Always one to take a clever way out, Jim Harbaugh took a step toward solving his tight end conundrum by picking up an under-the-radar gem, this time Luke Schoonmaker from Hamden, Connecticut. Many were expecting Michigan to land one or two tight ends in this cycle, and Schoonmaker gives us one and eleven commits overall.
Schoonmaker brings a 6’6”, 225-pound frame to the field, and his highlights show a terrific athlete.
Not many big guys can play option quarterback and outrace DB’s to the end zone, but that’s exactly what Schoonmaker does on the first play of the highlights above.
Being 6’6” and 225 pounds with great speed is usually a fast track toward being a four-star, but this seems to be a case where most services simply didn’t pay close attention or know Schoonmaker exists. (Him playing quarterback probably contributed, too.) Luke was given a generic three-star ranking by 247Sports, but doesn’t have a Composite ranking.
Still, Schoonmaker shows a little more than just size and speed. He’s also got great acceleration, change of direction, good hand work and the ability to high-point the ball effectively. He shows some toughness, but mainly his game revolves around making defenders miss. Tight end size, and making guys miss.
He’ll definitely have to work on route-running, but that’s to be expected. Fans should be elated with the kind of athlete they’re getting here, and you should also expect a swift rise in his recruit rankings once the sites take a closer look at him.
Michigan commits have almost all seen a rise in their Composite rankings during the summer - only German Green, who was injured last year, has kept the same ranking among the 2018 commits - and Luke will surely be no different. Expect him to end up as one of the top-ranked tight ends in the ‘18 class before all is said and done.
And in the meantime, Connecticut continues to be a strange but effective pipeline for Jim Harbaugh & company. So Go Blue, and welcome, Luke Schoonmaker.