Ohio State fans will miss seeing Ezekiel Elliott and his 1,821 rushing yards. That’s obvious.
But could Mike Weber be in store for a big season?
USA Today‘s Daniel Uthman has Weber as one of this Top 10 breakout players for the upcoming season — the only Big Ten player to make the list. As Landof10.com‘s Jeremy Birmingham notes, Weber doesn’t even have a single rushing attempt in college.
However, because Ohio State is usually very strong on the ground (a running back has picked up at least 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons), simply being a starter could be enough for Weber to have a breakout campaign. The redshirt freshman, a 4-star recruit in 2015, certainly looks impressive when healthy. This was from the spring game:
Of course, with J.T. Barrett starting at QB, Barrett will take some carries away. At the same time, Barrett will likely attract some defensive attention that could help Weber when he gets his chances. Plus, with Ohio State needing to keep Barrett healthy, he won’t be taking too many attempts away from Weber or the other running backs as Ohio State wants to avoid hits on Barrett.
If Weber gets 10-15 attempts, he’ll certainly have a nice season. The breakout chances will depend on Weber getting just a little more than that as the clear go-to guy.