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Scouting Report: Mike Weber

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Two of our recruiting experts weigh in on Mike Weber, Michigan's newest running back commit.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Mammel:

I'm not completely blown away by Weber's game film, but I love his commitment for one huge reason: Michigan got itself a running back with the combination of fantastic on-field awareness and ball skills for the first time in quite some time. Yes, the Wolverines already have Derrick Green, DeVeon Smith and Ty Isaac vying for carriers in the next three seasons, but every last one of them is lacking in one of the previously mentioned areas. I see Weber's film and immediately flash back to the days of Michael Hart breaking tackles two yards past the line of scrimmage, running into a safety and falling forward for a net gain of eight yards. Oh, and Hart did that behind a blocking scheme that was very similar to Nussmeir's.

The only real difference between Hart and Weber is the ability to make defenses pay for poor tackling. Hart had roughly five carries a game that would have been touchdowns had he possessed even average long speed for the position. He didn't and was always tackled by the thigh or ankle or big toe, but Weber won't be. Weber also showcases a nasty mean streak for a running back who's built to take shots to the chest and can go and get the ball out of the air in the passing game, so I expect him to compete for playing time as early as next year.

Space Coyote:

A top 150 type back in my opinion, with some improvement could be a top 100 player, but I don't think he's there yet. In tight spaces he does a great job getting behind his shoulder pads and punishing tacklers, getting extra yards and falling forward in the process. Does a good job getting low and bringing his shoulder pads, legs, and feet with him upon contact. Has excellent burst in and out of cuts where he can get vertical immediately. Has good vision, and from all accounts has good hands as well.

He does need to improve in two areas I feel to take the next step, both of which apply in the open field: he needs a bit better open field speed, as his burst is great (he goes from zero to stop speed very quickly) but he doesn't always have the gear after that; and he needs better feet and balance in the open field. You see several times on the sideline he burst up the sideline like he's shot out of a cannon, but he doesn't seem to have the feet or core strength to maintain his balance. He allows defenders to get into his feet and trip him up a bit in the open field as well. If he improves his balance, a lot of those 15-25 yard gains turn into TDs a the high school level. Balance and feet in the open field, IMO, is the thing he can more easily correct, and the more important thing for him to correct going forward.

FWIW: after Scott committed to MSU, MSU was supposedly recruiting Weber for their Flex position. Last year, RJ Sheldon played that role, mostly as a RB, but this year is more of a WR. It's the Keshawn Martin role. So that gives you some feel for his burst and hands, that MSU felt he fit best into that role.

He should fit very well into a zone blocked scheme at Michigan, and for how Nuss likes to utilize RBs out of the backfield both as one cut zone runners, as an outlet in the pass game, and on screens.