The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY AUSTIN FOX A common theme in Michigan's 2018 recruiting class is that several of the incoming players seemingly have the ability to play numerous positions at the collegiate level. Hamden (Conn.) Hall three-star tight end Luke Schoonmaker fits that bill to a tee. "Luke actually played some quar- terback for us last year, because our young guy wasn't quite ready," his head coach, Joe Linta, explained. "We also played him at tight end and cornerback — [at 6-6, 229 pounds] he was probably the tallest corner- back in the NFL, college or high school. "Luke is just a team guy and a leader by example. He's not a big rah- rah guy and is a quiet, unassuming kid. It's been a joy to be around him these last few years. He's the kind of kid you'd want your daughter to marry." Although he's experienced at sev- eral positions, the Michigan coaches have made it clear they plan on using Schoonmaker as a tight end. Linta said two attributes in particu- lar make him a mismatch at the posi- tion. "His biggest strengths are his speed and ability to catch the ball," the head coach said before he added that his star pupil has run a 4.54 40-yard dash and boasts a 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump. Before he starts catching passes at Michigan, though, he'll need to make some big physical adjustments. "The guys he'll be blocking are go- ing to be different than the ones he saw in high school," Linta said. "He'll need to put some more meat on his body. I don't know if they plan on red- shirting him, but a year to get bigger and stronger would really help him. "He's as fast as anyone in the coun- try at the position right now — if he would've done the running and jump- ing drills at the NFL Combine, they'd be talking about him on ESPN." While a lack of physical strength may be Schoon- maker's biggest on- field obstacle next season, he feels an- other change will be an even bigger challenge. " N o t b e i n g around my family every day is going to be the tough- est thing for me," Schoonmaker said. "I'll have support from my team- mates, though, and I can't wait to meet most of them. I ac- tually already met a couple on my of- ficial visit — [fresh- man wide receiver] Tarik [Black] and [freshman fullback] Ben [Mason], who are both from Con- necticut." Michigan's Con- necticut pipeline has been the result of the ties defen- sive coordinator Don Brown — who has spent the majority of his coaching career in the Northeast — has in the area. "I actually used to coach with Don- nie Brown back in the day at Yale," Linta revealed. "He would yell at me the way he yells at his players now. We stayed friends throughout the years, and I called him up last spring and told him Luke is a kid he should take a look at. "Donnie watched Luke's tape, and things just kind of took off from there." ❏ Luke Schoonmaker Is A Matchup Nightmare At Tight End STATISTICS Year Rec. Yds. TD Rushes Yds. TD 2017 22 343 1 34 306 2 2016 5 111 2 53 623 13 HONORS • Named an All-State first-team pick by Walter Camp and a second-team choice by USA Today in 2017. • Played in the International Bowl but was not targeted in the game. RECRUITMENT • Committed to U-M on July 25, 2017 over Indiana and Connecticut. • Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordi- nator Don Brown led the charge. DID YOU KNOW? • Born Sept. 28, 1998. • High school coach, Joe Linta, is an NFL agent for Baltimore Ravens quar- terback Joe Flacco, among others. • His father played basketball in col- lege, then professionally in Brazil. • Team won the New England Prepa- ratory School Athletic Council Class C state championship in 2016 and 2017. • Threw for 201 yards and two touch- downs as a senior, and 878 yards and five scores as a junior. THEY SAID IT • U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh: "Luke is a 6-6 guy who can run, catch and develop in his blocking. He's phe- nomenal at everything, including his physique and athleticism. I think he will be very similar to [rising redshirt junior tight end] Zach Gentry — he's more developed physically than Zach was out of high school." • Mid-Atlantic recruit- ing analyst Adam Friedman: "He has a big body and a big frame and runs really well for his size. He's clearly a guy who can flex out and be a big- time receiving threat." LUKE SCHOONMAKER TIGHT END 6-6 • 229 HAMDEN HALL COUNTRY DAY HIGH SCHOOL HAMDEN, CONN. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 39 3 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 42 3 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 21 3 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2018 Projection Considering U-M's top two con- tributors at the position — rising junior Sean McKeon and rising red- shirt junior Zach Gentry — return in 2018, Schoonmaker will likely redshirt as a freshman, which is good because he needs to bulk up. His 6-6 height should allow him to become a weapon in the passing game in 2019 and beyond. 62 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Schoonmaker played quarterback, wide receiver, tight end and cornerback during his prep career. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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