Michigan Lacrosse: Yale Wins 13-7; UM’s Ian King Sets Scoring Record

April 20, 2014 by  
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Although Ian King set a new scoring record, Michigan could not get past Yale.

In front of the biggest crowd yet this season (2,111) Michigan's Ian King broke the single season scoring record of 26 set by Trevor Yealy during Team One in 2012.

King's record-breaker came the way a record-breaker should...in dramatic fashion--2:33 to go in the second quarter, in heavy traffic, and on a bounce shot no less. He's one special freshman, and Michigan is in very good hands with him on the team.

Special freshman or not, though, Yale scored the first three goals of the game. They were then followed up by David Joseph's 11th score of the season with 11:54 to go in the second. The Bulldogs, however, were able to go on two more three-goal runs; the second run was broken up by King's 26th and 27th goals of the season. Conrad Oberbeck and Jeff Cimbalista were the scorers on Yale's next run, while Kyle Jackson broke up that one with just under six and a half to go in the third quarter.

Michigan Yale
Goals-shot attempts 7-40 13-32
Shot % .175 .406
Shots on goal 21 23
SOG % .525 .719
Man-up opps 1-4 1-3
Ground balls 37 28
Turnovers 11 17
Caused turnovers 12 4
Face-offs 9-24 15-24
Clears 17-18 13-15
Saves 10 14
Penalties-minutes 5-4:00 6-5:30

Seven goals on forty shots is bad. What's worse is that over seventy percent of Yale's shots were on-goal. Seven out of ten times, Michigan's defense gave Yale solid looks at the cage. That's gross.

As has been the case all season, and is the lacrosse team's version of the football team's O-line, face-offs were once again terrible. Brad Lott was getting beaten by Dylan Levings all day, which allowed Yale to dictate the day's happenings. With six goals, the Bulldogs' Conrad Oberbeck was the leading scorer, followed by Jeff Cimbalista's four goals.

Michigan did do some things well, though. They were able to turn over the Bulldogs eight times more than Yale was able to do to Michigan; four of UM's twelve CTs came by way of freshman defenseman Andrew Hatton. Another freshman, Brendan Gaughan, was also a positive for the Wolverines; Gaughan scored two times on three shots and picked up one ground ball.

The final game of the regular season comes against the Robert Morris Colonials (5-8, 2-4) next week. Face-off is scheduled for 12:00 ET in Ann Arbor. It will be Senior Day, so make sure to find your way to Michigan Stadium and say thanks to some guys who helped create this program.

Stay tuned to Maize n Brew for a preview of next week's game and a brief preview of the ECAC tournament the following week.

Zia Combs: A Redemption Story

April 18, 2014 by  
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Former Michigan defensive back Zia Combs was a redshirt sophomore when his football career was cut short by a freak accident leaving him temporarily paralyzed. This is his story of beating the odds.

It was a brisk, yet beautiful, afternoon for football at Michigan Stadium on the 12th day of October in 2002. The Penn State Nittany Lions came into Ann Arbor ranked 15th in the nation and ready to play the Wolverines in an early Big Ten conference matchup.

However, there was something about this day that will live in infamy for one Wolverine. It’s not about the personal statistics and it’s not about the thrilling overtime victory Michigan had either.

It’s much more than that.

For former Michigan defensive back Zia Combs, it’s a second chance at life.

Mid-way through the first quarter, Michigan punter Adam Finley delivered an excellent, yet routine, pooch punt that took a soft bounce at Michigan’s two-yard line. The redshirt sophomore Combs and his "gunner" teammate, defensive back Ernest Shazor, were streaking to the ball attempting to down it before it crossed the goal line.

What happened next is a cruel twist of fate for Combs. Something he worked so hard to achieve was taken from him in an instant. A heartbreaking and unfortunate accident changed his life forever.

As he took an awkward dive for the ball with his head lowered, he did not see Shazor diving in his direction as well. Shazor’s knee clipped the top of Combs’ helmet and like a rag-doll he crumbled to the turf.

Longsnapper Joe Sgroi went over to pick Combs up from the turf but he crumbled into a heap once again.

The once charismatic player was now lifeless. He was completely paralyzed. Lying vulnerable and helpless in front of a stadium filled with over 100,000 frantic fans that could hear a pin drop in silence.

"It was one of those situations where you’ve been playing ball for so long you felt invincible to a certain degree," said Combs. "It was scary, but at the same time it wasn’t scary. Because I knew that I was alright."

As Combs was leaving the field strapped to a gurney, he managed to muster up some words to Michigan coach Lloyd Carr that would resonate throughout the team for the remainder of the season.

"Tell them to play hard," said Combs to Carr.

"When Coach Carr come over he made me feel comfortable," said Combs. "He gave me a sense of security. You can’t really explain it unless you’ve been through it. When Lloyd gives you a look or says a certain word to you, you believe more."

***

The route Combs took to the University of Michigan was not an easy one. Growing up in Lexington, he used football as an escape from the violence and drugs that riddled his childhood neighborhood.

"I was a regular inner-city child growing up," Combs said. "I was in a bad neighborhood surrounded by drugs and violence. I had a good family, though. Who showed me the right way."

That family, albeit strong, was torn apart due to a rare condition called Cerebellum Degeneration that took the life Combs’ uncle and mother. The condition is extremely rare and affects the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination and balance. There is no cure and the condition eventually leads to death.

Fortunately for Combs, he had an outlet to escape from the violence and family struggles from the illness. A short moment in time where he could forget who he was and what is going on.

His escape was football.

"Football was my escape," said Combs. "It has shaped me into the man that I am today. I feel like people play sports for different reasons, I did it to get away from all the other things that was going on in my life."

"Some of these kids can go and hung their mom and play with them, I couldn’t do those things."

Combs’ love for football was fueled by his lifelong affinity for the University of Michigan football program. But, in a strange twist of fate, he managed to get in contact with the coaching staff of the Michigan program.

A visit to his school that was never meant for him in the first place.

When area recruiter Jim Hermann went to visit Combs’ school, his intentions were to see his quarterback and defensive end. When Hermann was watching game film, it took only one play for the coach to be interested in Combs.

"The running back fumbled the ball and the defense picked the ball up and started running to the endzone," said Combs. "I hawked the linebacker down."

"I was a receiver at the time, so I was a good 10 to 15 yards behind him but I hunted him down and stopped the team from scoring. That’s what opened Coach Hermann’s eyes to recruiting me."

Immediately Coach Herrmann went to meet Combs. Combs, who admitted to being intimidated by Hermann at first, was invited to Ann Arbor to attend a camp to show the other coaches what he could do.

The day before he was meant to arrive on campus, he suffered another setback and created another obstacle he had to cross.

Two jammed fingers to the point where he couldn’t feel his hand.

During a passing league tournament in Kentucky, Combs suffered the hand injury which couldn’t allow him to catch any passes. He asked his high school coach if he could just run routes at the camp and not catch any footballs. He coach wanted nothing of it and told him he was going to be fine.

As it turns out, Combs was going to be fine.

The very next day, his hand felt as if he never injured it in the first place.

"I did everything they asked me to that the University of Michigan asks in an athlete," said Combs. "I think that’s what, besides my talent, set me apart. Coach Carr ended up offering on the second day of camp."

After receiving his offer, the first thing he did was called his mom. For a inner-city kid where the odds are against him, he had made it.

"I was full of emotions because I know how much I went through," Combs said. "Just sitting there seeing what your parent has gone through."

***

After being placed on the gurney, the feeling started coming back for Combs. It started with a small sensation in his toes, which was prompted by the doctors pinching, and then it grew to more of a tingling sensation in the rest of his body.

Combs thought he was back. The football player inside decided that going out there for the next game was more important than this overall well being.

"I had a huge smile on my face," said Combs with a laugh. "That moment where I start to regain my feeling. In my head I was already thinking about the next game. It was just second nature"

After numerous tests, scans, and continuous poking and prodding’s by numerous doctors, Combs was released from the hospital in a few days. After returning to practice to see the team for the first time since the accident, he delivered an emotional speech to the team.

However, most importantly to him, he was preparing for a comeback at some point this season.

Unfortunately for Combs, that moment wouldn’t come for him that season. In fact, the moment to strap on a helmet was never going to happen again.

His career was over.

After an emotional discussion with head athletic trainer Paul Smith, Combs learned his fate.

"Zia, your career is over with," Combs recalled Smith saying to him.

"From there, there was just so many emotions going through my body," said Combs. "You worked so hard for something as a kid you liked it, and now it’s turned into a lifestyle. It was my life."

"When he (Smith) had to break the news to me, it was hard to accept," Combs admitted. "I just stormed out of the office. I remember hitting the Gatorade jug with all the ice in it and I went into the locker room and broke down and cried."

Combs had to go through a strange transition from that day forward. He had to adjust to life without football, his fallback when things were tough.

An outlet that was available to him all of his life was taken away from him in a heartbeat.

***

Transitioning from full-time athlete to full-time student was difficult for Combs. For someone who didn’t place importance on education but instead placed it on athletics, it was a difficult process for him.

"I’m not proud to say this, but at the time football was number one," admitted Combs. "School wasn’t number one, it was number two. I can honestly saying, looking back where I was mentally, if I didn’t have football I probably wouldn’t be in school."

"It was like being born again. I had to change my whole mentality towards life. I had to mature as a young man who had just started becoming a young man. It was like new life and scary."

Combs could’ve easily given up on Michigan and went back to Kentucky to be closer to his ailing mother and family. But, just like the rest of Combs’ story of perseverance, he stayed.

"The thoughts of leaving did run through my head," said Combs. "Not only am I leaving, but what school will allow me to play? I thought about transferring."

It was Combs’ mother who was the driving factor in his decision to stay at Michigan. She told him one simple line that stayed with him throughout his time as a student.

"Son, I just want you to get your degree."

Whenever he was having a bad day or was down on himself, his mothers words picked him back up again.

He owed it to his family to stay. Not only his blood, but also the University of Michigan family he gained during his short time on campus.

"I looked at Coach Carr like a father figure," said Combs. "I felt like whatever Lloyd said, was not wrong."

Just like the great Bo Schembechler says, "Those who stay will be champions."

However, Combs didn’t need football to be a champion. He just needed to live.


***

One of the biggest lessons Combs took away from the grueling process has had to endure over the years is to not discredit yourself. Believe in yourself and don’t consume yourself with your weaknesses. Eventually those will turn into strengths.

"You have to believe in yourself," said Combs. "Not only believing in the things you know you’re good at, you have to believe that your weaknesses can become your strengths."

When things get hard, life always has its way to remind you that it is beautiful. With a new perspective on live itself, Combs knows that with all the ups and downs he has been through in life that it always stays the same.

Life is beautiful.

"I took away that life is a beautiful thing," said Combs. "That’s what so great about life. You have this plan and you might not necessarily follow the plan all the way through. When life throws curveballs at you, how are you going to react?"

"At the end of the day, life is about whatever your personal goals are in life outside of sports. Having a family outside and have kids. Teaching those kids lessons you didn’t necessarily learn at my age."

For Combs, he has everything he needs in life to make it beautiful. A wife he calls a genius, and a son he loves more than anything in this world. Combs wakes up every day with a smile on his face knowing he has those two in his life every waking moment to push him forward.

He doesn’t need to win the Rose Bowl or hoist the Crystal Ball at the end of the season to signify a championship. For Combs, he’s already won with a family of his own.


***

Having something you love so dearly being taken away from you in a split second is a tough pill to swallow for any human being. But, for Combs, wallowing in self-pity and regret was never in his nature.

From the beginning, he beat the odds.

He rose above the poverty and crime in Lexington to play football for one of the most prestigious Universities in the Midwest. Although his career at the collegiate level was nothing more than a small moment in time, he didn’t allow heartbreak to set him back.

With the career ending neck injury behind him, Combs has a new outlook on life.

Even though he will never play a down of organized football again, he earned something greater from the University of Michigan that letter jackets, postseason and personal awards cannot give to him.

A degree.

Something that no one, not even a freak accident, can take away from him.

Be sure to follow Maize n Brew's Joshua Henschke on Twitter, @JoshuaHenschke.

Lacrosse Preview: Yale at Michigan

April 18, 2014 by  
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I know you're sad because Stauskas and GRIII are leaving for the NBA, but get your mind off of it by watching Michigan lacrosse take on the Yale Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Where and When

Date: April 19

Time: 4:00 ET

Where: Michigan Stadium

Coverage: MGoBlueTV

The Opponent

Yale Bulldogs 7-3, 3-2; Home: 3-1; Away: 4-2

After alternating wins and losses for seven weeks, the Bulldogs have now won three in a row, are 7-3, and are ranked as high as 11th in the polls. Now they'll face a reeling Michigan squad who has lost five in a row.

Attack: Conrad Oberbeck is leading the team with 23 goals on 69 shots, and a SOG% of 60.9; the junior has also picked up 17 GBs. Behind Oberbeck is senior Brandon Mangan and his very balanced 15 goals, 12 assists, and matching SOG% of 60.9. Sophomore Michael Bonacci is also getting into the action, with 8 scores.

FOGO/Midfield: the Bulldogs are led at the dot by senior face-off man Dylan Levings, who has gone 125-215 for a 58.1 win % in 2014. Michigan's win % on face-off is 49.7, so they'll need a ton of luck to beat Levings on Saturday. The name to really note in this section, though, is junior middie Colin Flaherty and his 10 goals. Sophomore Mark Glicini has only 6 scores, but he's been able to pick up 15 GBs. Watch out for Sean Shakespeare, too, because you just have to be good with a name like Shakespeare, right? I highly doubt there will be much in the way of "Howl, howl, howl, howl!..." or "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him..." out on the field, but you never know.

Defense/Goalie: Jimmy Craft and Michael Quinn are the workhorses on the defensive side of the field, combining for 51 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers. Jimmy Craft can also do this...


Let's hope that Robbie Zonino doesn't get burned by something like that. Zonino's counterpart is Eric Natale. With a goal against average of 8.08 and save % of 54, the Wolverines are going to have to work like hell to past him.

The Outlook


Michigan Yale
Goals-shots attempts 126-496 101-367
Goals scored per game 9.69 10.10
Shot % .254 .275
Shots on goal-attempts 275-496 206-367
SOG% .554 .561
Total goals 126 101
Man-up opps 17-45 14-40
Ground balls 375 286
Turnovers 190 155
Caused turnovers 95 78
Face-offs 166-334 (.497) 126-217 (.581)
Clears 223-253 (.881) 162-182 (.890)
Saves 130 96

Michigan's going to face their second Ivy League opponent of the year. The first time was against a ranked Cornell team that Michigan took to the brink. Will Saturday's game be as exciting? Hell if I know, I make terrible predictions. They fell apart in the second half against Ohio State last week, so I have to think that they'll come out and stick around for a little while longer in this one. Michigan will need to neutralize Craft and Quinn on the defensive side of the game by using smart passing to get scoring chances elsewhere on the field. Passing the ball was a weak point last week and will need to be improved big-time if they want to stay in it this weekend. Ultimately, I think this will be yet another loss, but not a blowout.

It’s Friday

April 18, 2014 by  
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Today’s the day.

It’s unique.

It’s Friday.

We call it “Good”. But in the moment, it was anything but good. A mother weeping for her son. Friends weeping over their friend. Fear filling them all.

The sacrifice was real. It hurt. It was costly.

Friday.

The King is caught.

The King is crucified.

The King is dead.

The Enemy has won.

Hasn’t he?

 

Friday Michigan Football Recruiting Roundup Reconsiders

April 18, 2014 by  
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The FRR updates you on the very latest regarding Michigan football recruiting. A certain recruit reconsiders his announcement, this weekend will have visitors of interest and recruiting rankings are discussed.

... Or Not

Well, it was reported that 2016 LB/RB Daelin Hayes was prepared to make his college announcement on the 27th during a Rivals Camp, but...

The news broke that he was planning on reconsidering shortly after receiving an offer from Wisconsin. Now, are these two events related in any way? Maybe yes, and also no. While that doesn't make much sense reading it, I will explain my thought process behind it:

Hayes is only a sophomore in high school right now. He has about two years until he needs to make his college choice. For a high school kid, that is an eternity. Trying to expect a kid to hold his word for two years isn't exactly the best thing to do. Yes, it's been done before, but most kids want to look around and experience new things. To be honest, I applaud his parents for stepping in and telling him to pump the brakes a bit. It's always good to be 100% sure you know where you're going before you decide. The flip-flop recruitments some kids go through isn't much fun.

Now, to the Wisconsin offer.

Is it a game-changing offer that made Hayes stop in his tracks and reconsider the college he was going to? Yes, but not in the way you might be thinking. This offer, to me, felt like Hayes opened his eyes that other programs are out there. Considering his parents did most of the convincing, the Wisconsin offer may have contributed to the reconsideration of the announcement date. The best fit for him might not be in the state of Michigan, so it's best for him to look around and take things slow. Like I said previously, two years is an eternity for a young kid to make up his mind.

Do I expect Wisconsin to be in the top group when all is said and done? Yes. Do I see him leaving the state of Michigan? Absolutely not.

I still like Michigan's chances here and strongly believe Michigan would've been the choice if everything went as planned. However, I still think he is blue when all is said and done.

Weekend Visitors

With the weekend quickly approaching (Yay!) Rivals' Tim Sullivan is on his game ($) and has released a list featuring this weeks visitors on campus. Which include:

  • '15 TE Chris Clark (Offered)
  • '15 DE Clelin Ferrell (Offered)
  • '15 OL Grant Newsome (Offered)
  • '16 OL Ben Bredeson (Offered)
Not a bad list if you look at it. That's a lot of talent on campus. The visitor I am most intrigued with is Chris Clark. Clark, who committed to UNC a few weeks ago and decommitted this week, seems to be very impressionable when it comes to visits. I feel that if Michigan really hits one out of the park with him this weekend, it could set Michigan up nicely in his list of top schools. However, with that impressionability, recruiting a kid who likes to flip-flop is difficult. Is it a one time deal that he went through the process with UNC? Maybe, but it's difficult to predict at this point.

The best thing about these visitors is that Michigan stands a fairly decent chance with all four prospects. Plus, having all but Bredeson staying more than one day certainly helps. Ferrell, who is also during Michigan State during this visit, is already here. His trip started on Wednesday and will run through the weekend.

Top 247 Released for 2016

Can't believe we are discussing the "meat and potatoes" of recruiting for the 2016 class already. At any rate, 247Sports released their top 247 prospects today for the 2016 class. Steve Lorenz wrote up a nice article ($) on how the new rankings relate to Michigan.

Let's get to it.

For starters, current 2016 OL commit Erik Swenson is ranked 233rd in the country. For those who are familiar with Swenson's game and ability, most will find this criminally underrated.

Other targets of interest include OL Thiyo Lukusa (227), Daelin Hayes (126) and Lawrence Gordon (146).

The reason why I add Gordon to the list is because if Michigan offers (and most certainly believe they will) that the talented 4-star will commit on the spot. Michigan is in on a lot of 5-stars in the 2016 class, including the number one recruit in the nation (according to 247) in OL Gregory Little. Little has a connection to a coach in the local area and also has plans to visit Michigan in the near future.

Now, whether Michigan can start to land these 5-stars remain to be seen.

Be sure to follow Maize n Brew's Joshua Henschke on Twitter, @JoshuaHenschke.

Getting Ready for Reading (in two languages!)

April 17, 2014 by  
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This month's Multilingual Blogging Carnival focuses on teaching reading to multilingual or bilingual children. Since Elliot is only 4-1/2 years old, we're not yet working on reading...in either English or Spanish. But, I'm hoping that I'm doing the right things to set the stage for Elliot to become a reader in both languages: 

Reading, reading, reading: Tim and I are both readers, so Elliot is surrounded by books. Since we live in the US, he has more books in English. But, I've made sure that his Spanish-language collection is sizable and I make an effort to read at least one book in Spanish to him each day. To supplement our collection, we turn to the local library, which fortunately has some non-fiction children's books in Spanish, which are somewhat harder to find.
Elliot also has a subscription to a Spanish-language kids' magazine, which is a great way to continually bring new reading material in Spanish into our home.

Giving him audio books: Elliot enjoys listening to a CD as he drifts off to sleep. Sometimes, it's music, but sometimes, it's a bilingual or Spanish-language book on tape. He's listened to books by Alma Flor Ada so many times that he makes jokes (in Spanish) out of her name! And, when I read the books to him, he likes to chime in, "reading" some of the sections he's memorized.

Teaching the letters: At Elliot's Spanish immersion preschool, he learns the letters in Spanish. We also have several CDs in Spanish with letter, vowel and alphabet song (although I haven't found one as catchy as the classic alphabet song in English.) Although I'm realizing I don't do it as often as I should, I sometimes ask him to identify letters in Spanish from books or in public (but it's not that effective when the letters are spelling words in English).

Telling him I read in Spanish: I'm not sure if this has any effect, but I let Elliot know that I read books in Spanish (even without him) and I go to a Spanish-language book club monthly to discuss them. 

I guess my list of reading preparation is pretty short. But, Elliot is only four-and-a-half. Am I doing enough? Is there something else I should be doing?

For more perspectives on teaching reading to bilingual and multilingual children, check out the blogging carnival on Homeschool Ways on April 27. 








Title: The Godfather.Portrait of Brooklyn photographer/filmmaker…

April 17, 2014 by  
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Title: The Godfather.

Portrait of Brooklyn photographer/filmmaker JD Urban. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Maker’s Mart This Saturday in Toledo

April 17, 2014 by  
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makers-mart

Hosted by Handmade Toledo, Maker’s Mart is this Saturday (April 19th) and will have 45+ handmade sellers from all over the Midwest to shop. Local food trucks, coffee and crafty make & takes will all be there to help you celebrate 419 day in Toledo, with just $1 admission. To see everything going on on Toledo’s 419 day, check out http://celebrate419.com/. Read more about Maker’s Mart on their Facebook event page or on the Handmade Toledo website.

Title: Autoerotic.I love this depth of field and play on…

April 17, 2014 by  
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Title: Autoerotic.

I love this depth of field and play on reflections/lines in this vintage car shot. So instead of me talking about Depth of Field today I thought I’d share an article by DIY Photography that covers all the bases. Enjoy.

Back to Basics - Depth of Field
http://www.diyphotography.net/depth_of_field/

Shot in Red Hook, Brooklyn / NYC with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Dan Dierdorf to join Michigan football radio broadcasts

April 17, 2014 by  
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Michigan announced Thursday that former Michigan offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf will be joining Jim Brandstatter on Michigan's radio broadcasts. Brandstatter will be doing play-by-play duties.

When Dave Brandon hinted at familiarity with the radio broadcasts, he wasn't lying.

In fact, former teammates will be reunited in the process.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department and IMG College announced Thursday that former CBS NFL color analyst and former offensive lineman for U-M Dan Dierdorf will be joining Jim Brandstatter in the radio booth for the upcoming season.

With this addition, it means that Brandstatter will handle play-by-play duties.

"Jim and Dan are hall of fame broadcasters and great Michigan Men," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke in a statement. "They will provide a unique perspective to the broadcasting booth that I’m sure our fans will enjoy on football Saturdays, and you can guarantee they will have a keen analysis of Michigan Football on each broadcast."

Dierdorf, who was teammates with Brandstatter during the 1969 and 1970 seasons returns home to where it all started.

"I’m so excited to be able to come back to my alma mater and contribute in this manner," said Dan Dierdorf in a statement. "This is the only broadcasting job that I would have considered after retiring from the network television. It’s a chance to return to the city where Bump gave me an opportunity to play for the greatest program in the world and Bo made me a man.

"I was always jealous of Jim calling games at Michigan and often said that one of my goals was to come back and call a couple of series with him. To work with one of my best friends, someone that I’ve known my entire adult life is really special, and I’m looking forward to getting in the booth with Jim this fall."

Brandstatter will be replacing longtime play-by-play voice Frank Beckmann who retired after last season.

"I’m really excited about the challenge of moving to play by play," said Brandstatter in a statement. "I have huge shoes to fill, but, I have learned so much from the great ones I’ve worked with and I can’t wait to get started. And, it’s Michigan Football….it doesn’t get any better than that!

"Dan knows the game inside and out and is an outstanding broadcaster. First and foremost, he loves Michigan Football, but he’s also a good friend, a teammate, an NFL Hall of Famer, and we have fun when we’re together. I just hope the listeners have as good a time as we expect to have broadcasting Michigan victories this Fall."

Michigan opens the 2014 season Aug. 30 at home against Appalachian State.

Be sure to follow Maize n Brew's Joshua Henschke on Twitter, @JoshuaHenschke.

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