Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber first became an impact player during the state playoffs his sophomore season, rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a regional championship win over Saline, then for 186 yards in a state title victory over Detroit Catholic Central while averaging more than nine yards a carry.

Weber carried that momentum into a strong junior season (1,659 yards, 13.3 yards per carry), only to miss the Division 1 state semifinal game against Catholic Central — a loss — because of an ankle injury. He’s motivated to come back and have his biggest year.

Weber, a 5-foot-10 senior, has power at 205 pounds and the speed (4.5-second 40) to break long runs on the outside. He is The News’ No. 2-ranked player in the state, and the four-star recruit will play next year at Michigan.

“He means a lot to our team,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “He will have to carry a lot of weight for the team and I think with the offensive line he has he should be happy. I think as long as we keep everything tight, together, I think he’ll get everything he wants, the opportunity to rush for 2,000 yards if he stays healthy. That’s his goal and my goal for him, as well.”

Weber has multiple goals, especially after his team’s run of two consecutive state titles came to an end with a semifinal loss while Weber was watching from the sidelines.

“I’m looking for another state championship and I want to run for 2,000 yards and score 30 touchdowns,” Weber said. “I have a chip on my shoulder after how last year ended. I hurt my ankle in the (Macomb) Dakota game (regional title win) and I didn’t play against Catholic Central. It was really disappointing to sit out, not physically being able to be out there helping my team.”

Weber feels confident in quarterback Rodney Hall, but knows he will have to carry more of the load until starting quarterback Jayru Campbell returns following the completion of a jail term, resulting from assaulting a school security guard in January.

“I have confidence in Rodney, we all do, but I’ll be ready to carry more on my shoulders,” Weber said.

Weber committed to Michigan earlier this summer, picking the Wolverines over Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wisconsin and USC.

“I picked Michigan because it’s close to home and I want to help change things there, get back to their winning ways,” he said.