2014 Signee Spotlight: Freedom Akinmoladun

Freedom Akinmoladun was brought to Nebraska to play tight end, but his best position might be defensive end down the road.

TE Freedom Akinmoladun


"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."
- Andy Leech, Grandview high school coach

SENIOR HONORS: Second-team Class 4 all-state honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association.

SENIOR STATS: 23 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns. He also recorded 26 tackles and five tackles for loss from the defensive end spot.

THE LOWDOWN: Two years ago Nebraska started the tradition of "Big Red Weekend," a select junior day in early June for the Huskers' top targets.

The weekend was viewed as crucial in Nebraska's recruitment of Akinmoladun. The coaching staff knew he wanted to have a top three by early July, with the idea of committing to a school before his senior year in August.

"When I commit, It's going to be how I feel around the people there," Akinmoladun said shortly after his trip to Lincoln. "Nebraska, they took my family under their wings while I enjoyed the visit and got to focus on it. They made it seem like we were part of their family."

It didn't take until August. On July 4th, a day American's celebrate their freedom, Freedom Akimoladun committed to Nebraska.

"It was a tough choice between Nebraska and Kansas State," said the three-star prospect when he committed. "There was just one thing that stood out to me when I compared the two schools. The one thing that was really different was atmosphere.

"They also have great coaches. One thing that really stood out for me was that on my visit is that they took care of my family while I was there. They really showed they cared."

Less than two months after committing, the Missouri prep took in his first game day environment in Lincoln. "It was a great, game environment. I know that they have a sellout streak, but there wasn't an empty seat anywhere. The tunnel walk was crazy. Everyone was yelling at us and high-fiving us," said Akinmoladun. "It was an amazing experience."

Even before an offer came from Nebraska, Akinmoladun was very familiar with how Husker fans looked at their athletic programs.

After living in Omaha as a young child, Freedom moved to Missouri, but often made return trips to see his mother's family in the area. His cousin, Oladapo Akinmoladun, also was on the Nebraska track and field team.

After racking up over 80 tackles and four sacks as a junior, Akinmoladun's recruitment took off when he was named third-team Missouri all-state in 2012. If he had not committed so early in the process, it's likely the Missouri prep would have had 20+ offers.

WHY NEBRASKA: "When I visited Nebraska they really took me and my family in. It really felt like I was already part of the program. I really felt at home while I was there over Big Red Weekend."

WHO ELSE: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State and Northern Illinois


SCOUT.COM RATING: Three-star prospect (No. 46 TE in the country)

BRR PROJECTION: Long and athletic, Akinmoladun was recruited to play TE for Nebraska, but his best position on the football field might be DE. There is actually some thought that Freedom's body might take him to OT once he really begins to fill out. It will be interesting to watch Akinmoladun's career at Nebraska.

*** Bryan Munson contributed to this report.***

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