Phone Rings Again - It's Marcus Freeman

Ohio's #1 junior linebacker <B>Marcus Freeman</B> had 'placed out of' standardized tests being given at Huber Heights Wayne this (Monday) morning. So he called yours truly.

In January in San Antonio we watched linebacker Marcus Freeman (from Huber Heights, Ohio, Wayne, in the Dayton area) have a great U.S. Army Combine: his stats were 6-2, 232 lbs., 4.66 in the 40, 4.22 shuttle, 30-inch vertical jump, 28 bench press reps. of 185 lbs. (he also reports a 430-pound bench press, and a 575 lb. squat, and a 3.2 GPA/18 ACT as a junior).

Also in attendance at the combine was top Dayton Chaminade-Julienne quarterback/athlete Anthony Turner, who Saturday talked to the Dayton Daily News. Yesterday the Daily News reported: "Turner said he talked with the other guys about college choices. He said Freeman "loves" Michigan."

When Freeman called yours truly this morning I asked him about this.

"I've been a big fan of both Michigan and Ohio State, it'd be between those two for the leader for me right now. It's early of course, so I will look at other schools as well. My schools, in no order, are Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Florida, Oklahoma, and Penn State. I'm pretty sure I'll wait and decide after the season, so some of my teammates can get exposure too."

Marcus' head coach Jay Minton added, "Michigan and OSU -- who from around here wouldn't want to be involved in that game. Midwest kids tend to stay closer to home it seems. So Penn State and Notre Dame are in the mix as well. But Oklahoma is courting him too. And I coached in Florida for several years."

Regarding his spring/summer plans:

Freeman: "I was scheduled to go to the Junior Day at Michigan for the OSU basketball game, but we had 6-7 inches of snow. I called Coach Herrmann and he said they had several inches up there too, so we scheduled a visit for a Michigan spring practice instead. I'm also coming up for the Michigan Nike combine. As far as summer camps, Tedd Ginn (Cleveland Glenville DB) and I talked about it at the US Army Combine. We plan to go to several together: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State ... probably some more as well."

Coach Minton: "In May we'll also go to a Tennesssee Titans combine in Nashville. And we'll try to get around to several college campuses."

Regarding the US Army Combine:

Freeman: "I did all right but I could've done better."

Minton: "His 28 bench press reps of 185 lbs. were the best of all the linebackers invited, but it disappointed him. We do 225-lb. reps here, and Marcus does 25 reps of 225 lbs. He blew himself out at the US Army Combine by starting too fast (too much adrenalin). And all the 40-yard dash times were slow there. But his stats there have motivated him to improve on everything: his speed, his agility, his vertical jump. That's Marcus' attitude anyway -- never satisfied."

On Freeman's strengths and weaknesses:

Marcus: "My strengths are my speed, and my ability to get in the hole and make plays. My weaknesses -- I have a lot of things to work on: my explosiveness, my pass coverage, my reads, tackling better."

Freeman is one of the top 3-4 Ohio juniors, and is one of's top two Inside Linebackers.

On whether he'll play inside or outside in college:

Coach Minton: "Marcus plays the middle for us, but with his athletic ability and speed, he can play outside in college. He's a speed linebacker, and very athletic."

Marcus: "Some college coaches say I'll play in the middle, some say outside."

Coach Minton also told me, "The best thing about Marcus is he's a great person: he's a 'yessir-nosir' type of kid, and he has great grades -- that's why he didn't have to come in to school until later today, he placed out of the standardized tests that are being given here today."

Final word from Freeman: "We finished 9-3 last season, losing in the second round of the playoffs to Cincinnati Elder (eventual champs). We plan to do better this year."

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