Mike Weber did something only two other players in Ohio State history have ever done this season—rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman.
On top of joining Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett in that elite company, the Big Ten named Weber the 2016 recipient of the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award. Weber is the first Ohio State player to win the award since quarterback J.T. Barrett in 2014. The running back also received second-team All-Big Ten recognition.
“It was a dream come true,” Weber said on BTN of his first collegiate season. Weber is the first Ohio State running back to win the award since Clarett in 2002.
The redshirt freshman earned the starting job during fall camp and did not disappoint. Weber finished his first regular season of college football with 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games. He also caught 20 passes for 87 yards. Weber's nine rushing touchdowns are tied with Barrett for the team lead and his 6.1 yards per carry average is second to only Curtis Samuel for Ohio State players with at least 10 carries this season.
Weber's 89.3 rushing yards per game is fifth-best in the Big Ten. He is one of seven players in the league with at least 1,000 yards on the ground but Weber's 177 attempts are by far the fewest among those players whose rushing totals are in four numbers.
Weber's 1,072 rushing yards are the most among all other freshmen in college football this season.