Brunner Recounts Official Visit to CMU

Brian Brunner

Children in elementary school often are asked to report on their various trips when they return from summer vacation. At this age, everything is new and fascinating, even the annual trip up to the cabin has its share of thrills and delights. This [past] weekend I made my official visit to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich. And like a child green to the pleasures this world has to offer, I was for the most part in the dark about what my future home had in store for me.

I came into the weekend with the anticipation that my commitment would be reaffirmed and with the hope that other commitments would follow.

Let's just say that I am more excited to be a Chippewa right now than I was before and that myself, along with some other great committees were able to persuade at least one other recruit to become a Chip. These were just a couple of the highlights of one of the best weekends of my life.

I arrived at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Pleasant after the six hour ride from Wisconsin. It was here that I met the same warm faces of a coaching staff that has been instrumental in bringing me to Central. And at this time, I was introduced to some of the players that I had heard so much about.

Jeff Perry, CMU's QB, was to be my host for the weekend. I also had the chance to meet some of the other players and recruits. I had already met Evan Brownie and gotten to become pretty tight with him, but guys like Steve Friend, Andrew Hartline, and newly committed Mark Barbaglia also became close comrades of mine for this weekend.

Mark and Evan probably were the two guys I was able to spend the most time with though.

The thing that Coach [Butch] Jones has been trying to impress on me since day one is that the reason that I will enjoy my time as a Chippewa so much is because of the kids.

Now, as a recruit, you hear this from many coaching staffs and don't really read into it too much, I mean, what coach is going to say that they have jerks playing for them? But after hanging out with guys like Jeff Perry, Jeff Jenerou, Joe Staley, and such for a whole weekend, you get the distinct impression that these guys are a tight-knit unit.

Even a guy like Matt Wohlgemuth who's exhausted his elgibility welcomed me to the Chippewa family with open arms. These are a classy group of guys and with chemistry like I witnessed this [past] weekend, it is a group capable of doing some special things in the next few years.

I have always been impressed with the football facilities and people associated with the football program at CMU. In my recruiting experience, I'd say the only place that was comparable to CMU in facilities was Iowa and no one else was as good from top to bottom in terms of football personnel.

But my main purpose to go to college is to get an education. My education has been a source of personal pride to me throughout my life and I have no doubt that Central Michigan is the right place to go to nurture me intellectually.

The commitment of the university's president to advancing the school into the 21st century was apparent in the state-of-the-art library. Central Michigan is not only a place where I will be proud to have been part of from a football aspect, but my degree from this school will get me somewhere in life.

Some people have questioned [Head] Coach [Mike] DeBord's commitment to winning and have said that his players are unwilling to go to battle for him. This visit also reaffirmed for me what ludicrious statements those are.

Coach DeBord will be entering his first season with a team that he recruited personally. At the helm will be a 5th year senior QB who knows his system like the back of his hand and a talented core of younger skill players.

The defense has some studs at each level including guys like Daniel Bazuin, Mike Thomas, James King, and De'Onte "Scooby" Burnam. This group has a passion for the game and will be much improved.

The passion that I speak of pines in the eyes of each of these players when you ask them about their commitment to their coach and to putting CMU back on the map. I have found with a strong work ethic and an enduring devotion to winning, no team can possibly fail.

And with these thoughts in mind, I returned to Wisconsin eager to continue my progression as an athlete and return to Mount Pleasant next summer with a hunger to get to the level of commitment displayed by these players this weekend.

I know as a quarterback that I will play an imperative role in the future of Chippewa football and I am excited now more than ever to fulfill that role.

So teacher, you ask what did I do on my vacation to Mount Pleasant? I became a Chippewa!

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