Ohio State’s spring practice is around the corner. The Buckeyes have already started training for the 2016 season and the team will begin spring practice March 8. With nine underclassmen and a number of seniors departing from the 2015 team that went 12-1, there are plenty of questions surrounding the 2016 Buckeyes. BuckeyeSports.com is taking a look at some of the young players suiting up for Ohio State this spring and what they have to gain between now and the Spring Game on April 16.
What Weber Has Done: After coming to Ohio State as a four-star prospect and the No. 9 running back in the 2015 class, Weber did not see the field as a true freshman. Though he drew impressive reviews from coaches and teammates throughout fall camp and was the second freshman to have the black stripe removed from his helmet in 2015 to signify fully becoming a Buckeye, Weber was forced to miss time after tearing his meniscus. That setback, combined with the final season in Ezekiel Elliott's historic college career, left Weber on the sidelines for the duration of the season.
What The Coaches Are Saying: “I think he’s matured immensely through the course of the fall. I think it’s hard for a lot of guys to come in. He wanted to play. He’s a highly competitive young guy and he wanted to play right away and I know there may have been some initial disappointment but he also got hurt. So he was fighting through some injuries as well and as we progressed through the season we made a decision that we weren’t going to play him and that’s not an easy pill to swallow when you’ve been playing for your whole life. But he came along really well in the latter part of the season as far as his physicality. His knee is better and 100 percent, so he’s fine, and he had a good bowl practice. We’re looking forward to what’s going to transpire with him as we move forward to the upcoming months.” – Tony Alford
Why Weber Is Important: Elliott is gone and Weber is one of a handful of Buckeyes looking to replace him. He joins Bri'onte Dunn, Curtis Samuel and Antonio Williams in that category. Considering Samuel spent last season as an H and seems to be dangerous in that position, Williams is a true freshman and Dunn has yet to fulfill the promise he came to Columbus with, Weber is essential to the running back room. Even if he doesn't win the job outright, it seems likely that he will be a key part of a more fluid rotation at that position going forward.
What Weber Has To Gain: A starting spot. Weber does not have the most experience among potential running backs, he isn't the biggest and likely isn't the fastest. This spring he can prove he's the best. With the knee injury well behind him, a consistent spring could launch Weber into the starting running back role for the Buckeyes next season. While more rotation is expected at that spot next season with the loss of Elliott, if one player can cease the most carries it might be Weber. If he's going to do so it has to start this spring.
Check out more from our series on the most interesting young Buckeyes: