Career: Team's starting long-snapper for three seasons ... Named a CoSIDA Academic All-American his senior season ... Outstanding student ... Extremely reliable snapper ... Came to program as a walk-on quarterback ... Named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2009.
2008: Fifth-year senior ... ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-American ... Earned ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-District honors for a third consecutive year ...In his third year handling team's long and short snapping duties ... Named team's Special Teams Player of the Game at Iowa ... On a punt, forced a fumble, which NU recovered and turned into seven points right before halftime (cutting Iowa's lead from 17-3 to 17-10) ... Also named team's special teams player of the game vs. Ohio State ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Named to NFF's Hampshire Honor Society.
2007: ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-District V selection (repeat honoree) ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Handled team's long and short snapping duties ... Named team's special teams player of the week (vs. Minnesota).
2006: Academic All-Big Ten ... Team's long-snapper for punts and PAT/field goals ... ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-District V selection.
2005: Saw limited action, appearing in one game (Purdue).
2004: Did not see action ... Moved from quarterback to linebacker early in the season.
High School: Earned honorable mention all-state honors while accounting for 23 touchdowns his senior year ... Totaled 1,315 passing yards (13 TD's) and 370 rushing yards (10 TD's) for the Rockets in 2003 ... For his career, totaled a school-record 50 touchdowns (26 passing, 24 rushing) ... Set South Milwaukee's single-season and career passing records ... Two-time team MVP and captain ... An all-conference North Division punter and quarterback ... Totaled 2,501 passing yards and 1,006 rushing yards in 23 career games ... Threw for a career-best 250 yards and two touchdowns against Kenosha Tremper ... Also had 60 rushing yards and a TD in that game ... Also had stellar careers in swimming (three-time team MVP and all-stater) and track and field (two-time MVP) ... Set three school records in swimming (100 breastroke, 200 IM and 100 fly) and four school records in track (200 meters, 400 meters, 4x100 relay and 4x200 relay) ... Class valedictorian (perfect 4.0 GPA) ... National Football Foundation scholar-athlete recipient ... Top Male Athlete of Class award ... State scholar-athlete ... Coached by Mike Deans.
Personal: Born Philip Joseph Brunner ... Son of Peter and Beverly Brunner ... Sister, Brenda, played basketball at Colorado State, and brother, Neil, played football at Valparaiso ... Chose NU over Wisconsin ... Chemical engineering major.
The Phil Brunner File
Q: if you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
A: Vince Lombardi
Q:If you could have a starring role in any movie already made, which movie would it be?
A: Lord of the Rings
Q: If you could choose the title of your autobiography, what would it be?
A: "I Did Everything 100%"
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life you have ever learned?
A: Never burn bridges
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is...
A: I have four brothers and three sisters
Q: My favorite opposing stadium to play in is...
A: Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)
Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be...
A: Recovering a fumble and scoring a touchdown
Q: My favorite place to visit is...
A: Wisconsin Dells
Q: The person that inspires me the most is...
A: My mom and dad
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be...
A: Joe Montana
Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester?
A: Demetrius Eaton
Q: My favorite pre-game ritual is...
A: Eating an energy bar
Q: Favorite class?
A: Organic chemistry
Q: My football-related superstition is...
A: Rolling my socks over my ankle braces
Brunner's Career Statistics
TACKLES G UA A Total TFL-Yds PD FF FR Blkd
2006................ 11 1 0 1 0.0-0 0 0 1 0
2007................ 11 0 1 1 0.0-0 0 0 0 0
2008................ 13 1 0 1 0.0-0 0 1 0 0
TOTAL............... 35 2 1 3 0.0-0 0 1 1 0