Already committed to Tommy Tuberville's program, Benjamin Russell standout Eltoro Freeman says he's anxious to get on the campus and spend some time getting to know his future teammates.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the other 2007 commitments and becoming friends with them," Freeman tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm looking forward to talking with Ryan Williams and Ryan Pugh and all them. I just want to look around the school more and sit down and talk with the coaches."
A commitment to Auburn back in July, Freeman was at that time still virtually an unknown to many schools despite his overwhelming accomplishments as a junior. That didn't last for long though as his commitment combined with outstanding performances at spring and summer events, including a Scout.com Combine in Tuscaloosa, quickly turned up the heat. Freeman says it was funny that it took him committing to Auburn before schools started looking his way.
Freeman could play any of the three linebacker positions for the Tigers.
A dominating defender for coach Willie Carl Martin's Wildcats, the 6-0, 205 Freeman says he's a big fan of the Auburn defense under Will Muschamp after watching them play for a full season. He says several games especially stand out in his mind and make him excited about the future on the Plains.
"He had a great defense," Freeman says. "That was especially true against Florida. I think when they played the first half they missed a few tackles, but in the second half they got it together and made some big plays. I think the defense got going pretty well, especially when Tray Blackmon stepped in at linebacker. That's what I can't wait for is to play alongside him."
Losing starters Will Herring and Karibi Dede from the linebacker spot as well as senior Kevin Sears, the Tigers will be looking for some immediate help at the position next fall. With several key reserves back but only Merrill Johnson and Blackmon having starting experience, Freeman says it's a chance for him to come in and make some noise right away.
"They told me I have a great chance of playing," Freeman says. "They said there was no reason for me to be redshirted because I was big enough, fast enough, and strong enough. They said they just can't wait to get me in uniform so I can start playing down there."
One person who is anxious to get Freeman on the Auburn campus is position coach James Willis, Freeman notes. Wanting a fast and powerful defense, Willis is looking for Freeman to be a player to challenge for playing time right away. Freeman says that having a former Auburn and NFL player as his coach is something that makes the Tigers a big draw for any linebacker prospect.
"I had an in-home visit with Coach Willis about three weeks ago," Freeman says. "We get along great. He acts like he's my dad. I can't wait to play under him. We've got a good relationship going already and we're bonding together. It means a lot that he's gone through what we're going through. He understands young players and he knows the steps and what it takes to get to the NFL because he's already been there. That means a lot."
A physical player, Freeman runs better than a 4.6 40-yard dash at 205 pounds.
Saying he's fully committed to Auburn and playing for the Tigers, Freeman says he'll still take several visits just to take a look around. Scheduled to visit Tennessee next weekend as well as Georgia, Florida and Florida State, Freeman says he just wants to take some trips and is set on being a Tiger when the time comes.
As a senior Freeman earned All-State honors for Benjamin Russell after making 140 tackles and eight sacks on defense. Also playing some fullback Freeman added 215 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries. This spring Freeman will be a part of the power lifting team at Benjamin Russell as he prepares for life in the SEC to come.