Weber recruiting saga takes a positive turn for Ohio State

First Posted: 2/9/2015

If you have a distraction, you get rid of it or you get it behind you. That’s Coaching 101.

And that appears to be just what Urban Meyer has done.

Running back Mike Weber, who had indicated he was unhappy with being kept in the dark about the imminent departure of running backs coach Stan Drayton for a job with the Chicago Bears one day after national signing day last week, seems to have gotten over any hard feelings.

Monday, Weber went on Twitter to say, “Want to say congrats to coach drayton. Wish nothing but the best, but excited to have @coachTonyAlford aboard. #GoBucks.

That was a little different tone than last Thursday when Weber tweeted that he was hurt and his high school coach said Weber felt deceived and used words like false pretenses.

This apparently ends the drama. It appears Weber will be a Buckeye and will be enthusiastic about it.

Weber, a lifelong Michigan fan while growing up in Detroit, originally verbally committed to the Wolverines but changed his commitment to Ohio State when he saw that Brady Hoke was going to be fired.

He was ranked one of the top ten running backs in the recruiting class of 2015 by several recruiting services.

In the wee hours of the morning on signing day last Wednesday, Weber was wavering about signing with Ohio State.

Drayton called Meyer and told him Weber “needed to be recruited again” and both of them got on the phone with the 17-year-old recruit.

Nobody knows exactly what swung Weber to Ohio State’s side then. Meyer said he and Drayton were unsure he was going to sign with OSU until around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Ohio State didn’t break any rules. But the whole thing made some people a little uncomfortable. And the best thing for OSU to do was to clear up that blemish quickly.

If this is the end of a brief controversy, it worked out best for both sides.

If the Buckeyes had forced Weber to go where he didn’t want to be, coaches recruiting against Ohio State would have told future recruits that you can’t trust Ohio State.

If Weber had asked for a release and OSU refused, it could have been a lose-lose proposition.

If Weber had been buried on the depth chart and never saw the field, one group of conspiracy theorists would have said. Ohio State was punishing him. If he played and didn’t play well, a different group of conspiracy theorists would have said he did it on purpose.

Either way, it would have been a distraction.

Time and everything else was entirely on Ohio State’s side. Once Weber signed the letter of intent, he was tied to Ohio State for an entire academic year and if he transfers at the end of that year he would have to sit out a season before he could play anywhere else unless he gets a release.

There is no doubt Meyer is persuasive. The two big questions are if Weber ever made a move to ask to be released and how Meyer smoothed this over. Did he offer Weber a chance to be released or did he just persuade him again that Ohio State was the best choice for him?

It looks like that win Meyer got over Jim Harbaugh on signing day can stay in Ohio State’s column.

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