Detroit-based RB feels at home on Rocky Top

Stay on top of the future of Tennessee football with a subscription to Sign in to read about this Scout four-star back from the Class of 2015.

Home is where the heart is.

For Mike Weber, that's currently Detroit, Mich. In slightly more than a year, that could be Knoxville, Tenn.

The Scout four-star running back from Cass Technical School ventured south to a Tennessee junior day last weekend with teammates and prep coaches.

"Actually, today made me feel like I'm at home even though I'm 8 hours away," Weber said. "Coming here this time I felt like I knew where everything was at and I got along with a lot of people and I knew people already. Even though this is only my second time, I feel like I've been here a lot of times.

"I have a lot of interest in them and they're recruiting me really hard. So, it's looking real good."

What sticks out the most to the four-star is simply how often the Vols get the ball to backs and how they're used in the offense.

"I would say running the ball," Weber said. "They've got a good downhill running team — that I'm already in right now. It's a good fit for me; I'm already used to the offense. It's a lot of things that I have to work on. I really think Tennessee can help me with whatever I need to work on."

The relationship building with Vols running backs coach Robert Gillespie is ongoing but the No. 98 player in the Scout 300 says positive things about the assistant.

Weber calls Gillespie "a lot just to kick it with him. Sometimes it's not even about football, it's just about, like, my last exam. He's a real cool guy. I really think if I was to come here, he would be a major part of it and my success."

The Tennessee assistant isn't one to beat around the bush, which is something the 12th-ranked running back in the nation appreciates.

"He's really aggressive with me, and I really like that when it comes to my recruitment. It shows me that I have a good opportunity for when I come."

Defensive line coach Steve Stripling has also assisted in the recruitment of Weber, who is the second-highest rated junior prospect in Michigan and far and away the state's best runner. Head coach Butch Jones chimed in Saturday s well.

"He (Jones) was just saying they really want me here," said Weber, who ran for 1,659 yards and 24 touchdowns his junior season. "I really can fit. I really can make things happen for me and the organization."

The Vols face ample competition to the north to get a signed National Letter of Intent from the 5-foot-10, 206-pounder. Weber says Michigan State "has been on me hard" and both Michigan and Wisconsin are in the hunt as well.

"It's a good race right now," he said.

Even though Knoxville is roughly 8 hours south of Detroit, Weber says distance is "not an issue at all." If Tennessee has an advantage, it's the league in which it players — the Southeastern Conference.

"The SEC prepares running backs for the NFL better than the any other conference," Weber said. "I really do think coming out of the SEC as a running back can help you in your future.

"The last couple years the SEC has been putting out a lot of backs into the NFL. The Big Ten…not really. The Big Ten really do have good running backs. The SEC is a different type of football."

After winning back-to-back state championships, the Technicians reached the 2013 MHSAA Division I state semifinals before falling 28-0 to Detroit Catholic Central. Those same two teams locked up in the final the previous two seasons.

Weber reports a 40-yard dash time of 4.52 seconds (from summer camp at Tennessee in 2013). He says he has a U.S. Army All-American Bowl invite.

A return trip to Rocky Top for an official visit is likely. Weber added that a public declaration could come either at an all-star event or possibly even precede the start of his senior season.

Discuss the recruitment of Weber with InsideTennessee recruiting analysts and subscribers by clicking here.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
Twitter | Facebook | E-Mail

Inside Tennessee Top Stories