Freeman will Join Brother at BYU

Ryan Freeman, the 6'3½", 280-pound offensive line recruit from Orem High School, was one of first-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall's first commits, having committed close to three months ago in early May. So why is he only now ready to make his committment public, as he revealed to the Deseret Morning News about a week ago?

"I just didn't want to draw attention to myself," Freeman explained. "I don't know; I'm just not a guy who likes a lot of attention regarding stuff like that. I committed to Coach Mendenhall back in May, but it just seems right now as we're starting to practice for the season to make public my commitment to sign with BYU."

Some would jump to the conclusion that the real reason for the delay in the announcement was that Freeman was not 100% sold on BYU when he committed back in May. Freeman emphatically denied such an assertion.

"I know some people may think that I was still looking around, but that wasn't the case at all," he said. "I had schools sending me stuff and calling me all summer, but I told every single one of them that I was committed to sign with BYU and my mind was made up."

Among the schools recruiting Freeman are Arizona State, Oregon and Utah.

"I liked most of them and considered them for a while, but BYU was the right choice for me," said Freeman regarding the schools that recruited him. "It wasn't a very difficult decision for me."

Freeman has a brother currently playing for the Cougars at offensive line in Erik Freeman.

"I love the idea of playing in the same program as my brother," said Ryan. "It was definitely a factor in my decision. Not the biggest factor, but playing football with my older brother is going to be great."

Ryan has also been able to get an inside look into BYU's program that others perhaps would not because he has learned from his brother how Coach Mendenhall does things.

"[Mendenhall's] all about hard work," said Ryan. "My brother tells me that he's never worked so hard in his life and I like that. I like a coach who demands the most. That's what will make BYU successful."

The Freeman's grew up BYU fans living just minutes away from the Provo campus and this is something that figured prominently in Ryan Feeman's decision as well.

"I love BYU," said Freeman. "I've always been a BYU fan and having the opportunity to play for them and help them return to a winning program is something I've always wanted. It was just a no-brainer to commit to them."

Ryan Freeman will join with fellow Orem commit Zeke Wiley in signing a letter of intent tot BYU this coming February and is very excited to play with Wiley again at the next level.

"Zeke is an awesome football player," said Freeman. "He's such a great athlete. We've played with each other since we were in 7th grade and I know how good he is. He'll help us out a lot."

While Wiley is slated to play on the defensive side of the ball, Freeman will play offensive line where he thinks he excels most.

"I like O-line more," said Freeman. "I can play both, but I feel my skills are best suited for the offensive line. Zeke wants to play defense where he'll be great. He loves defense."

In the meantime, Freeman is preparing as hard as possible for the upcoming season at Orem High, having just returned from a mini-camp for his high school in Lava Springs, Idaho.

"It was great just being away from everything for a week to train with my teammates for the upcoming season," Freeman said. "I feel we grew as a team and I feel great going into the season."

Freeman is one of the team's captains and he's made several goals going into the season where Orem will be one of the front-runners for the state championship.

"We made 3 main goals," said Freeman. "The first one is to improve every single game; to not rest on how good we are, but to constantly improve throughout the season. The second one is to never have to be told to work harder or give better effort by the coaches. We're the seniors and we need to be the examples. The coaches should not and will not have to worry about us giving it our all on every down and at every practice. The last one is to take state."

Feeman is LDS and has definite mission plans. "I turn 19 the spring after the first season, so I'll probably play a year and then go," said Freeman.

"I'm just very excited to have the opportunity to play for BYU," Freeman continued. "I believe in Coach Mendenhall and what he's doing. I've listened to him speak and I've attended his camps and I have complete confidence in him as a football coach. He'll turn things around there for sure. Right now I'm just concentrating fully on my upcoming season. I can't think of playing college ball right now. I just need to do my best this season and go from there."

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