Braunstein goes public with commitment

Michael Braunstein did the world tour. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, the 5-8, 175-pound kicking prospect from Gilbert, Arizona went south in search of his 'dream school'. Last year he did the midwest and west coast. And he kept his decision a secret until now. Michael Braunstein committed to the University of Washington in August. So why the secrecy?

"It was just for me," he told "I wanted to wait until my season was over before I announced it. It's just the way I wanted to do it."

Two years ago, Braunstein visited Tennessee, Wake Forest, Duke, South Carolina, North Carolina and Clemson. This past summer he checked out Colorado, San Diego State, Michigan and Illinois. He also camped at Washington for a day and that was all it took for Michael to be hooked on the Northwest.

"I went around the country, looking at schools, and I just felt like everything at Washington was right," he said. "Just the coaching staff, facilities, the area and the school. I've never heard a bad thing about them. And I knew that John Anderson was leaving, so it was a great opportunity for me to come in and compete for the job right away."

Is it his job to lose? "There's no way I can say that," Braunstein said. "I do know they have a couple of walk-on kickers, so we'll have to see what happens."

When Neuheisel recruited Michael, it appears he had strictly placekicking in mind. But Braunstein isn't afraid to mix it up a bit and do both if the need arises. "I know I'm capable of doing it, but I think they are going for a JC guy, I think," he said. "I really don't know if they want me to do it, but I know I can compete for that job too. I can do both well." His two-year average as a punter for Gilbert was 41.4 yards per kick.

Other career stats include: 95% of kickoffs in the end zone, 71-74 PAT, 21-30 on field goals with two blocked and a long of 54 yards. He'll be visiting Washington officially on the weekend of December 13th.

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