Ohio State football: Weber appreciates past, wants to be himself

The way Mike Weber tells it, following Ezekiel Elliott and Carlos Hyde as the starting running back at Ohio State sounds like a blessing and a curse.

They set great examples, but they also left behind huge shoes to fill.

He’s concentrating more on the former then the latter as his second college football training camp continues.

“I think about it often. I used to think about it a lot when I first realized I was going to become a starter here,” Weber said. “Now I’m just learning to tune it out and just play ball and do what I’ve been doing my entire life.”

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Elliott and Hyde just played ball better than most of the running backs to precede them at Ohio State. That’s saying something at a place with such history at the position, but the numbers back it up.

Weber (5-10, 212) doesn’t cut the same profile as Elliott (6-0, 225) or Hyde (6-0, 235), but then he also probably won’t carry as much weight on his shoulders as those two did the previous four seasons thanks to the presence of distributor extraordinaire J.T. Barrett at quarterback.

Despite the size difference, his teammates have compared Weber’s running style to the brutish Hyde.If he can provide an inside running presence, Ohio State should have the outside complements in running back/slot receivers Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson to have another dangerous running game.

Being himself was how Weber got head coach Urban Meyer to notice him last preseason. Meyer loves nothing more than seeing a talented player leave it all on the field.

A preseason injury ultimately led to Weber taking a redshirt to save a year of eligibility, but he feels ready to step in now.

“Last year I was kind of running around with my head cut off. I didn’t know too much,” Weber said. “I just knew to get the ball and run. I was running pretty well fall camp last year before I got hurt. Now this year I know what’s going on, know the plays well, know my approach, know how to handle things differently, and it should be a fun year.”

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