Wegher seeks respect and recognition

Brandon Wegher has run for more than 3,300 yards his last two seasons. Mike Flannery

Brandon Wegher, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds
ESPN 150 Watch List running back
Heeland Catholic (Sioux City, Iowa)

Brandon Wegher rushed for 2,334 yards and scored 34 touchdowns his junior year at Heelan Catholic, but he still has a chip on his shoulder.

"I want to be a good 'known' white running back," he said.

It's a stigma that's whispered about in certain circles. Combined with Wegher's hailing from Sioux City, Iowa, not exactly a recruiting hotbed, he says he's had to fight and scrap for respect.

Since his junior film started making the rounds with college coaches in February, his popularity has slowly begun to rise. Wegher has seen his offers increase from those at the mid-major level like San Diego State, one of the few that knew about him early, to programs like Auburn and a host of teams from the Big Ten and Big 12.

If he even comes close to his senior goals this fall, respect will come in droves.

"I want to rush for 3,000 yards and win a state title," said Wegher.

Already boasting good straight-line speed, strength and vision, he admits he needs to work on his flexibility, one of the reasons he maintains a strict offseason workout regimen. Adding flexibility will dramatically enhance his shiftiness and ability to make people miss; if he gets on a straight line, he can go, as evidenced by his 10.8 100-meter and sub-4.4 40-yard track times.

If work ethic means what it used to, Wegher will make it. He is blessed with the ability to combine good habits with excellent overall athleticism, and it won't matter if he's purple, blue, or green -- he'll just be a running back who can play and folks won't be able to ignore him for much longer.

Brandon Wegher's Scouts Inc. Evaluation
Wegher is a speedy, slashing back with a gliding style. Once he gets into the open field, he is a threat to go the distance. Possesses more than adequate size and a sturdy, muscular build. He is a lot like Class of '08 prospect Sam McGuffie but is a smoother athlete with a longer stride.

He attacks the hole with quickness and authority and shoulders are square and downhill. There is no hesitation to his style and he doesn't dance -- is very decisive. Has the speed to start inside and then bounce plays to the perimeter and is always running to daylight. Shows the ability to fit through tiny creases inline, and while he is not a power back, he does show good leg drive and runs tough and with good pad level. He will break arm and ankle tackles and is not afraid to lower his shoulder to fight for extra yards. Is highly competitive and in good condition and is capable of handling a lot of carries throughout a game. His hands are superb and he has terrific ball skills out of the backfield. Is a natural pass catcher.

However, Wegher can be a bit straight-lined and lacks great lateral quickness and suddenness to make multiple defenders miss in the open field. Doesn't show a great feel for the cutback lane, and while you love his top-end speed, there just isn't much "wiggle." He's not a creative runner; needs to be unobstructed working through the line of scrimmage to be at his best. Takes some time to gather his feet when cutting to make someone miss but is capable of making the first defender miss then using his speed the rest of the way.

Overall, you respect Wegher because he can be a home-run threat. He runs tough and is talented not only as a RB, but his abilities as a kicker are rather astounding. We do question the overall level of competition he faces each week, but he is highly productive and competitive. Very good prospect.

Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts Inc. Luginbill is a college football and recruiting studio analyst for ESPNU.