. I've always been around the game."


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