|Bench Press:||280 pounds|
|School:||King of Prussia, Pa. (Upper Merion HS)|
The state of Pennsylvania has long been famous for producing big, tough offensive lineman. Next fall's crop of high school lineman should help continue the tradition of Keystone state lineman signing with big time college programs. One lineman with legitimate D1 interest already is Dave Weber of Upper Merion HS in suburban Philadelphia, who will no doubt be one of the most visible and talked about players in the state.
LionNews.com had the opportunity to talk with Dave Weber, Jr., Dave Weber, Sr., and Upper Merion HS head coach, Andy Toto, to check in on how Dave's recruitment has developed to this point.
Dave, who measures in at 6'4'', 309 pounds, helped lead Upper Merion to its first regular season, undefeated record since the late 1970s, losing only in the playoffs to eventual Eastern Champion Strath Haven (26-14). Along with recording nearly 70 tackles on defense and 40 pancakes on offense, Dave gathered a myriad of honors including: High School Coaches Association 1st Team AAA All-State; 1st Team All-League Offense and Defense; 1st Team All-Southeastern Pa. (Philadelphia Inquirer); 2nd Team All-Area (Philadelphia Inquirer); and Times Herald All-Area Offensive Line First Team.
Coach Toto is not surprised by his lineman's laundry list of awards.
"He'll be a three year starter for us at offensive tackle and defensive tackle. He's all-league player both ways and he made All-Area, 1st Team All-State Three-A. We think he's a dominating blocker with great feet. He's very coachable."
"He was a real dominating force in the middle of the defense."
According to Dave Weber, Sr., observers from outside the Philadelphia area and the state have paid close attention to his son's play on the football field.
"The Sporting News High School Report has named him one of the top offensive line recruits in the nation for 2004. He got invited down for the (U.S. All-American) Army Bowl combine. He's hoping to get invited [to play in the game] next year."
Along with the high school coaches, sportswriters, and recruiting gurus, college coaches have also taken notice of Dave's accomplishments and have barraged his home with personalized letters, an average of nearly eight a day.
Although he has not yet received an offer, according to Dave he receives regular correspondence from schools like Rutgers, Penn State, Colorado, Ohio State, Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, Michigan, and Illinois, to name only a few. Dave has already seen a number of college campuses, but this spring, according to his father, Dave, Sr., the family hopes to travel in order to make an educated decision.
"[He's been to] Penn State, Rutgers, and this weekend we're suppose to go see the University of Maryland. In March, we're supposed to go see Ohio State and Michigan, and in the spring, at some point, we're supposed to go see the University of Colorado."
Dave, Sr. also stated that Illinois and Wisconsin could be on the travel agenda, as they have both begun to recruit his son harder. Which schools are recruiting Dave, Jr., the hardest?
"It's pretty much tied between Penn State, Rutgers, Colorado, and Ohio State. Michigan's picking it up. I spoke to them last week because they wanted him to come out. Illinois is picking it up a lot right now too. We're going down to Virginia for their junior day too."
"We went to a couple Rutgers games. They have already said that they plan to make him an offer. They're really quality people over there."
Dave, Sr., readily admitted that his family have always cheered for Penn State. The Nittany Lion assistant head coach, Fran Ganter, has already been into Upper Merion to check up on Dave.
"He said, 'we're keeping an eye on you,' and 'we want you to camp with us.'"
Dave is very familiar with the Nittany Lions and vice versa, because he has attended summer football camp the last two season. He also visited Penn State for three of their home games in 2002 and may come to the Blue-White game on April 26th.
"They invited us up for every home game, but we couldn't make it for every one. The first one we went to was the Nebraska game. He went back up for Iowa."
Does his familiarity with the Penn State campus and coaches suggest to Dave, Sr. that the Nittany Lions are his son's clear cut favorite?
"It's hard to say. We were talking and I asked him if Penn State were to make an offer would it pretty much be a moot point. He said, well I don't know about that. He wants to make his visits and see what's out there."
"A top five in no particular order, it would be Penn State, Rutgers, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio State, and probably Maryland in there somewhere."
Along with Penn State, Dave plans to camp at Colorado this summer.
Dave, Sr. feels his son's overall athleticism helps him on the football field.
"He also starts high school basketball. [He plays] kind of a hybrid forward/center position. He's not big enough to be a center, but he's wide enough to clear out the lane. He made the all-stars."
Dave, Jr., who carries a 3.143 GPA and scored a 1020 on his SAT before his junior year of high school, will not turn 17 until this June. How will he approach his recruitment?
"With an open mind. It's a chance to see the country."
Dave admitted that he grew up following Penn State very closely and has enjoyed camping there during the summer. Did he enjoy his trips to watch the resurgent Nittany Lions play in 2002?
"It was real fun with all the fans cheering all the time. I went to some good games, like Iowa where they came back and it went to overtime. And the Nebraska one where they crushed them and Larry Johnson's big game (Michigan State)."