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Luke Schoonmaker’s career at Michigan, outlook moving forward

Will 2021 be the year Schoonmaker breaks out?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Illinois Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker doesn’t have a lot to show on a stat-sheet, but he’s been a contributor on the team the past few seasons all the same.

The story so far

Schoonmaker was a standout at Hamden Hall in Connecticut, playing baseball and football. His versatility as an athlete drew the attention of Jim Harbaugh, who liked the fact Schoonmaker played QB, TE, and other sports in high school. Schoonmaker was a three-star prospect and ranked as the No. 39 TE nationally. Schoonmaker received offers from two other Big Ten teams in Rutgers and Indiana, but chose Michigan.

“Luke Schoonmaker was a quarterback his freshman and sophomore year, then junior year got into playing tight end,” Harbaugh said in 2018. “His senior year, they played him a lot at tight end. Really fast and another 6-foot-6, 4.6 type of guy that can really run, catch and develop into his blocking. I’ve watched him play basketball, he’s a football and basketball player. You look at him on the basketball court, a phenomenal everything.”

Schoonmaker’s high school statistics indicate he can run, as he rushed for 306 yards on just 34 carries his senior season. However, his skills as a tight end have not evolved into consistent playing time or production to this point in his Michigan career.

The redshirt-junior has hauled in two catches for 54 yards and 1 TD in his Michigan career.

Most of Schoonmaker’s action on the field has come as a blocker or special teams contributor, appearing in 18 games (16 at TE).

Outlook moving forward

With Nick Eubanks out of the picture there’s a chance Schoonmaker receives a sizable boost in playing time, competing with Erick All for targets at the tight end position. However, the depth chart at TE remains very much up in the air. Matthew Hibner or incoming freshman Louis Hansen could leapfrog Schoonmaker on the depth chart, and then there’s former lineman Joel Honigford will be utilized at TE once again on rushing downs.

This could be the year Schoonmaker breaks out, or we could hardly hear his name called once again this fall. There’s no doubt Schoonmaker has athleticism and provides a big target at 6-foot-5, 252 pounds, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point if he’s made enough strides to warrant consistent playing time in 2021. The pecking order at TE will be decided in August.