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May 1, 2014
MSU's 'family matter' appeals to Cass Tech's Weber
SALINE, Mich. - Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber has visited Michigan State quite a few times.
"I don't know," he said. "A lot of times. It's only a few minutes away from my house, so I get there a lot."
But his trip last weekend for the Green & White Game had a different feeling.
"Actually, it was a lot different," Weber said. "It was more like a family matter. Everybody was together, from the past. They were getting together and having fun."
Weber had a chance to be in the White team locker room and witnessed their celebration after the game.
He also met former Spartan running backs Le'Veon Bell and Javon Ringer.
"They are good guys, down-to-Earth," Weber said. "They told me things that a lot of people have been saying: work hard and stick to it."
He also caught up with former Cass Tech teammate Dennis Finley, who played right tackle for the Green. Finley will be a redshirt freshman in the fall.
"Dennis played on this field with me when we played at Saline," Weber said. "He wants to block for me again and he asked me if I want to run behind him again, so we are going to work things out and hopefully things pan out."
Is Finley enjoying his time at Michigan State?
"He actually is," Weber said. "He is in the process of building up, and I think in the years to come he is going to be great."
People are saying the same thing about Weber, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound running prospect. Weber is ranked the No. 123 player in the country by Rivals.com. A four-star recruit, he is also listed as the No. 10 running back in the country, and the No. 2 player in Michigan.
On Sunday, he was named running back MVP of Rivals Camp Series Detroit.
He said Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Notre Dame are in the lead pack of his recruitment.
"I think handling recruiting is more hard than exciting," he said. "It used to be exciting but now it's like everybody is getting serious and it's down-to-the-wire and I just hope the choice is the right choice for me."
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Weber was one of three nationally-ranked running backs that attended the Green-White Game, along with Larry Scott (6-1, 215, Hubbard, Ohio) and Darrin Hall (5-11,196, Youngtown/Austintown Fitch).
In Scott, Hall and Weber, the Spartans played host to the three top running backs in the Ohio/Michigan area.
All three have MSU offers. Michigan State is running strong with Weber, and perhaps even stronger with Scott, who indicated after the visit that he is inching toward committing to the Spartans.
Weber said he plans to wait until the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in early January to make a decision. He said he has always wanted to make a hats-on-the-table decision at the nationally-televised all-star game.
But what if Michigan State gains commitments from Scott, and perhaps even Hall in the meantime? Is Weber concerned that Michigan State's scholarship opening could close on him?
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"I'm really not worried about my spot being taken," Weber said at RCS Detroit. "A lot of coaches have told me that's not going to happen, so that took a lot of pressure off of me in deciding where I want to go. Really, I just take my time with it."
Which of the schools he's considering told him they would hold a scholarship for him?
"Basically all of the schools have told me that," he said.
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Weber indicated that Michigan and Notre Dame have picked up ground in his recruitment. Contacts with new Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have gone well.
"Nussmeier, the day he came in, he contacted me and he brought me to their facility and he showed me a lot of things and he really opened my eyes back to Michigan," Weber said. "Nussmeier brings that Alabama style of running and that's what I'm looking for."
Of the out-of-state schools, Weber said he knows the most about Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Notre Dame has recently made a push. Running backs coach Tony Alford has been in contact.
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"I actually talked to Coach (Alford) two nights ago," Weber said. "They're back in the process. He said there was a misunderstanding that he wanted to clear up."
Weber said that during a recent visit to Notre Dame, during which he was hosted by offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, Weber was not informed of a scholarship offer.
"I was pretty upset about it," Weber said. "So coach (Alford) called me. There was a misunderstanding.
"Coach said he was coming up some time in the summer, so I'll look forward to that."
Weber tweeted in November that he was close to making a commitment to an unnamed school, but was awaiting the blessing of his dad. Michigan State is believed to be the school he was close to committing to. He said he grew up rooting for Michigan, but lamented that the Wolverines' winning ways have faded in recent years. The hiring of Nussmeier has helped respire his interest, but MSU is regarded as being in strong position.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has gained a reputation as a non-pressure recruiter. Dantonio won't push for a decision until and unless everyone in Weber's family is comfortable with a decision. In the meantime, Weber is continuing to make evaluations of his own.
Weber said he is planning to visit and/or camp this summer at Florida, Florida State, USC and possibly Mississippi State.