The Mike Weber saga is finally over
We can now officially stick a fork in the drama surrounding Ohio State running back commit Mike Weber.
The drama surrounding Weber's recruitment has been well-documented, so we don't need to get too in-depth with that, but boy, did it ever take a nasty turn the last few days or so.
The Weber camp was unhappy about OSU running backs coach Stan Drayton bolting for the Chicago Bears, where it was apparent the kid felt betrayed, and rightfully so. This ramped up speculation that he would look to get out of his LOI he signed with the Buckeyes and go elsewhere.
OSU hired Notre Dame running backs coach Tony Alford to the same position over the weekend, which looks like a good hire for them. That situation was addressed quickly on their part.
The most troubling part of this whole thing was a situation that went down on Monday, where Weber was photographed wearing a Michigan t-shirt while working out. Engage: social media freakout.
For whatever reason, Weber had to apologize for that because it upset fans on both side of the rivalry, which is completely ridiculous.
I apologize for simply wearing at T-Shirt to workout in I didn't wear it make a statement I didn't even know I was going on social media— Mike Weber (@mikeweber25) February 10, 2015
Okay y'all can stop judging me now and talk about something else— Mike Weber (@mikeweber25) February 10, 2015
Our own Joshua Henschke wrote about this situation the other day, and it makes perfect sense.
As the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility". The power comes from the user. Some, not all, fans enable this manufactured "power" by showing these kids attention. Desperately pleading for a kid to join his or her school. "This could be you," some of them say. I want this to be you: Just simply stop.
With the spotlight on, every slip-up will be magnified. But the fact that the public is so intently focused on what a teenager is wearing proves that sometimes recruiting coverage gets taken too far. I get it, it's sacrilege to the rivalry. But since when has the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry turned into beating each other off the field and losing focus of the bigger picture? Beat them on the football field.
It's the simple fact that a few seconds clip of a video (that way later deleted, mind you) was blown so far out of proportion is the unfortunate part about this. By taking to Twitter an offering a public apology for a T-shirt, yes a T-shirt, it shows just how far fanbases--and I'm speaking for every school, not just those involved in this instance--take things. Let him have his peace now that the process is over. Sure, the coverage will only intensify in college, but let the kid graduate high school and prepare to achieve a dream.
Airing out his dirty laundry or not, Weber could do much worse than a T-shirt.
Has Weber treated this situation the best he's could? No way.
Did Ohio State? No way.
Did Michigan with Jim Harbaugh's possible subtweet on the situation? No way.
This is not the first OSU-UM bit of drama, and it will most assuredly not be the last. In regards to Weber, though, it's time to shift focus to the playing field.
Roquan Smith will not sign LOI with school he chooses
There's still one 2015 prospect who's status is up in the air a week after signing day.
Four-star UCLA linebacker commit Roquan Smith has yet to send in a letter of intent to any of the schools he has been considering, and won't either according to his high school coach.
"I guess you’ll really be able to tell if a coach or college really wants a kid if they’ll agree to do this – letting a kid come to their campus this summer without signing an LOI," his coach said.
"Again, we’re doing it this way after what happened last week. I don’t know where this is all going to go. I guess God put Roquan in this position for a reason. Maybe it was meant to help educate other kids about these types of situations."
There are two forms that are actually sent in on National Signing Day. The first set are scholarship papers, which ties the school to the player. The send is the LOI, which ties the player to the school.
Smith's plan of action would technically make him fair game until the day he arrives on campus for the first day of classes in the summer time. This could set an interesting precedent for college football recruiting.
Smith is still committed to UCLA, but is considering Georgia, Michigan and Texas A&M as well.
MnB's Drew Hallett wrote about this situation last week, suggesting this would be a good move for Smith and recruits going forward.
- 2016 offensive lineman Caleb Bright speaks highly of Michigan and is interested in the program
- A pair of quarterbacks were offered on Monday night: Brandon Peters and Dwayne Haskins
- 2016 defensive end Levi Onwuzurike picked up an offer from the Wolverines
- 2016 linebacker Juquan Yulee was offered on Tuesday