Midwest Recruiting Notebook

Weber’s Dominant Run

Detroit Cass Tech’s Mike Weber continues a late season tear which has him running towards another state title. He was having a good senior season, but has turned it up even another notch since the PSL Championship where he gashed rival Detroit King, then carried it into the playoffs where he, despite being the focus of opposing defenses, has been the big reason the Technicians are still alive.

That was no more evident than last week when rushed for 404 yards and five touchdowns as Cass held off a game Clinton Township Chippewa Valley squad 48-35.

Weber, a Michigan commit, is establishing himself as, in my opinion, the clear Mr. Football in the state. There is a difference between that and the best college prospect in the state though. That distinction currently belongs to Saginaw Heritage’s Brian Cole. By contrast, Cole did not have nearly as big of a senior year as Weber. Now, he does not have nearly as much help as Weber, and his team finished 2-7. That said, Cole, at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, has great size, he has excellent speed and a skill set which translates very well to college.

Winning Mr. Football does not predict college success, just as winning the Heisman does not predict NFL success. 

But Weber’s speed, his burst, his ability to catch the ball and pick up blitzes, along with a competitive fire and desire to put his team on his back when they need it most, has been on display here. Some of those qualities did not show up until this late season run where he’s been the man the Technicians lean on. Those attributes do translate to college.

We, along with the papers and other recruiting services will have a decision to make between Weber and Cole. But lets not confuse the argument between prospect and player. Mike Weber has been this state’s best football player this season.

Cass Tech takes on Saline this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Troy Athens. 

Recent Commitments

– Minneapolis (Minn.) De La Salle’s Drayton Carlberg chose Oregon at a ceremony at his school on Friday. Carlberg (6-5, 280 pounds) committed as a defensive lineman, but could play offense as well. He’s a tough, high-motor kid with good athleticism. He needs continued technical work, and he has yet to be able to concenrate on one side of the ball yet. He also missed some time with injury as a senior, so there is some rawness there, but the skill set, size and intangibles are all there for him to develop.

– Wisconsin flipped Indiana commit Titus Booker, a cornerback from Grayslake (Ill.) North. Booker was upgraded to a four-star after we saw his senior film. 6-foot tall corners with 10.6 100-meter dash speed and leaping ability don’t come along often, especially in the Midwest, and Booker has the skills to end up becoming a major impact guy for the Badgers. He will need some time and needs to get stronger, but he has great physical tools.

– BYU added a quarterback when Beau Hoge of Highlands (Ky.) committed. Hoge, the son of former NFL running back Merrill Hoge, threw the ball well when we saw him over the summer and carried that into his senior year. He’s mobile, smart, tough, and while not the tallest at 6-foot-1, has a lot to like. We believe he’ll end up working his way into the lineup for the Cougars down the line.

– Ohio State picked up a key 2016 verbal when Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln’s Jonathon Cooper committed late last week. Cooper (6-4, 225 pounds) is an impressive athlete. He showed us over the summer that he can drop into coverage and play in space, and that athleticism has shown up on his junior film where he looks faster and more explosive. Ultimately, his best skill is his ability to rush the passer and we see him more of a hand-down guy in college who can drop at times. He’s a good fit for the Buckeyes and someone who has really elevated his game this season.

– Western Michigan continues to recruit well and the Broncos have now started on their 2016 class, adding Evanston (Ill.) quarterback Matt Little. Little is a good sized kid at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and is a solid athlete who can throw on the move. He has the arm to make those throws while on the run and drive the ball downfield.

News and Notes 

– Lawrence Central (Ind.) linebacker Darrin Kirkland, a four-star who recently decommitted from Michigan, will take an official visit to Tennessee this weekend. 

– Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy’s Wes Annan took an official to Maryland over the weekend and the Terps appear to be in the driver’s seat now for the 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive tackle, who says he could decide "any time." Full visit recap from Terrapin Times.

– Western Michigan was the first program to offer West Bloomfield (Mich.) juniorTrishton Jackson, a quarterback who the Broncos offered as a wide receiver. We saw Jackson earlier in the year, and he’s an intriguing prospect because of his 6-foot-3 frame and natural athletic gifts. Also a basketball prospect, schools will want to see him this summer to see how he catches the ball and plays other spots, and see him throw in person, but more offers could come as a result.

– Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem has been one of the region’s hottest juniors, and he continued that on Monday night as Boston College and Wisconsin both offered the 6-foot-4, 240-pound prospect. With a big playoff game coming up on Saturday, it’s unlikely you’ll see Kareem take any more college visits until his season is completed, but his recruitment is wide open right now.

– Ohio State offered junior center Drake Jackson from Woodford County (Ky.), currently ranked as the number one player at the position in his class. The Buckeyes are a school Jackson has been to, camped with, and wanted an offer from, and he told Scout they join Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky at the top of his list. He visits the Vols this weekend, then Bama later in the year.

Underclassman of the Week

Clinton Township (Mich.) Chippewa Valley junior Stefan Claiborne had a really good year at wide receiver and defensive back. We knew he was a good prospect going into the year, but his film from this season stands out and it would be a surprise if offers didn’t come soon for the 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver/defensive back.

Sleeper of the Week

East St. Louis (Ill.) senior running back Marvin Young had a great season and has good size (6-0, 210 pounds) and burst. Somewhat overshadowed by Missouri commit Nate Strong, Young established his own name this Fall and offers could soon follow.