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Luke Schoonmaker reflects on his unexpected ascent to TE1

After Erick All’s season-ending injury, Schoonmaker has stepped up into the team’s top pass catcher.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Michigan at Indiana Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Entering the season, Luke Schoonmaker was expected to be a solid, but not standout TE2. Following Erick All’s sidelining due to a back injury, the senior from Connecticut was suddenly thrust into a bigger starting role.

Not only did Schoonmaker step in the spotlight, he has excelled in it — skyrocketing to among the team leaders in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. When asked about his rapid ascent to a top pass catcher in the Wolverines’ offense, he was humble about his resume.

“It’s been a blast, but I’m just kinda doing my job,” Schoonmaker said Tuesday evening. “Making sure I’m supposed to be where I’m at in the passing game and if the ball’s thrown at me, I gotta make a play with it. Just doing those simple thing has gotten me here.”

“I think just understanding that I was gonna have more of a workload now, so just making sure I’m on top of my game and confident every week, playing the best that I can. Also — credit to the rest of the room, like everybody stepping up, even the younger guys to fulfill different roles and everybody making their own contributions. But with that happening, it’s just been a call to do higher things and more things.”

While All has had a tumultuous road the past couple months, Schoonmaker credits the man he filled in for with encouraging and supporting his emergence on the field this season.

“(All) hasn’t changed at all,” Schoonmaker said. “He’s been right with ever since having the surgery and he’s been working with the scout defense, making sure they’re bringing it every time, so his energy and excitement has never changed. He’ll pull me aside or pull someone aside and give us what he saw that we didn’t see so it’s been great to have.”

With Schoonmaker’s rise up the depth chart has also come a new chant among the Michigan fanbase — a long pronunciation of his last name, “Schooon,” similar to the one heard for the Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker.

For those unaware of Schoonmaker’s name, it’s caused a bit of confusion. To Luke himself though, it’s a point of pride.

“It’s cool, it’s cool to experience,” Schoonmaker said. “It definitely fires me up. Of course everybody that I talk to after is like ‘oh I thought they were booing you, but it was your last name.’ I get that all the time.”