Freeze is a fifth-year senior who started three games in 2008 and another game in 2009 at the left guard position for the ‘Cats. Working mainly as a depth role player who also served as a key back-up at left guard, Freeze will attempt to slide over to right guard this year. Freeze will be the front runner to land the position due to his experience and familiarity with the offensive line schemes and playbook but before his anointment can take place, Freeze is going to have to beat out the likes of players like true freshman Cody Whitehead or possibly Keenan Taylor.
I mention Taylor only because Freeze could find himself as the swing man in the rotation. If in-coming Cody Whitehead tears things apart at the seams and secures the right guard position, Freeze would have to unseat Taylor at left guard- not a high probability. Freeze will be tested from the outset in what Coach Dickey describes as getting the best rotation on the field. Freeze will have to show that he is the best fit at RG from the very beginning if he has any chance at holding off Whitehead and not being relegated to mop up snaps off the bench.
Due to his experience alone, Freeze is the early on favorite to secure the starting right guard position and common sense says that any fifth-year senior is more physically developed and ready for action than a true freshman.
The 6-foot-4 and 300 pound plus senior does have the physical tools to compete for the position but there are those who question if Freeze has the right nasty disposition for the starting job. Coach Dickey clearly likes to play more experienced players but he also values a nasty disposition and ability to just play hard and get after it over latent talent.
More than a capable backup who can spell players and give minutes, the Wildcat Offensive Line is in dire need of a starter who can come in and dominate. There is youth along the line and with the departure of O-Lineman this past year, there is a need for the upperclassmen to lead the youth movement and get the in-coming freshman ready to play and contribute.
While no one wants to see a true freshman thrown to the wolves, fall practices will pit Freeze against Whitehead with the right guard position in the balance. If Freeze can secure the spot early - it gives the 'Cats and the Offensive Line a great deal of other options and luxury of possibily redshirting offensive linemen.
If not, Freeze will be counted on to provide depth coming off the bench and players like Whitehead will be your starters along a line that was depleted. This is not the optimal situation and for the sake of Coach Dickey, you can only hope that he is not tasked with getting true freshman up to task in such a short time.
Freeze has been in the program long enough and you root for him and hope that the light comes on this fall when the pads go on and the real competition begins. It really is a now or never situation for Freeze.