There were big expectations for tight end Erick All this season, but a season ending surgery changed things.
Without All, Michigan turned to Luke Schoonmaker to fill the void.
Schoonmaker delivered as a valuable and reliable asset in the passing game. Then Schoonmaker got injured and true freshman Colston Loveland was thrust into more playing time.
Loveland made the most of it.
Now both Schoonmaker and Loveland are healthy, but Schoonmaker will likely take his talents to the NFL after the season is over — he accepted an invitation to the East/West Shrine Game.
All was expected to rehab and be back with the program in 2023, but he’s now in the transfer portal. Fortunately for Michigan, they may have found a star in the great state of Idaho. Gooding, Idaho to be exact.
Loveland, a former four-star prospect, was prolific in high school — 235 receptions, 3,141 yards receiving, and 35 receiving touchdowns. When turning on his high school film, it’s pretty clear he was a man amongst boys, and that trend is now starting once again in the collegiate ranks.
The 6-foot-5 Loveland’s had two big touchdown grabs in back-to-back weeks — a 45-yard TD versus rival Ohio State, and a 25-yard score in the Big Ten Championship Game over Purdue.
Let the record show that Idaho native Colston Loveland (@colstonlovelan1) scored the go-ahead touchdown for #Michigan in #TheGame, and #OhioState simply never recovered.#BOOM pic.twitter.com/IJdYrf0JWw— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) November 26, 2022
His teammates love him, head coach Jim Harbaugh loves him, and in all probability he’s going to be Michigan’s TE1 next year. Donovan Edwards recapped Loveland’s touchdown against Purdue in hilarious fashion, saying he Mossed both Purdue defenders.
Jokes aside, Loveland is going to be needed next season in major ways and could be the next great Michigan tight end. He has the license and ability to break some of Jake Butt’s records. With All no longer at Michigan, Loveland has a golden opportunity to shine bright.
In October, Harbaugh talked about Loveland’s progress and his humble manner.
“The way the freshman, Colston Loveland, is playing, I think just everybody sees it. This player is gonna be really good. Probably the longer takes him to figure out how good he’s gonna be, the better off he’ll be. He’s just got that mindset. You can tell him, ‘good job.’ And he’s like, ‘thanks.’ It’s nothing that’s going to his head. Just does it the way he’s supposed to be doing it. I noticed that about him when I went to recruit him in Gooding, Idaho. Great town, genuine, down-to-earth, good people everywhere. They really hadn’t — nobody had really seen a Colston Loveland-type athlete and football player. They don’t come around, they don’t come along every year.
So you can imagine, everybody there really looked up to him, especially the younger kids. And adults, they love him because he’s such a good young man and so respectful and everything. But if it didn’t go to his head coming out of that situation, kind of a once-in-a-generation type guy, then I had a good feeling that his head was screwed on his shoulders pretty darn well. Been raised really good.
I think you’re just gonna see more and more of the same. Certainly not going to fall into the trap of getting a big head. That’s not his personality. He’s been tremendous.”
Football, especially college football, is a constant game of next man up, and Loveland's going to prove he’s the man by the time his Michigan career is over.
The loss of Erick All will sting a bit, but it won’t hurt nearly as much with someone like Loveland in the fold.