“When healthy, Weber showed off explosive speed, a willingness to embrace contact as both a runner and a blocker and the skills to make plays as a receiver out of the backfield. And the best might still be ahead of him.”
We have reached NFL Draft eve, and to this point, almost the entirety of the focus on Ohio State players in this year’s selection pool has centered around Dwayne Haskins and Nick Bosa. While these two guys have certainly earned the chatter that surrounds them, with both expected to be taken in the top 10 by most analysts, there are a bunch of other Buckeyes in the draft that deserve more hype.
There has definitely been some interest in guys like Parris Campbell and Dre’Mont Jones, both of whom are expected to be taken somewhere in the first three rounds. One could even argue there should be more interest in a guy like Terry McLaurin, who coming off a 700-yard, 11-TD season is looking at a third or fourth round selection. However, there is one player from Ohio State who has gotten almost no love in the pre-draft analysis, and who will definitely make some teams pay for passing on him: Mike Weber.
As a redshirt freshman at OSU, Weber was faced with the daunting task of filling the shoes left by Ezekiel Elliott’s departure to the NFL. All he did was rush for almost 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging six yards per carry. In three seasons at Ohio State, Weber compiled just under 2,700 yards (on an even six yards per carry) with 24 touchdowns, adding another 300 yards and a score receiving. As a result of injury and the emergence of J.K. Dobbins, Weber saw his carries diminish as part of a running back by committee approach under Urban Meyer, but still saw great success when given the opportunity.
Weber had a very nice NFL Combine as well. He tied for third among running backs posting an official 4.47 40-yard dash time, while also tying for sixth among running backs in the bench press with 22 reps. Weber is a strong back who isn't afraid to lay the boom on an opposing defender to gain some extra yards, while also possessing breakaway speed. It makes sense that teams would be skeptical because of the injury history, but if Weber is able to stay healthy, the athleticism and potential is certainly there for him to one day become a successful starting running back for any NFL franchise.
JUST IN: Nike announces top endorsers in NFL Draft Class— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 24, 2019
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Dwayne Haskins, OSU*
Parris Campbell, OSU
Daniel Jones, Duke
Devin White, LSU
Josh Jacobs, Bama
Drew Lock, Missouri
Miles Sanders, Penn St.
Hunter Renfroe, Clemson
Bryce Love, Stanford
Each year, Nike adds a new crop of NFL-bound athletes to their already stacked roster to endorse the brand. This year, as reported by Darren Rovell via Twitter, that group includes two big-name Buckeyes — Dwayne Haskins and Parris Campbell.
Campbell announced via Instagram over a month ago that he was joining the Nike family, a well-earned honor after eclipsing 1,000 yards with 12 touchdowns this past season at Ohio State. However, Haskins signing to Jordan Brand is a new development, as the former Buckeye quarterback has not yet announced the endorsement via any of his social media. Former Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas is also signed to Jordan Brand, inking a deal with the company this past year.
“Senior shortstop Lilli Piper was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after leading the Ohio State softball team to a 4-0 week.”
The Ohio State softball team is having a fantastic season, currently sitting at 29-14 overall with a 12-5 record in the Big Ten. Winners of their last five, including most recently a road sweep of the Michigan State Spartans, the Buckeyes have received a huge boost from shortstop Lilli Piper, who has been recognized for her efforts as the Big Ten Player of the Week.
Over the past week, Piper hit for an absurd .700 average with seven hits and seven walks, including three homers, five RBI and seven runs scored, all the while posting an outrageous 1.700 slugging percentage. It all began with a career-high three walk performance in an 4-3 win over Ohio this past Tuesday, before hitting a home run in each of the three games against MSU over the weekend. Piper recorded an .846 on-base percentage in the series, going 4-for-4 in the finale with two RBI in a five-inning, 11-1 run-rule shortened win for the Buckeyes — their second run-rule win of the three-game sweep.
Piper leads all Ohio State players with 16 multi-hit games on the season, recording at least three hits in eight outings this year. She leads the Big Ten with a .556 batting average through 17 games, while also topping the conference charts with a .647 on-base percentage and 30 hits. Within the Big Ten, Piper also finds herself in the top 10 in RBI (17), home runs (five), total bases (48) and walks (14). This Big Ten Player of the Week honor marks the fifth time Piper has won the award in her career.
The Buckeyes’ next game will take place this Friday, when they will return home to start a three-game series against Illinois. First pitch in Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. ET.