2023 Recruiting Grades: Tight End

Tag: Deakon Tonielli

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.

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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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15Jun 2022
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Visitors: June 17-19, 2022

DeSoto (TX) DeSoto WR Johntay Cook II (image via SI)

Note: All rankings below are based on Rivals’ rankings. I usually use 247 Composite rankings, but since I’m posting this list on multiple sites, it’s probably not the most time efficient to go through and rewrite everyone’s rankings.


Brooks Bahr – DE – Chicago (IL) Loyola: Bahr is a 6’6″, 250 lb. prospect who committed to Michigan in March. He’s a 3-star and the #45 strongside defensive end in the class.

Johntay Cook II – WR – DeSoto (TX) DeSoto: Cook is a 6’0″, 170 lb. wideout with offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #7 wide receiver, and #52 in the class. His official visit will actually be Monday through Wednesday (June 20-22). Michigan has landed a couple DeSoto products in recent years when they signed Gemon and German Green in the class of 2018.

Enow Etta – DE – Colleyville (TX) Covenant Christian: Etta is a 6’5″, 260-pounder with offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Stanford, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #18 weakside end, and #239 overall in the Rivals 250.

Hit the jump for more.

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