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January 31, 2013 - 1:20pm

Alumni Profile: Jim Brandstatter


Jim Brandstatter is a commentator for Michigan football games as well as Detroit Lions games. He was an offensive tackle for Michigan from 1969 to 1971 under coach Bo Schembechler. Brandstatter has been broadcasting since he graduated from the University in 1972.

So, how has the game of college football changed since you played in the 1970s?

The players are bigger, stronger, faster. The game itself is still fundamentals of blocking, tackling, speed and playing smart. It’s gotten a lot more involved from a media standpoint — let’s put it this way: Back when I played you could still be a college student as a scholarship athlete. You didn’t have Twitter, Facebook or the 24-hour news cycle, and you could still be one of the regular guys going to class. Now it’s not so much that way because you’re under a microscope so much more than you were 30 to 40 years ago.

How did you end up in the media?

I actually started in school as an architecture and design major. I took a speech class, loved it, and changed my major to general studies, where I was able to study things I wouldn’t have normally taken had I been in another program. It helped me along the way in my broadcast career. I’ve found a niche, and I’ve found a job that I just absolutely love.

What’s your prediction for Team 134?

I think Brady Hoke has done a great job on the recruiting trail, using the same attitude as Bo Shembechler that winning championships is the goal. It’s a high bar that he sets, but that’s what it should be at Michigan. That attitude more than anything, I think, is what challenges young men to come into Michigan and become the best.

What made you choose to play at the University?

Well, I got a number of offers, scholarships for different places, always in my mind that I wanted to play Big 10 football. It’s where I grew up — in Big 10 country. I visited Ann Arbor absolutely loved it — loved the campus and loved the people. The idea of playing Big 10 football was a gift for me. Even if I didn’t play, I still would’ve gotten a great education. That’s the best of both worlds.