Prospect Impressed With Auburn D In Iron Bowl

One of the South's top defensive prospects discusses Auburn's win over Alabama and recruiting.

Alexander City, Ala.--A 6-0, 205 wrecking ball of a linebacker, Benjamin Russell High School standout and Auburn commitment Eltoro Freeman is considered one of the country's top linebacker prospects.

Although he's not the biggest linebacker, he more than makes up for it with his explosive strength and closing speed on ball carriers.

Those stats and characteristics are similar to another linebacker who signed with the Tigers just two years ago. Now starting at Auburn on the weak side, LaGrange, Ga., standout Tray Blackmon has been a big hit for the Tigers on defense since earning the starting role this season. After getting a chance to watch Blackmon in action, Freeman says he can't wait to play on the same defense in the future with Blackmon and a big group of talented young defenders on the Plains.

"It's exciting and I wouldn't mind playing with Tray Blackmon," Freeman tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Everyone tells me I remind them of him. I went down there and watched the Auburn-Florida game and we talked for a long time. He said he couldn't wait to have me down there so we could be side by side playing beside each other. I can't wait for that."

Blackmon and his fellow defenders had a big day Saturday in Auburn's 22-15 victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Freeman says that although he didn't make the trip to see the game he watched it on television and was impressed with what he saw out of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp's unit.

"I just liked their defense," Freeman says. "I liked how David Irons stepped up at the end and sealed the game with the interception. You had Tray Blackmon chasing down tackles, Quentin Groves making big plays and sacks, I am ready to be a part of that."

Freeman explodes into the backfield to dump Clay County's talented Lanell Wilson for a loss.

It wasn't the best of years for the Benjamin Russell Wildcats in 2006 as an up and down season finished with a first round loss to Hartselle two weeks ago. Winding up the year 7-4 overall, Freeman says that he wishes the team could have continued its winning ways in the playoffs, but it just wasn't to be.

None of that was because of the play of Freeman though. A dominating defender who played linebacker and even some nose guard this season, Freeman finished the year with 140 tackles and eight sacks on defense. He also found time to play some fullback as well and had 15 carries for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He says that despite the struggles as a team he feels like he improved as a player this year.

"I feel like I can read the offense better," Freeman says. "The coaches moved me around. I played a lot of positions other than inside linebacker. I think I did real well there. I just feel like I became a better player."

Freeman says that he plans to take several visits in the coming months just to check out other schools. For fans worried that Freeman is waivering on his choice he says that you can put that out of your minds.

"I'm going to Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and Auburn," he says. "There's no doubt where I'm going though. Most definitely I'm going to be an Auburn Tiger."

In the meantime Freeman will spend his time getting ready to help the Benjamin Russell power lifting team this winter before running track in the spring. Competing in the bench press, squat and power clean for the Wildcats, Freeman says he's currently up to 400 in the bench, 500 in the squat and 300 in the power clean.


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