Just a few weeks ago, Detroit Cass Tech football coach Thomas Wilcher was eviscerating Ohio State counterpart Urban Meyer for misleading Cass running back Mike Weber leading up to National Signing Day.
Weber went down to the wire in deciding between OSU and archrival Michigan. He picked the Buckeyes, signing a binding national letter of intent. Then the next day, one of Weber’s chief recruiters, Stan Drayton, announced that he was leaving Columbus for a job with the Chicago Bears. Weber tweeted that he was “hurt as hell.”
Wilcher then went to bat for his star prospect, saying, among other things, “I can tell you right now that his family is not very happy. I’m not mad at coach Drayton. I’m mad at the protocol. Tell young men what’s going on, so that they can believe in the university. I think this is a black eye on the university.”
But Wilcher since has softened his stance toward OSU (even if one of his players hasn’t).
“(Meyer) said he didn’t know about (Drayton) leaving, that it was a last-minute thing,” Wilcher told the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week. “The most important thing about my ‘misleading’ part was that I didn’t really understand the process of recruiting behind Ohio State. I truly do now.
“I understand the ambition Urban Meyer has, I understand the integrity of Urban Meyer and I understand that he’s about the welfare of the child and the wholeness of what the athletes need at the university. He instilled in me that no child will be left behind in his program.
“We did meet. We did talk. And he is the person I thought he was and the person I believe him to be. I believe our relationship is stronger now.”
That said, one of Cass Tech’s junior stars is holding the situation against the Buckeyes. Four-star 2016 lineman Michael Onwenu once said that Ohio State was his leader. But he told rivals.com this week that that’s no longer the case.
“It’s lowered a little after the (Weber) incident,” Onwenu said. “My position is they should have told him anyway. He had a bond with the coaches, and if I had a bond with a coach and was excited to play for that coach, that is something I should know.”
Onwenu has a scholarship offer from Michigan, and Michigan State has shown interest. He claims that all of his suitors are now equal in his eyes.
Weber, meanwhile, has a first-person column published in today’s editions of FreepHigh, run by the Free Press’ high school journalism program. In it, he writes, “I learned that the coaches and recruiters may as well be salesmen that tell you what you want to hear, after all they are selling dreams. The toughest part is realizing the real from fake.”