Luke Schoonmaker, Wolverine

Luke Schoonmaker, Wolverine


July 26, 2017

Luke Schoonmaker (image via Twitter)

Hamden (CT) Hall tight end Luke Schoonmaker committed to Michigan on Tuesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Rutgers, among others.

Schoonmaker is 6’6″, 225 lbs. and runs a reported 4.6 forty. As a junior in 2016, he caught 5 passes for 111 yards and 2 TDs as a combo tight end/quarterback. He also ran 53 times for 623 yards (11.7 yards/carry) and 13 touchdowns, as well as completed 55/92 passes for 878 yards, 5 TDs, and 5 INTs.

RATINGS
ESPN: N/A
Rivals: N/A
Scout: 3-star TE, #78 TE
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #32 TE, #761 overall

Hit the jump for more on Schoonmaker’s commitment.

Schoonmaker attended a Michigan satellite camp this summer at Sacred Heart, and the coaching staff liked what they saw. They “offered” him, but he didn’t report the offer publicly (to my knowledge, at least). When Michigan realized that Jeremy Ruckert was headed to Ohio State, they opened the door wide enough to let Schoonmaker in.

As mentioned above, Schoonmaker is 6’6″, 225 lbs. and runs a 4.6 forty. Those are good measurables for a high schooler, even if he’s really 6’5″, 220 lbs., and a 4.7 guy. He doesn’t quite look 6’6″ on film, but his speed is impressive for such a big guy. He moves very well in a straight line, and he changes direction well, too. At the quarterback position, he’s able to make some nice cuts on zone read keepers, and he runs away from a lot of the competition in Connecticut. He shows good natural athleticism when catching the ball, and he uses his hands well to catch the ball away from his body. As a blocker he bends well, moves his feet, and shows good hand placement.

On the negative side, there’s still a lot of physical and technical development to take place. While he has functional speed and athleticism, he lacks the strength to be a plus blocker right now, and he could afford to be a little more aggressive. He needs to set up his routes a little better as a receiving tight end. As a lefty quarterback, he has some issues with accuracy and mechanics; I don’t think there’s any danger of him being a quarterback in college.

Overall, this is a solid pickup for the Wolverines. Schoonmaker’s not quite Jeremy Ruckert and has less experience as a pass receiver, but he’s not a bad consolation prize. On top of that, I always like guys who have experience at QB, because they’re often smart with an understanding of leadership. In a Jim Harbaugh offense, I think he has the potential to be an all-conference guy. I expect him to redshirt as a freshman, but Ian Bunting will be gone and the depth chart will likely include upperclassmen Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., Sean McKeon, and Nick Eubanks by the time Schoonmaker becomes playable.

Michigan now has 11 commitments in the 2018 class, and Schoonmaker is the lone long-term tight end. Ryan Hayes could be a blocking tight end, especially early in his career, but he’s likely an offensive tackle down the road. The Wolverines did not take a tight end in the 2017 class since Carter Dunaway decommitted, so he will have a big opportunity to play a few years down the road. Michigan is also recruiting Luke Ford and Mustapha Muhammad in the 2018 class, among others, and will probably take two guys at the position overall.

The Wolverines took three players from Connecticut in the 2017 class (Tarik Black, Ben Mason, and Andrew Stueber), and they’ll be aiming for another one in 2018 with cornerback Josh Jobe from Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy, a transfer from the Miami area and a current Miami commit.

TTB Rating: 75

38 comments

  1. Comments: 13
    Joined: 1/10/2017
    Julio
    Jul 26, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Interesting write-up. I’m inclined to trust you and the coaching staff more than the fans who will see this as an ominous regression to some undetermined point that’s … lower than OSU.

    I think it’s too early to assign an overall grade to Harbaugh’s recruiting, but it will be affected by how well the low-end guys (like this one) turn out.

  2. Comments: 607
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jul 26, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    So why are we taking this guy again? “Solid”? “Not bad”? “Consolation prize”? An offer list where Rutgers is one of the BEST teams?

    The only reason to be grabbing this guy, now, more than 6 months before signing day, is if we’re desperate, because we think we have no reasonable shot at any better TE prospect. Is that really the case, and if it is, why is Harbaugh, the TE guru, reduced to taking such a lightly regarded prospect at this stage of the process?

    Yes, of course the “trust the coaches” chorus chimes in now, but why are OUR coaches the only ones to be trusted? Are all of the other major college coaches and scouts who don’t think this guy is worth a high-level offer a bunch of blind idiots? Sorry, but Harbaugh is not some recruiting savant who can magically discern hidden greatness that no one else can see. Talent evaluation is not some mystical process, the secrets of which only a few chosen ones are privvy to. So the guy is 6’6″ and not slow. How does that project to his being all-Big Ten some day?

    • Comments: 857
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Jul 26, 2017 at 1:09 PM

      You should really try actually watching the film.

      • Comments: 607
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 26, 2017 at 2:19 PM

        It’s a highlight film, dude. Of course it looks good. Hence the “highlight” part.

        The question is not whether you can cherry pick a string of nice plays from his high school games. You can do that with hundreds, if not thousands of guys. The question is how he stacks up against the top 25 or 30 TE recruits in the country, and is he the best TE we have a chance at? And why is Harbaugh still having to take a flyer on so many guys his third year in?

        • Comments: 857
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jul 26, 2017 at 3:05 PM

          Have you indeed watched his reel?

          • Comments: 607
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jul 26, 2017 at 3:15 PM

            I spent about a minute and a half of my life watching him complete some passes and catch some passes. What’s your point? Have you watched the highlight tapes of the top 25 or 30 TEs in the country for comparison?

            • Comments: 857
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Jul 26, 2017 at 3:53 PM

              Thank you windy for once again putting your awesome ignorance on full display.

              And not all 25, but 5 of the top 10 along with Gillison, Freiermouth and the kid from
              Gorman who fell to Miami..

              • Comments: 607
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jul 26, 2017 at 4:09 PM

                In other words, you have no point. Just snark and playground insults, as usual.

                But please..regale us with your deep and insightful analysis of his hidden talents. Show us how all of the scouting services and coaching staffs that have evaluated him and do this stuff for a living are dead wrong and you’re right.

                • Comments: 857
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Jul 26, 2017 at 4:40 PM

                  You just made my point … with a spectacular flourish too, I might add.

                  But since clearly in addition to being a guy that doesn’t know, you are a guy that doesn’t even know that you don’t know, I’ll endeavor to help you ….. again.

                  You are too lazy and/or too ignorant … I’m going with and … to actually watch this kid’s reel. Consequently, you haven’t the first clue about what a nice big athlete he is.

                  So, you haven’t seen Schoonmaker just smoke a pretty big and seemingly well coached defensive end who has just perfectly read an option play and seemingly has him cornered, nose to nose, by juking him into frozen state and then blowing by him so quick that all that poor kid can do is jog downfield 15 yards and bitch at his linebacker over some pretend mistake.

                  You are too lazy and ignorant to take the time to watch this kid, at 6’6′ ish just kick it into gear and pull away from everybody. You have not the first clue about how quick his first step is, or how much shake and cut he has because you neither know or care enough to know anything about athletics in general and football in particular. You simply want to condemn this coaching staff for whatever personal reason that’s poisoning your thinking.

                  And since you asked, I’d take Kuntz, given the choice.

              • Comments: 607
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jul 26, 2017 at 6:55 PM

                Wow..he’s big…and he’s an ATHLETE! That is truly an insightful analysis and a ringing endorsement! And he put a fake on someone. And he outran someone. And in Connecticut to boot. I’m sure I’ve never seen the like. Next you’ll be telling me that he caught a pass…with his hands! Certainly no other tight end recruit in the country could even dream of matching that.

                Here’s a piece of advice for you, dude. If you’re going to be rude, condescending and insulting, you might actually want to make sure you have a clue what you’re talking about first.

                • Comments: 857
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Jul 27, 2017 at 7:02 AM

                  So, to clarify your position here. I have seen the kid’s tape yet have no clue. You have not and do?

                • Comments: 857
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Jul 27, 2017 at 7:03 AM

                  How exactly do you evaluate your football players?

        • Comments: 2772
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jul 27, 2017 at 12:55 PM

          Analysis by highlight is OK sometimes and I’m glad that people like Thunder go through the exercise. But to WCB’s point, some people read way to much into the limited insights that can be gleaned from it.

          It’s not “lazy” to not bother, because it can be argued it’s more misleading than insightful if you’re trying to identify what it really means for Michigan football.

          • Comments: 857
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Jul 27, 2017 at 4:01 PM

            LOL

            Lanky says, It’s not “lazy” to not bother, because it can be argued it’s more misleading than insightful if you’re trying to identify what it really means for Michigan football.

            Because of the deep insights one is able to obtain from never having seen the kid play?

            Of course it’s lazy to criticize a kid or the program interested in him without even bothering to look at what the kid does. It’s beyond lazy, it’s shameful.

            Anything can be argued there Lanky, a point you admirably demonstrate around here on a regular basis. It, however, cannot be defended or demonstrated to be anything approaching a correct approach to evaluating football talent, or anything else in this life for that matter because if you haven’t seen the thing you are condemning, you are arguing out of complete ignorance.

            All that you accomplish in pursuing such an approach is the revealing of yourself as a petty hater.

            Thunder spoon feeds this board with information regarding these kids. All you have to do is click on the kid’s name and you are off to the races. Criticizing a kid or this program, over a kid that you don’t have sufficient regard for to watch a reel of his best plays, is the epitome of lazy.

            Watch the kid, criticize the kid and the coaches. Don’t watch the kid, STFU.

          • Comments: 2772
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 27, 2017 at 5:32 PM

            Relying on aggregated information and summarized intel from trusted sources is often more meaningful than direct but incomplete info.

            This is how Nate Silver got famous (and rich). You can run a poll yourself or you can aggregate a bunch of them together. The latter offers more insight.

            I’m not qualified to be a scout, and sorry to say neither are you. (I’ve read your posts for a few years and can tell this very clearly.) The recruiting rankings and offer lists are more informative than your opinion. You can act like you bring value to the situation by “putting in work” but really you’re just sitting at your desk watching carefully edited youtube videos. Your insights are as meaningful as my psychoanalysis of Kanye West.

            So thanks for all your “hard work Roanman” but you should follow your own advice and STFU. Your opinion is just as worthless as mine or WCBs no matter how “off to the races” you want to see yourself.

        • Comments: 88
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Jul 30, 2017 at 2:49 PM

          The only things I would say about him is that he is very fast for a TE. Looks like a very good athlete and probably has good hands. Seems like a natural pass catcher.

          Downside. Small. Really small and looks like a specialty type of TE. I see a little bit of McKeon.

          • Comments: 88
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Jul 30, 2017 at 2:56 PM

            When I say small I mean light. I don’t see a frame to add a lot of weight. Passing down or spread alignment matchup guy. Runs well. Better than 98% of the TE’s you will see probably because he isn’t that big and has the body type of a wr.

    • Comments: 13
      Joined: 1/10/2017
      Julio
      Jul 26, 2017 at 2:21 PM

      Assumptions you seem to have made here:

      1. Saban, Meyer, et al. (coaches of top-tier programs) have done a full evaluation of Schoonmaker and passed on him.
      2. Scout, Rivals, and ESPN are the best evaluators of talent.

      Assumptions you clearly made:

      A. “Harbaugh is not some recruiting savant who can magically discern hidden greatness that no one else can see.”
      B. “Talent evaluation is not some mystical process, the secrets of which only a few chosen ones are privvy to.”

      Please pardon the odd indexing.

      Comments on your assumptions:

      1. I think it’s possible that some coaches aren’t aware of Schoonmaker.

      2. There’s a positive correlation between recruiting rankings and on-field performance (assuming equal applications of “player development”). But, I don’t think recruiting rankings are destiny. (I could probably go blue in the face telling this to you.)

      A. How do you know this? I don’t have numbers handy, but quite a few of Harbaugh’s players at Stanford (most of them middling recruits) had at least a brief NFL experience.

      B. There’s a clear difference among coaches in talent evaluation. There’s a good example in Michigan: Mark Dantonio and his staff. They’ve had numerous low-level recruits go on to the NFL. Wisconsin has been good at this for years. Boise State might be the best of all. Other teams (for example, Lloyd Carr in the last three years or so of his term) are demonstrably so-so at it.

      I think you’re correct that Saban and Meyer are making fewer reaches and that their results (all other things equal, etc.) are more likely to be favorable than ours, but I’m still dazzled at how much faith you place in recruiting rankings.

      • Comments: 607
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 26, 2017 at 2:54 PM

        One question: Which TE recruit would have rather had..Ruckert or Schoonmaker?

        • Comments: 13
          Joined: 1/10/2017
          Julio
          Jul 26, 2017 at 4:55 PM

          Hey — you sprayed all over the place, then didn’t bother addressing any of the points in my response. Lazy.

          To your question, from my post:

          @@@

          There’s a positive correlation between recruiting rankings and on-field performance (assuming equal applications of “player development”).

          I think you’re correct that Saban and Meyer are making fewer reaches and that their results (all other things equal, etc.) are more likely to be favorable than ours …

          @@@

          • Comments: 607
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jul 26, 2017 at 6:58 PM

            I made myself a bet that you’d dodge my question completely. I won.

            But I’ll give you another chance. There are two possible answers: A. Ruckert B. Schoonmaker

            Any answer but one of those two names will be taken as another dodge, for reasons everyone here will know. And then I’ll answer for you.

            • Comments: 13
              Joined: 1/10/2017
              Julio
              Jul 26, 2017 at 8:11 PM

              Funny — I’d earlier bet that you’d pretty much dodge my earlier post and try a diversionary tactic (asking whether I’d prefer a 5 or a 3, then illogically declaring victory). Nice try.

            • Comments: 2772
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jul 27, 2017 at 12:50 PM

              I don’t necessarily disagree with the point you’re trying to make here WCB but the argument is so horribly constructed that Julio had no real reason to see it through to the end.

              • Comments: 2772
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jul 27, 2017 at 12:51 PM

                The argument was never Ruckert v. Schoomaker and you tried to make it be that.

      • Comments: 88
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Jul 30, 2017 at 3:07 PM

        I am on board with you. I understand how important recruiting is to a program. I get it and I would rather have Muhammad than Schoonmaker. Please accept my apology if names aren’t correctly spelled.

        That being said, the amount of hand wringing that goes on between a guy who is a 4 star vs. a 3 star is very funny. I’ll ask this question. Would you rather have had the MSU classes between 2010 and 2014 or the UM classes. Wasn’t LeVeon Bell a 2 star? I see limitations with Schoonmaker but can clearly tell he does some things very well and when paired with some other talent then I don’t see a problem.

        I believe fans lose sight of a very important variable when it comes to putting together a roster. You can’t have 4 starting TE’s. Sometimes you need hungry backups. If I were to have 4 TE’s on my roster then I would ideally like to have a potential All-American and a young up and coming star and two hard working specialty types to balance out the position so everyone is happy.

        Why some fans think they need 4 Drew Hensons at qb or 5 high end rb’s like Biakabutuka, Wheatley, Hart, Perry and Hoard all on a roster at the same time still confuses me.

        Schoonmaker is closer to McKeon but clearly different than a Wheatley and potentially a Muhammad. Seems like Harbaugh and staff try and put together players who offer different talents. Seems logical and smart roster compilation.

    • Comments: 1990
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 27, 2017 at 7:23 AM

      The distance between 5-star and desperation is a vast one, and this does not fall in that category. The guy is a 3-star and #871 overall. Sean McKeon and Michael Dwumfour were right around this spot or lower, and they’ve been earning good reviews going into their second season.

      On top of that, this doesn’t preclude Michigan from getting an upper echelon TE to pair with Schoonmaker. The Crystal Ball is 100% for Mustapha Muhammad to pick Michigan, and he’s the #111 overall player in the country. This is nothing new: lower rated recruits commit earlier, and the higher rated ones commit later – because they can afford to wait.

      Welcome to recruiting.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 27, 2017 at 12:07 PM

        Ruckert just committed and was the #1 prospect. I’m not sure this argument passes the smell test.

  3. DonAZ
    Comments: 281
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Would a comparison to Zach Gentry be valid? Gentry is taller, and perhaps not “naturally” a TE. But both strike me as mostlt “tall and fast” with a hope they can block well enough to play TE and be mostly a receiving threat. Am I offbase here?

    • Comments: 1990
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 27, 2017 at 7:24 AM

      Well, sort of. There are a couple significant differences, though. I would say Schoonmaker is probably already a better blocker than Gentry, and Schoonmaker already has experience playing TE.

  4. Comments: 87
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Extrajuice
    Jul 26, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    I’m starting to not like satellite camps. Seems like 1 good day of football practice can get you a full-ride to UM. Sorry, I don’t get this at all. It’s also troubling that no one even knew this kid had an offer. Just seems strange all around.

    I know there’s always a Kurt Taylor-type in the last couple cycles that make me shake my head. Hopefully, this is the last one in this class.

    • Comments: 1990
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 27, 2017 at 7:29 AM

      St-Juste was discovered at a camp and ended up a 4-star and playing at The Opening. Josh Metellus was offered after a satellite camp and is (probably) a starting safety in year two.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 27, 2017 at 12:48 PM

        In fairness, St.Juste hasn’t done anything yet and Metellus is being handed the job by default, without any legitimate competition.

        This would be sort of like praising Michigan for finding Kurt Taylor if they didn’t bother to recruit Samuels, Walker, Higdon and Evans.

        • Comments: 407
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Jul 29, 2017 at 8:57 PM

          He also earned a Bowl game start as a TrFr; not bad for a camp offer
          ” … and Metellus is being handed the job by default, without any legitimate competition”

          As for Schoonmaker, I’m more surprised by the timing. Certainly he’d be available later in the cycle? With such a small class–and not taking a TE last year–I did expect MICHIGAN to have their choice of top5 guys to choose from

  5. Comments: 24
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    greggoblue
    Jul 27, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    The players that you listed above from CT (Steuber, Mason, Black) may all very well be starters for UM down the line. Michigan is absolutely plundering CT for hidden gems that are starter-quality in the B1G thanks to DB’s connections and experience.

    • Comments: 2772
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM

      Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. None of those guys have done anything in a Michigan uniform.

  6. Comments: 2772
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jul 27, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    This battle was lost when Ruckert committed to OSU for reasons we Michigan fans will never understand. I have no opinion on Schoonmaker beyond his name being too long to easily write-out. A dash of trust the coaches and a pinch of geographically-appropriate rationale for underrated-3-star lighten the a recipe heavy on regret and failure. FWIW I’m all-in on Thunder’s theories about high school QBs moving to other positions.

    What’s interesting to me about this is that Michigan is ‘supposed’ to lead for Muhammed who is a much bigger fish. This begs the question if this is all the way legit. Is Schoonmaker a find or is a Duniway-style commit who has to earn his scholarship and even then, only if Muhammed ends up elsewhere.

    If it’s legit then taking 2 TEs in a super small class would signal that these rumors of Michigan moving to a 4-WR pro style passing spread are BS. As I’ve argued before, Michigan is sacrificing at other positions across the roster to ensure they get a surplus of scholarships at RB, WR, and TE (not to mention at QB, which I fully support.)

    It’s not a very efficient approach, though it is consistent with their grab-bag offensive scheme. I’d prefer they established an identity and recruited to executing it – but I give Harbaugh the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Comments: 1990
    Joined: 7/13/2015
    Jul 27, 2017 at 5:52 PM

    There’s nothing like a low-rated commit to bring out all the name-calling and internet tough guy-ness.

    I would prefer it if nobody STFU, because more comments equals more pageviews. Everyone, talk as much as you want!

    • Comments: 857
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Jul 27, 2017 at 6:48 PM

      Apologies to you.

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