Cass Tech's Mike Weber on Michigan State: 'The people around there are real nice. They love me there.' (Bryan Mitchell / Special to The Detroit News)
One of the state's top performers this season has been Detroit Cass Tech junior running back Mike Weber, whose big plays and explosive speed have the Technicians on the verge of what likely will be another deep playoff run.
Even before his performance this year, he was offered scholarships by schools from across the country -- including Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee -- on the strength of his sophomore season. He has visited each of those programs, and returned to East Lansing in October to see the Spartans defeat Indiana.
"The visit was real nice," he said. "The atmosphere was good. The team has real good chemistry. The people around there are real nice. They love me there. And the way they're winning this year is going to be a big part of my decision when it comes down to it."
His father, Mike Weber Sr., has accompanied him on many of these visits and echoed his son's sentiments about the trip to Michigan State.
"Oh man, it was phenomenal," Weber Sr. said. "Those guys up there are really good people. Everyone we talked to, from the offensive coordinator to the recruiters, to the head coach and even Tom Izzo -- it was a great visit. It was one of the best visits that we've had so far. Those guys up there, what you see is what you get. It was a real nice experience up there."
A previous relationship with MSU Player Development and Camp Director Curtis Blackwell has enhanced the Spartans' chances with Weber.
"Coach Blackwell has had my back through this whole football thing,” Weber said. “Knowing he's somewhere at a college is a big part of why I'll pick my school when it comes down to it, knowing that he's been there for me."
Weber has insisted he will not make an early decision. When it does happen, his father says academics and comfort will be among the primary factors in the choice. What may also be figured in is who the quarterback will be at the final school. Should it be Michigan State, Weber will have a familiar person handing him the ball in Jayru Campbell, a fellow Cass Tech junior committed to the Spartans.
"Every day he says something about Michigan State,” Weber said of Campbell. “He tries to get me and (defensive end) Josh (Alabi) to commit to Michigan State, so he'll be a big part of where I pick too. "
Visitors aplenty this weekend
The Spartans will have a large group of visitors for Saturday's game against Michigan. The entire visit day is being dubbed "SpartanFest," and will include four official visitors: Jamil Kamara, a wide receiver from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan; Tampa (Fla.) Catholic safety T.J. Harrell; Vero Beach (Fla.) wide receiver Will Dawkins; and Seffner (Fla.) Armwood defensive back Kyle Gibson.
Leading the unofficial visitors are two four-star defensive tackles -- Malik McDowell from Southfield and Craig Evans of Sun Prairie (Wis.), a Wisconsin commit who has continued to take visits since his verbal to the Badgers. Four-star safety Montae Nicholson will be in from Pennsylvania with an offer, and Sylvania (Ohio) Southview receiver J.J. Pinckney will be back for his second visit this month.
Juniors with offers include Detroit King linebacker Tyriq Thompson and Warren (Ohio) Harding center James Daniels. Another visitor of note is Jackson Lumen Christi junior Khari Willis, a fine basketball prospect, as well, and a candidate to earn offers in both sports. In addition, multiple in-state prospects from the classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017 will be in attendance.
The recruits will tour the campus and facilities, meet the staff, and also take in a Spartan basketball practice before watching the football game.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears every Friday at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.