The ongoing Mike Weber saga continues to be one of the more polarizing stories surrounding Ohio State football at present.
After Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton beelined for the Chicago Bears just one day removed from National Signing Day -- and a conversation until 1 or 2 a.m. with eventual OSU signee Mike Weber that morning -- all kinds of accusations have been lobbed OSU's way. The tension even culminated in a war of 140 characters between new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Buckeyes recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni.
Weber himself admitted to being hurt by the apparent blindsiding and Weber's high school coach went knives out at Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. But while Weber's been radio silent since his initial tweet, his mother reportedly took to social media herself with some strong sentiments:
Mike Weber Mom post from yesterday..Read this Michigan fans. pic.twitter.com/tWzgwS3EKg— Bruce Gibson (@BruceJdub) February 7, 2015
Though a lot was made of Weber's high school coach's unwillingness to say definitively that Weber would honor his National Letter of Intent and not attempt to force his way out of Ohio State, the running back's mom doesn't sound like Michigan fans did their school of allegiance much good with their resentment towards the decision he announced this past Wednesday. That said, the ball reminds in the family's court, with likely plenty of goodwill still needed to be earned back by Meyer and Drayton's replacement, former Notre Dame RB coach Tony Alford. Stay tuned.
Top RB excited by Alford news
Speaking of the Buckeyes' new running backs coach, Ohio State commit (and No. 1 2016 RB) Kareem Walker was many OSU recruitniks' second thought after Weber when it came to how the news of Drayton's departure would go over. In fact, the relationship between Walker and Tony Alford, his recruiting lead with the Fighting Irish, was quickly raised a positive and why Alford might just be a candidate for the vacancy as he proved to be.
Walker released a statement to the media Sunday afternoon to address his thoughts on the matter and where he stands in the wake of the news that the individual he assumed would be mentoring him for at least part of his college career wouldn't be doing so after all:
When I selected Ohio State I was aware that the coaches are the best in the profession and that they would be sought after by other schools and the NFL. I'm sorry to see Coach Drayton move on but he feels thats what's in his best interest and I wish him and his family well. Coach Meyer was very reassuring that he was going to bring in the best RB coach in the nation and he's done that with Coach Alford. I'm very familiar and comfortable with Coach Alford he was recruiting me while at Notre Dame and our relationship is very much like the relationship I have with Coach Drayton. They are more than position coaches they are mentors and will help prepare me for LIFE not just football. Coach Alford has coached many successful running backs and I look forward to the possibility of playing under him.
Thank you, Kareem Walker.
From the sounds of it, Walker would appear rather steadfast at the moment in terms of his Ohio State pledge. Though certainly a lot can happen between now and National Signing Day '16, it sure seems like Urban Meyer hit another home run in Alford, at least from the early returns.
Bucks offer another from J.T. Barrett's high school
The Buckeyes look to be going back to the well with Wichita Falls, TX's Rider High School. On Sunday, Ohio State offered 2016 WR T.J. Vasher, a product of the same school that gave OSU QB J.T. Barrett.
Vasher checks in as the 45th-ranked wide receiver in the entire '16 recruiting class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's the 33rd-best player overall from the talent-rich state of Texas and the 242nd-overall ranked player in the class. Though 247Sports' evaluators have him pegged as just a three-star, their industry-wide Composite rankings score him as a four.
The extremely early projections have him favored to land with the home-state Longhorns, a school J.T. Barrett's gone out of his way to say he'd have attended if they'd offered him early in his recruitment, though there's obviously a lot yet to come in Vasher's respective feeling out process. Hilariously enough, less than an hour after the Bucks offered Vasher, former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman's Houston Cougars program also offered the 6'4 wideout.
- The basketball Buckeyes have a good one in 2015 signee A.J. Harris:
- Top 2016 SG target Tyus Battle was at OSU's demolition of Rutgers Sunday.