Five-Star LB Signs With The Tigers

Five-star LB Eltoro Freeman signed his LOI on Thursday with the Auburn Tigers.

Alexander City, Ala.--For the second consecutive day new Auburn coach Gene Chizik has retained one of the key holdover recruits from the Tommy Tuberville era as linebacker Eltoro Freeman has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Tigers and has faxed the documents to the AU coaching staff.

"I committed to Auburn coming out of high school," Freeman tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Auburn University stood behind me when I was at a down point in my life (after not qualifying). They have continued to stick behind me.

"I know Auburn is down right now," he adds. "I have decided to stick behind them. A lot of people have talked about Coach Chizik, a lot of Auburn fans maybe didn't want him as a head coach because of his Iowa State record. I believe in Auburn University. I believe they hired the right guy. He was in a situation of rebuilding Iowa State. When I heard Iowa State was giving him a two-year contract it just answered all the questions I had about him. I"m 110 percent behind him."

Freeman is familiar with Chizik from his coaching days at Auburn when he was part of an undefeated season in 2004. The linebacker says Chizik's past tells you all you want to know about what kind of coach he is and what he gets out of his players.

"I already know he was a great defensive coach with Auburn and Texas," Freeman says. "I also know he's coached three (Jim) Thorpe Award winners. I'm here to tell you right now he's getting ready to coach a Butkus Award winner. To all the people that decommitted or don't want to come to Auburn, good. If we can't get ya we'll beat ya. I'm going to Auburn and I can't wait to get down there and help Coach Chiz and the Auburn family get things turned around."

A redshirt sophomore that will have three years left to play three, the 6-0, 225 Freeman was a standout at Benjamin Russell High before heading off to junior college at Mississippi Gulf Coast. There he was part of a national championship team as a true freshman before deciding to redshirt in 2008.

A five-star prospect, Freeman earned All-American honors as a true freshman as he led his team to the national title. He totaled 65 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, and five sacks.

Freeman chose Auburn over Ole Miss with Florida, Alabama and several more schools making a late effort to get into the mix as well. He says he plans to enroll and begin classes at Auburn beginning Jan. 5.

When he does he'll come in as an honor student from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Going from a player that didn't qualify out of high school to one with honors is something that Freeman says he's most proud of.

"It was exciting, not only to graduate, but with honors," Freeman says. "In high school when I didn't qualify it hurt a lot of people around me. It hurt my momma real bad. I want to thank Sherry Pritchard and Cassandra Freeman. They stood behind me 100 percent with my work."

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