Coach speak: Freedom Akinmoladun

Freedom Akinmoladun has the physical ability to be a big play maker on the Nebraska offense eventually. Ask Grandview (Mo.) head coach, Andy Leech, and he will tell you that Akinmoladun's best spot might be on defense.

Grandview (Mo.) doesn't enjoy the luxury of depth on the football field according to head coach Andy Leech. Coach Leech says that is one of the main reasons to him that Freedom Akinmoladun is so valuable because he can move the 6-foot-5 and 238-pound tight end to different spots on the football field.

"We don't have a lot of depth on our team so it's nice to have a guy that you can move around like Freedom," Grandview head coach Andy Leech said. "We have three lineman missing and a couple of tight ends. So you can line him up at tackle and run behind him."

Nebraska likes Akinmoladun, reportedly, as a tight end. Watch his film and you will see why. He has the ability to set the edge like a tackle and at the same time as the ability to run past the second level and get behind the third level. But, while Coach Leech agrees with all of that he says that Freedom might be better suited to play another position on the other side of the football.

"That's interesting because I agree with both camps, but I think that he's an All-American defensive end. He's a very, very good defensive end. He has long arms, runs a 4.7/40 and is basically unblockable coming off of the edge. That quarterback has to go the other way. He's a fantastic pass rusher."

Hearing those types of words brings back memories of another player four or five years ago. That player went on to have a great career at Missouri and ultimately went on to be a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49'ers. That player, is Aldon Smith. Coach Leech agrees with the comparison.

"That's exactly what I said when I saw him play in the first game last year. We played against Aldon and that's exactly who he reminded me of. Coach Hill from Missouri was there and he suggested the same thing that Freedom reminded him some of Aldon Smith. In fact he said at this point in his career he's better than Aldon was."

This fall other teams are going to have to try and zero in on Akinmoladun to see where he is lined up on offense. Coach Leech does have the luxury of a couple of other D-1 players on the offensive side of the ball, but still what Freedom can do either as a blocker either at tackle, tight end or even out as wide receiver really sets the tone for the offense.

"We are going to move him around," Coach Leech said. "We use a true tight end a lot, but we do run some spread formations. The wide receiver screen game is big for us and the best blocker for us is Freedom. I don't mind putting him out wide and run a lot of screen game behind his blocking and he can catch the ball out there also. We motion and shift all the time and we can get creative and have an unbalance with him at tackle."

Coach Leech loves having a player like Akinmoladun on his team and says that in two years he is going to be an absolute giant in Lincoln. However, getting there is going to require some work and that physical development was something that was sacrificed in order to also be an outstanding basketball player.

"He's a tremendous athlete, he's a captain on the basketball team, and he works incredibly hard. It has really hurt him in the weight room. He's very strong, benching 275-pounds, but when he gets to Nebraska he needs to live in that weight room and he will get to be an absolute giant by the time the second year rolls around."

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Bryan Munson has worked with Big Red Report for 11 years covering recruiting and football and has covered Nebraska recruiting for 13 years.
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