2023 Season Countdown: #90 Deakon Tonielli

Tag: Deakon Tonielli

2Jul 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #90 Deakon Tonielli

Deakon Tonielli (image via Twitter)

Name: Deakon Tonielli
230 lbs.
High school: 
Oswego (IL) Oswego
Tight end
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Tonielli was a senior in high school (LINK). He caught 42 passes for 550 yards and 5 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

One of the more forgotten members of the 2023 class, Tonielli ended up as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #20 tight end, and #413 overall. With a decent offer list that included Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, Tennessee, and West Virginia, he took official visits to Champaign and West Lafayette before visiting Ann Arbor and committing shortly thereafter. Tonielli played some in-line tight end in high school, but he also spent a lot of time split out wide, where he was a mismatch for high school corners. Quicker than most 6’5″, 230-pounders and towering over most of the guys covering him, he seemed to be able to get open pretty consistently for a team that ran the ball a lot.

Strength and blocking will be a couple of the hurdles for Tonielli to overcome in year one. He needs to put on a good chunk of weight before he can get on the field much, and his blocking will need to improve. Usually, that points to a redshirt year as a tight end, and that’s a strong possibility for Tonielli. However, Michigan lost several tight ends to the NFL (Luke Schoonmaker, Joel Honigford), graduation (Carter Selzer) and transfer (Erick All, Louis Hansen) last season and only brought in Indiana’s A.J. Barner from the transfer portal. Zack Marshall enrolled early as a freshman and may have a better shot to play than Tonielli. But Michigan uses a lot of tight ends, so Tonielli may be able to slip on the field a few times while still preserving his redshirt, like Marlin Klein did in 2022 when he played in two games.

Prediction: Redshirt

8Feb 2023
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2023 Recruiting Grades: Tight End

Deakon Tonielli


On Saturday I covered the quarterback position, followed by the running backs on Tuesday. Now for a look at the tight ends.

2023 DEPARTURES: 4 (Erick All, Louis Hansen, Joel Honigford, Luke Schoonmaker)

2023 NEEDS: 2

2023 COMMITMENTS: Carlsbad (CA) Carlsbad TE Zack Marshall, Oswego (IL) Oswego TE Deakon Tonielli


  • Kade Eldridge – Lynden (WA) Christian: USC
  • Cooper Flanagan – Concord (CA) De La Salle: Notre Dame
  • Jaden Hamm – Eudora (KS) Eudora: Kansas
  • Nyckoles Harbor – Washington (DC) Archbishop Carroll: South Carolina
  • Luke Hasz – Bixby (OK) Bixby: Arkansas
  • Chico Holt – Houston (TX) Strake Jesuit: Northwestern
  • Jaxon Howard – Minneapolis (MN) Robbinsdale Cooper: LSU
  • Matthew Klopfenstein – Scottsdale (AZ) Horizon: Baylor
  • Ty Lockwood – Thompson’s Station (MO) Independence: Alabama
  • Walker Lyons – Folsom (CA) Folsom: USC
  • Mac Markway – St. Louis (MO) DeSmet: LSU
  • Brett Norfleet – St. Charles (MO) Francis Howell: Missouri
  • Andrew Rappleyea – Milton (MA) Milton: Penn State
  • Jelani Thurman – Fairburn (GA) Langston Hughes: Ohio State
  • Riley Williams – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Miami
  • Preston Zinter – Cambridge (MA) Buckingham Browne & Nichols: Notre Dame


REASON FOR THE GRADE: Michigan needed to restock the tight end position in the class of 2023 after suffering heavy losses from the group following the 2022 season. Not only did Erick All (Iowa) and Louis Hansen (UConn) transfer, but second string tight end Luke Schoonmaker departed for the NFL, blocking tight end Joel Honigford ran out of eligibility, and a decent walk-on in Carter Selzer also graduated. All, Schoonmaker, and Honigford all played a ton. Tight end is a position where players typically need at least one season of strength and conditioning development before being relevant, so it’s important to keep a steady string of players coming.

Unfortunately, the Wolverines whiffed on most of their top targets, which is surprising considering how often tight ends are used in Michigan’s offense. Tonielli (4-star, #20 TE, #411 overall) was the tenth highest ranked guy at the position that Michigan offered, and Marshall would be the thirteenth highest ranked offeree if he were listed as a tight end (he’s an “athlete” according to the 247 Composite). Tonielli is really a big receiver being converted to tight end, and Marshall does not look like much of a difference maker when it comes to his athleticism.

Overall, Michigan supplemented its numbers decently at the position, but the talent level drops off. All and Schoonmaker are both NFL-caliber tight ends and Hansen was a well regarded 4-star recruit, though he hadn’t made an impact on the field during his first two seasons; Marshall is not on their level as an athlete, and Tonielli has good upside even if he doesn’t have the body and skills to play immediately. Michigan did take a strong swing at 5-star Nyckoles Harbor, but ultimately, NIL drove Harbor to South Carolina. Massachusetts product Andrew Rappleyea was committed to the Wolverines at one point, but he flipped to Penn State.

26Oct 2022
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Visitors: Michigan vs. Michigan State

Jadyn Davis (image via Hudl)


Cole Cabana – RB – Dexter (MI) Dexter: Cabana is committed to Michigan (LINK).

D.J. Chester – OT – McDonough (GA) Eagle’s Landing Christian: Chester is a 6’5″, 300-pounder with offers from Auburn, LSU, Michigan, and Ole Miss, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #7 offensive tackle, and #55 overall. Auburn, LSU, and Ole Miss have already received official visits, and this is his fourth official of the process.

Spencer Fano – OT – Provo (UT) Timpview: Fano is a 6’5″, 270 lb. prospect with offers from BYU, Clemson, Michigan, Oregon, and Utah, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #8 offensive tackle, and #57 overall. He has visited Utah, Oregon, and Clemson, among others. This is an official visit.

Hit the jump for more.

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28Jul 2022
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Visitors: 2022 BBQ at the Big House

Collins Acheampong

Note: Rankings mentioned are from Rivals.


Collins Acheampong – DE – Santa Margarita (CA) Rancho Santa Margarita: Acheampong (4-star, #21 WDE) committed to Michigan in March.

Brooks Bahr – DE – Chicago (IL) Wilmette: Bahr (3-star, #45 SDE) committed to Michigan in March.

Semaj Bridgeman – LB – Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep: Bridgeman (4-star, #12 ILB) committed to Michigan in July.

Hit the jump for more.

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20Jun 2022
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Deakon Tonielli, Wolverine

Oswego (IL) Oswego tight end Deakon Tonielli (image via Hudl)

Oswego (IL) Oswego tight end Deakon Tonielli committed to Michigan on Sunday afternoon. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Illinois, Purdue, Tennessee, and West Virginia, among others.

Tonielli is listed at 6’6″ and 215 lbs. As a sophomore in 2020, he caught 25 passes for 440 yards and 3 touchdowns.

ESPN: 3-star, 79 grade, #14 TE
On3: 4-star, 90 grade, #17 TE
Rivals: 3-star, 5.6 grade, #44 TE
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #17 TE

Hit the jump for more on Tonielli’s commitment.

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