Ohio State: Mike Weber declares for NFL Draft, will play in Rose Bowl
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Ohio State: Mike Weber declares for NFL Draft, will play in Rose Bowl

Austin Wardalmost 3 years
Article written by:Austin WardAustin Ward

AWardSports

Mike Weber Oregon State by Rick Osentoski

COLUMBUS — The decision has been anticipated since the moment Mike Weber decided to return for one more season at Ohio State, and now it’s official.

The talented tailback is heading to the NFL and will forgo his final year of eligibility with the Buckeyes.

Weber announced his intentions on Sunday night on social media, confirming a move that many expected would actually come last year before his surprising decision to come back and split time in the backfield with J.K. Dobbins. Despite some ups and downs, his choice to stick with the Buckeyes for another season and show what he could do when healthy likely provided a boost to his professional stock as he averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns for the Big Ten champions.

Weber hadn’t done much to hide his plans since he emotionally opened up at the end of last season about everything he had gone through while dealing with injuries and watching the rise of Dobbins. And that combination seemed like it would lead him to skip to the NFL Draft after the Cotton Bowl before he put it off and poured himself into personal improvement and accepted a role alternating drives with Dobbins.

The veteran tailback still didn’t want to talk much about the NFL even after practice on Wednesday. But he went ahead and took the step to nail down his plans a couple days later while also making it clear that he will suit up in the Rose Bowl against Washington on New Year’s Day.

“It’s just talking through it with my family, talk to my family and see what is best for me and my teammates and stuff like that,” Weber said on Wednesday. “I’m just focused on winning this game and doing everything I can personally to help the team win.

“I felt [this year] was OK, decent. I did what I could with the opportunities I had, and I just want to finish strong, you know? You start it, got to finish it.”

The end always seemed near for Mike Weber at Ohio State. And now it’s official.