Earlier this week tight end Luke Schoonmaker visited the IU program and he liked what he saw from the Hoosiers. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound standout from Hamden Hall School in Hamden, CT spoke to Peegs.com about his trip to Bloomington and why Indiana made such a big impression on him.
Schoonmaker said he enjoyed getting the opportunity to spend time with the entire coaching staff and getting to know them better.
“It was nice to meet the coaching staff and get a chance to finally meet Coach (Tom) Allen and Coach (Mike) DeBord,” he said. “They were very genuine and told it like it was. And it was great to meet the rest of the staff like the strength and conditioning coach and the recruiting directors. Everyone was so warm and welcoming and we really had a great time seeing everything.”
On his visit the big tight end was able to get a closer look at the campus and the town of Bloomington.
“They took us around the campus and it seems like a great college community,” Schoonmaker said. “You can tell that the life of the college really spreads throughout Bloomington, and there is a lot of support from everybody for the school.”
The talented prospect was also able to spend time with a current IU player, and he heard great things about offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Mike DeBord.
“Ian Thomas, their senior tight end, sat down and talked with us and he had nothing but good things to say about Coach DeBord,” Schoonmaker said. “He told us that Coach DeBord always tells it like it is and he will always be honest with you. It sounds like that if I went there he would really take care of me, and with his experience in college and the NFL he would really make me the best player I can be.”
Indiana sees the Connecticut native as someone who can come in and get on the field early for them at tight end.
“They like the speed I have combined with my size,” Schoonmaker said. “They also like that I have played quarterback which gives me that knowledge of the defense. They think I would fit in well with what they want to do with their offense, and they believe I could make an early impact.”
Last fall Schoonmaker spent the majority of time playing quarterback for Hamden Hall, but this year he will play exclusively at tight end.
“I mainly played quarterback and when we would get up big on teams I would switch over to tight end to get some reps there,” he said about the 2016 season. “So it was mainly quarterback last year, but this upcoming year it is going to be just tight end.”
Schoonmaker has been spending his time this offseason working on his strength and on improving his technique as a tight end before he makes a full-time move to that position this fall.
“I have been working on my size and trying to get bigger to be able to play there effectively,” he said. “I have also been working on my hands and my blocking and the techniques there. Another area I am focused on is getting off the line quick if I have someone covering me.”
Schoonmaker repeated his junior year after suffering a serious injury two years ago that cost him most of the 2015 season.
“I repeated my junior year this past year and this fall will be my senior year,” he said. “My first junior year I lacerated my spleen in the second game of the year and missed the rest of the season, so getting that extra junior year really helps both academically and athletically.”
The Hamden Hall standout has offers from Indiana, Rutgers, UConn, East Carolina, Miami (OH), Navy, Temple, Toledo and UMass. Schoonmaker said he doesn’t plan on waiting too much longer before he makes a decision.
“It is getting towards the end,” he said about his recruiting. “I am going to see a few more schools and then basically pick a school. My plan is to have my decision made before the start of my senior year.”
When Schoonmaker does decide where he will attend college the Hoosiers will have a great shot at landing his commitment.
“They definitely made a big impression on me,” he said about the Hoosiers. “I really like what Coach Allen has to offer and what he is about and what he wants to do with the program. I was really impressed with him and the rest of the staff, and I am very interested in Indiana.”