Two at the Top for Freeman?

Trotwood (OH) Madison OT Chris Freeman gives the latest on his recruitment, including word on his recent unofficial visit to Michigan, other visits he has taken, his decision timeline, his favorites, and more. Is Michigan still near the top for the gargantuan lineman?

Trotwood (OH) Madison OT Chris Freeman exploded onto the recruiting scene very early in 2008, racking up offers from national powers like Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Even though he hadn't played football for very long and was more involved in basketball, those programs looked at his 6-9, 348-pound frame and saw an extremely high ceiling.  Now with a few seasons on the gridiron under his belt, he has lived up to some of their assessments.  As a matter of fact, his talents just might earn him some prestigious postseason recognition.

"We started out real slow but ended up winning our conference which was big because our school hasn't done it in years," Freeman said.  "We came up short in the playoffs, but I'm happy we won. My coach though talked to Tom Lemming about the Army game and he'll talk more about that stuff.  Plus I know there's a great chance I'll play in the Big 33 game (an annual game pitting high school stars from Ohio and Pennsylvania)."

While waiting to see if he makes it on one or both of those All Star teams, Freeman is contemplating one last run in the sport that was his first love.

"I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to play basketball this year," Freeman said. "I've got to talk to my dad.  Tryouts are tomorrow."

Whether he plays hoops or not, Freeman knows where his bread is buttered and will keep an adequate amount of attention focused on recruiting.

"I just got back from Tennessee," he said.  "They were one of my favorites, but it's a lot (with Phil Fulmer being let go). It might be too late and I don't want to wait and miss other opportunities. I know Tajh Boyd is still staying with his commitment but it would be weird with (Phil Fulmer) not there."

Another school Freeman recently visited was Michigan for the annual grudge match a few weeks ago with in-state rival Michigan State.  It was one of the Wolverines' biggest recruiting weekends of the season, and Freeman was extremely impressed with what they have to offer.

"I enjoyed it a lot," Freeman said of his time at the Big House.  "They are top two or top three. I still got to go to some schools and see, but two official visits for sure are Michigan and Florida. I know for a fact I'm taking one to Michigan."

That recent trip to Michigan's campus was actually Freeman's third visit to Ann Arbor, thus making the campus quite the comfortable setting. Having three former high school teammates with the Wolverine's hasn't hurt their either.

"Oh, it means a lot," admitted Freeman regarding the presence of Roy Roundtree, Brandon Moore, and Michael Shaw in Ann Arbor.  I feel like I'm at home with friends so it's great. And I'm real cool with Coach Rodriguez, Coach Frey, Coach Tall, and Coach Jackson. And a lot of the offensive line too, like Dann O'Neill and my friend Elliott Mealer.  We all stay in touch. It's basically the same at Florida where I'm cool with Major Wright, but having those three (former teammates) on the team (at Michigan) helps so if I come in they can show me the ropes."

Another reason for Michigan's strong standing with Freeman is the recruiting job turned in by assistant Bruce Tall.

"Coach Tall is recruiting me and telling me I'm a great fit and have a chance to come in and make an impact early, recalled Freeman.  "A lot of schools say that, but when me and Coach Tall talk it's like me and my uncle, or my dad, or my coach. It feels like I've known him forever."

With the national signing day inching ever closer, Tall and all of Freeman's other suitors will likely ratchet up the intensity of their pursuit.  For his part the talented youngster has identified a timeframe at which he would like his recruitment to come to an end.

"Hopefully before February and after my officials," Freeman reported.  "I'll have to talk to my family and coach and just go from there."

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