Braunstein the heir apparent?

Michael Braunstein is a 5-8, 170 pound placekicking prospect from Gilbert, Arizona, and if the city of Gilbert sounds familiar to Husky fans, it should. It's the hometown of current Washington linebacker Marquis Cooper, and Braunstein wouldn't mind if another Gilbert resident made Montlake his new home address. The question remains - do the Huskies feel the same?

"Yeah, Marquis goes there and he went to our sister school (Highland HS)," Braunstein told on Wednesday. "I knew that they have a senior kicker this season (John Anderson), and I want an opportunity to kick as a freshman. I just went up to Washington's camp for a day." Actually it wasn't quite a day. "I was there less than 24 hours," he said. "I went up on Sunday, kicked that afternoon and was back on a plane for home the next afternoon."

Braunstein has a 425-pound squat to his credit, as well as a 4.89 40 and 24-inch vertical jump. He has a career .737 mark as a placekicker (14-19), with a long of 54 yards, a school record. He also handles the punting chores for Gilbert, booting the ball for an average of 42.5 yards per kick. As a junior last year, he was second team all-state and first team all-region. "I'm really just a kicker," Michael said. "Punting is just something I do as a backup." He also plans on playing a little receiver this year.

Besides the Husky camp, Michael has also been to Purdue's team camp. "I was the camp MVP for kickers and won the accuracy contest, beating out 42 other kickers," he said. "I'm still waiting to hear from Michigan, Colorado, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Arizona State. ASU actually offered a kicker from California because I wouldn't commit early to them. I want to leave the state, but I would like to stay on the West Coast if I can. That would be awesome."

It's that hope that currently puts the Dawgs on the top of Braunstein's wish list. "U-Dub, Michigan and Purdue," he said. "Those are my top three teams. I think Washington is my leader. I really like Coach Neuheisel. I spent some time talking to him. He's an Arizona native and so am I, so we had some things in common. I also really like Coach (Bobby) Hauck. He's an awesome guy."

He doesn't have any offers as of yet. "The (Washington) coaches told me that they are still in the process of researching kickers," Michael said. "They told me that they were going to get back to me. They seemed impressed. I'm just hoping for the best." Top Stories