In recent years, the state of Texas has done an outstanding job of producing mobile linebackers who can play in space, from guys like Peter Jinkens in 2012 to 2013 standouts Kameron Miles (Texas A&M commitment), Raaquan Davis (Baylor) and Paul Whitmill (TCU). All are athletic enough to play safety in certain schemes. But placed at linebacker, those players become outstanding space players, three-down linebacker types who don't need to be replaced against spread offenses.
In that same vein comes 2014 star Edwin Freeman of Arlington Bowie. Freeman started the season off at safety, and projected as a jumbo, run-stuffing player at that position (he's 6-1 210). But Freeman moved into the box as a linebacker for the Dallas Skyline game — Bowie needed more of a presence in its front seven — and never left, excelling at his new position all season.
It isn't hard to see why. Arguably Freeman's greatest strength as a safety was his ability to impact the running game, and by starting him off in the box, it puts him closer to the ball-carrier he's trying to drag to the ground. He does a nice job of sifting through blockers — it's hard to say how he is at taking on blocks since he slides past those trying to block him with his agility and quickness — and finds the ball like he's been playing in the box his whole career.
He's an exceptional tackler, somebody who form tackles, especially in space. A couple of times when scouting him against Arlington Martin, a quick ball-carrier would find himself in space, one-on-one with Freeman. And in every occasion, he was aggressive, but not reckless, made strong, solid contact, drove his feet and wrapped up. And of course he excels as a linebacker against the pass, thanks to his athleticism and previous time spent as a defensive back.
Looking at Freeman's frame, it isn't hard to project him getting bigger, though he's far more likely to top out at 220-225 pounds as opposed to 235-240. And that's OK. You're seeing quite a few linebackers in that range as is. It will be interesting to hear which position recruiters tell Freeman they see him as. Because he has the size and movement to be a safety in certain schemes, though he could also join the above group of players as safety-type athletes who make the transition to linebacker at the next level.