|Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Michael Weber (image via Detroit News)|
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Running back
Notes: Holds offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee, and Wisconsin . . . ESPN 4-star RB, 80 grade, #20 RB, #227 overall . . . Rivals 4-star, #10 RB, #123 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 96 grade, #7 RB, #73 overall . . . Claims 4.47 forty . . . Benches 305 lbs. . . . As a sophomore in 2012, had 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns . . . As a junior in 2013, had 1,659 yards and 24 touchdowns . . . Has numerous former teammates playing college football, including Damon Webb (Ohio State), David Dawson (Michigan), Jourdan Lewis (Michigan), Delano Hill (Michigan), and Deon Drake (Michigan State)
Strengths: Good size/build for a running back . . . Not too big or too small . . . Shows an ability to get north and south without a lot of wasted time . . . Slashing style of runner . . . Doesn't take a lot of big hits . . . Good long speed . . . Accelerates quickly . . . Runs behind shoulder pads . . . Catches ball well out of the backfield . . Shows good patience in waiting for hole to develop . . . Drives feet after contact . . . Shows a physical attitude when blocking
Weaknesses: May struggle to create on his own . . . Does not have lightning speed . . . Could pick up knees higher through traffic . . . Tendency to carry ball in left hand when going right
Projection: Running back. Weber seems to do a lot of things well, and while he's not the fastest, shiftiest, or most powerful running back in the class, it's hard to find glaring weaknesses. Most of his "weaknesses" are either nitpicks or coachable. Cass Tech is a magnet school that consistently produces good linemen, so it's tough to judge Weber's vision when most of his highlights include his linemen blowing holes wide open. However, if his college team can open holes with any regularity, Weber hits the hole hard and will fall generally forward after contact.
Reminds me of: Emmitt Smith. Of course I'm not suggesting that Weber will one day be the NFL's all-time leading rusher, but the slashing style combined with Weber's gait and the way he waves his off hand while cutting just reminds me of the former Dallas Cowboy (and Arizona Cardinal). Additionally, Smith was never the speediest, most elusive, or strongest guy, but he found a way to churn out the yards.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Michigan State and perhaps Tennessee had lurched ahead of Michigan when Al Borges was the offensive coordinator and Damien Harris was committed to the Wolverines, but Harris's decommitment and the hiring of Doug Nussmeier have re-energized Michigan's pursuit of the Cass Tech product. There are some who believe that Michigan has a tentative lead over MSU, and I think his favorites in order would be Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, and then Wisconsin.