- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Mike Weber (Detroit/Cass Tech) sees things a bit differently than most sophomores.
In the classroom, he sees lines and levels, layouts and layers. His eyes and creative mind have brought him to graphic design, which he hopes to study in college and make a career out of some day. For a lot of kids who only doodle or are afraid to express themselves, Weber embraces it, even though few see his artistic talents.
But it's on the field where most understand how good his eyes are.
As Cass Tech's leading rusher on the state championship squad this season, the sophomore rushed for 25 touchdowns and 1,800-plus yards, including 900 yards in the postseason.
And he credits his eyes for that.
"When I run the ball I don't look for real big holes because those are the ones that are obvious to the defense," Weber said. "I look for the little holes and wait for my blocks. I think it's one of my biggest skills."
That kind of breakout sophomore year has brought him interest from Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame, among others.
Right now Weber has seen the most interest from the Wolverines, and they are his No. 1 school, partly because of location and Cass Tech's deep connections with the Michigan football team. He has had the opportunity to visit Ann Arbor a few times, and he was in town for the Michigan-State game. He also saw the Wolverines play Notre Dame when he was on an unofficial visit in South Bend, Ind.
"I like the atmosphere and the team chemistry," Weber said of Michigan. "They have a winning tradition."
Weber has been able to see the Wolverines more than any other college team this year, and he liked how much Michigan looked to its run game to find success as an offense.
"I like the run game because they run the ball a lot," Weber said. "I think it could be a good fit for me in college if they stick with that kind of an offense."
Weber said he knows the Michigan offense will change dramatically over the next few seasons as the Wolverines adjust to life without Denard Robinson and what that means for the run game. However, he said he's ready to adjust to whatever kind of offense he is presented with -- pro-style, spread or a mix.
Weber was able to get by on his speed during his sophomore year, which was in full force this weekend at a high school combine in Pontiac, Mich. Weber clocked a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and a 3.9 in the shuttle drill.
But one skill he has seen out of college running backs that he knows he must improve on is his blocking, and that's what he intends to focus on during the offseason.
"I know I need to get stronger and work on my blocking technique," Weber said. "To be complete as a running back you need to be able to block and catch. I know I want to be able to do both of those, as well as run."
Weber is hoping to attend several camps this spring and summer as he knows the summer between his sophomore and junior year will be huge for his recruitment.
And in order to impress coaches he knows he needs to do more than put up big numbers, so he'll be in the weight room (where he already benches 305 pounds), around the track and on the field with teammates.
"I'm going to try to mix it up," Weber said. "I'll obviously be in the weight room, but I'm also going to get with [quarterback Jayru Campbell] to catch a couple balls, while also working on my footwork."