Michigan Picks Up Commitment From High-Upside Tight End Deakon Tonielli

Michigan Picks Up Commitment From High-Upside Tight End Deakon Tonielli

Michigan’s commitment drought is officially over after landing tight end Deakon Tonielli out of Illinois.

It had been nearing three months since Michigan picked up a new member of its 2023 class but the drought is officially over with the commitment of Oswego (Ill.) High tight end Deakon Tonielli, who was in town for Victors Weekend.

Tonielli is considered a high-upside tight end/wide receiver hybrid at 6-6, 215 pounds. Although the Illinois native isn’t necessarily the most highly-ranked tight end in America, he did have a solid offer list, which included schools such as Purdue, Michigan State and Indiana, Minnesota, Minnesota, West Virginia, West Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Purdue, Purdue, Michigan State and Indiana. Wisconsin was also interested, but they have not yet offered.

When I watch Tonielli, I see Jake Butt 2.0. Butt was a little bigger coming out of high school at 230 pounds, but Tonielli could easily be in that range by the end of his senior campaign. Tonielli, like Butt, isn’t the fastest athlete in the world, but he has enough speed, just enough wiggle, and great body control to be able to get open often. Tonielli seems to have the same kind of subtle movements that allow tight end Mark Andrews, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez to get open and make catches. He’s not going to be that guy, but he makes a lot of plays and isn’t the most athletic.

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He also catches the ball naturally with his hands like Butt did and manages to pick up a lot of extra yards even though he isn’t the heftiest tight end in the world. He doesn’t have to worry about contact and he always manages to get a few more yards when he’s down.

He’ll need to improve as a blocker but he has a great frame and plenty of room for weight gain and strength. He’ll be able to block as well as Butt while he was a Wolverine. He will also continue to improve as a pass catcher and route runner.

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