ShowMeMizzou spoke with 2010 OL Chris Freeman 6'9" 320 5.15 Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison about the realization of his year-long endeavor to make it into Missouri in time for the opening of fall camp.
After signing a letter of intent to play football at Missouri in 2009, Freeman failed to qualify academically. He has spent much of the past year working toward completing his academic requirements, and resolving issues with the NCAA clearing house. He will be arriving on campus a couple of days before fall camp begins, and couldn't be more pleased.
"It feels great!" said Freeman. "For the past several months, it's been a grind, trying to get everything done that I needed to do. Now, I can finally see the results of what I was working towards. You'll see a smile on my face twenty-four-seven. I'm just happy to be able to go back (to Missouri) and start playing football again, and start my education."
Freeman expects to play offensive tackle at Missouri, and will be a true freshman during the 2010-2011 school year. He'll have five years in which to play four years of football.
In addition to attending to his academic responsibilities, Freeman has embarked upon an ambitious strength and conditioning program. The latter has produced visible results that Freeman is anxious to demonstrate to the Missouri staff, and to his Tiger teammates.
"I've been working with my trainer back home, Coach Grissom," said Freeman. "He's been helping me out a lot, just to drop some more pounds, just to make sure I stay in shape. He's been making sure that I'm ready when I get there.............. I've been working hard at that. It's a great feeling. I'll be going back (to Missouri) weighing less than I did a year ago. I think all of the coaches will be pretty appreciative of what they see, how hard I've been working, when they see the results."
Freeman has adjusted his eating habits, as well as working hard on his strength and conditioning. He's lost about forty pounds over the past year, and talked about the impact of that weight loss on his athletic performance.
"It's a great feeling," Freeman intimated. "It's like getting a great big weight off of my back. I just got to be dedicated...........It's just a blessing that God allowed me to lose all of this weight. Now, I can do more work. Before, I used to get tired right away. Now, I'll be able to do everything."
"I feel real good about myself," continued Freeman. "I know that after accomplishing this, I know that I can accomplish bigger things in life. It goes over to more than just football. It's going to help me be better in the classroom, and on the field, and off the field............... I tried to take a bad situation (the one year lay-off) and turn it into a good situation. I didn't want to look at it as a bad situation. I wanted to turn it around for good. Sitting out a year is going to help me be more prepared."
Finally, the twenty year-old Freeman talked about where he sees himself at Missouri.
"I've been keeping tabs on Mizzou football," said Freeman. "I'm just happy to be there, and I'm just ready to work hard. And, wherever I fit in, I'll fit in............ Whatever they tell me to do, I'm going to do. They're getting a completely different player now from the one that everybody was recruiting. If they liked me then, they're really going to like me now. I've just improved in so many areas."
It's pretty easy to see that Chris Freeman has become a more mature, more disciplined, and more confident person over the past year. He's a relatively inexperienced player with a very high ceiling. He has very long arms, and really good feet. He projects as a tackle for Missouri, where he could be groomed as a successor to one of Missouri's current starters.