Former high-profile recruit Weber confident and learning

by Luke Middendorf

Growing up in Shoreview Minn., Adam Weber grew up cheering for the Gophers. Playing under the spotlights for the first time last Saturday for his hometown team was an experience he said he will never forget.

Before he was born, Weber had maroon and gold running through his veins, as his father, Bob Weber, was a three-time letter winner for the Gophers (1974-77).

With his father’s football ability instilled in him at Mounds View High School, the young Adam Weber was on the radar for the Gophers the minute he put on a varsity jersey his freshman year to replace the injured starting quarterback.

Deemed a true leader and play-maker from day one, Weber went on to gain MVP honors his final three years of high school. He was an all-state selection for three years and an all-academic selection for four.

Weber not only excelled on the gridiron, but also was a four-time letter winner in basketball and baseball. He also found a way to sneak in a letter for track before graduation.

And that high school athleticism is now carrying over into his collegiate career as he recorded 18 carries for 72 yards Saturday against Bowling Green.

But it didn’t come easily.

Weber watched from the sidelines last year as a redshirt which provided him an invaluable learning experience as Minnesota’s all-time passing leader Brian Cupito ran the Gophers’ offense.

The first half of Saturday’s game looked like another learning experience for Weber, as Minnesota quickly fell behind 21-0. Weber threw an interception and fumbled a snap on the Falcon’s 14-yard line in the first half.

“It was hard to get into a rhythm in the first half,” Weber said. “We (Minnesota) would have one good play and then a couple of bad plays. When you do that, you’re going to give up the ball and punt it away.”

Despite the typical freshman mistakes throughout the game, Weber showed glances of leadership and potential beyond his years in the second half comeback.

“I thought (Weber) was short on a couple of throws in the first half when he has got to hit the receiver,” coach Tim Brewster said. “I was extremely pleased, though, with him in the second half. He really made some throws. I think his progress from game one to game two will be very big.”

Another homegrown talent, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Eric Decker of Cold Spring, Minn., said he knows all about the pressure and expectations coming into your first game for the Gophers.

“It’s a tough position to be a redshirt freshman starting at quarterback, especially at home,” Decker said of Weber. “He did a great job of leading us in the second half.”

Even through the mistakes and the fastest game tempo, Weber has seen thus far in his football career, the 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pound quarterback said there were some moments when he was able to just take it all in.

“It felt very surreal out there,” a smiling Weber said of his first game. “You look up and see that the JumboTron is on you, and it’s kind of weird I guess. It was fun. It took me awhile to get used to the way that the game is played. This is a different game than it is in high school.”

And as someone recruited very heavily in high school by Division I schools including this Saturday’s opponent Miami of Ohio and rival Wisconsin, Weber said Minnesota was definitely the right choice for him.

“Having my friends and family at the games is very important,” Weber said. “It’s nice having that support so close to home.”