The Wolverine

April 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 34 of 67

APRIL 2021 THE WOLVERINE 35 BY THE NUMBERS 1 Touchdown catch by a Michi- gan tight end in 2020. That repre- sents the low-water mark for the position in Jim Harbaugh's time at the helm. 22 Michigan's combined tight end catches for 2020. That's partly due to a shortened season. The year before, Eubanks secured 25 receptions on his own. 51 The number of grabs by for- mer All-American tight end Jake Butt during Harbaugh's first year as Michigan head coach in 2015, when current position coach Jay Harbaugh was directing the tight ends, prior to helming the running backs from 2017-20. 146 Career receiving yards for U-M's tight ends — All leads the way with 92 on 13 catches, while Schoonmaker has 54 and the po- sition group's lone touchdown on a pair of grabs. POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH The tight ends will rotate, but there's only so much opportunity, since there won't likely be many sets involving multi- ple tight ends. However, the No. 2 spot be- hind All is still significant. Schoonmaker has been around and shown some flashes, but he's in position to step up in a big way. If not, one of the younger Wolverines could seize an opportunity in a relatively inexperienced lineup. WHO'S GONE NICK EUBANKS Eubanks possessed the size and skills to keep defenses aware of him. He led Michigan's tight ends in 2020 with 117 yards receiving, on 10 catches with one touchdown. For his career, he caught 45 passes for 578 yards and six scores. WHO'S BACK SOPHOMORE ERICK ALL All became the only tight end besides Eubanks to catch a pass in the six-game schedule, and he actually secured the most receptions at the position (12). His went for 82 yards, and he can bolster both categories by continuing to work on his sure-hand- edness. He'll certainly get the opportunity. REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE LUKE SCHOONMAKER The 6-5, 252-pounder provides a big target, and he's hoping to be more involved in the coming season. He's appeared in 18 games for the Wolverines, mak- ing a pair of catches (one for a touchdown) in 2019. FRESHMAN MATT HIBNER Hibner stayed under the radar as a rookie at Michi- gan. He hauled in 42 passes for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns as a two-way standout in his senior season at Lake Braddock High School in Virginia. TOP NEWCOMER FRESHMAN LOUIS HANSEN Hansen stands 6-5, and at 232 pounds has some room to fill out. He hasn't seen the football field in a while, his senior season was called off because of the pandemic, and he did not enroll early. However, during his junior year at St. Sebastian's in Needham, Mass., the top-100 recruit per hauled in 39 passes for 548 yards and eight touchdowns. TIGHT ENDS "It's pretty simple — Erick All, hang onto the ball. That got unusually weird last year, with the drops. Apparently it wasn't something he was doing in practice, and it was just happening at the worst time in games. Is it a matter of concentration and a thing he's going to get over? He should get first crack. Look, he was open when he dropped the ball." — Michigan football sideline reporter Doug Karsch QUOTABLE A big piece of the tight ends puzzle went out the door when veteran Nick Eubanks headed for the NFL Draft. Behind him are several candi- dates determined to be those next men up. The tight ends position certainly hasn't disappeared in offensive co- ordinator Josh Gattis' attack. Two of Michigan's top five receivers, in terms of catches, during the truncated 2020 cam- paign were tight ends. So there's no lack of opportunity. It's simply a matter of who will step in to carry the load. Michigan got a hint of it last year, but now the way is wide open for those with the talent and consistency to rise. BY JOHN BORTON SPRING FOOTBALL ANALYSIS . SPRING SCHOLARSHIP ROSTER No. Name Class Ht. Wt. Hometown 83 Erick All So. 6-4 229 Fairfield, Ohio 88 Matt Hibner Fr. 6-3 233 Burke, Va. 86 Luke Schoonmaker R-So. 6-5 252 Hamden, Conn. Position coach: Jay Harbaugh (seventh year at U-M, third with tight ends — but first since 2016) PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL ERICK ALL

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