2009 Intro: Cory Freeman

RAEFORD, N.C. --- Cory Freeman is the latest two-sport star to pop up on the UNC recruiting radar.

"Cory's love is basketball, but whatever enables him to go to college for free is going to be his biggest option," said Hoke County assistant football coach (and head basketball coach) Travis Pait.

Freeman, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior jumbo athlete, has garnered early interest from East Carolina, UNC and NC State.

"Athletically, he's a specimen… He jumps out of the gym," Pait said. "We do agilities [in Weightlifting Class] on Tuesdays and Thursdays and he's one of our top performers. He has good lateral quickness. Last spring, we timed him at a 4.7 in the forty. He has good hands – he's got big hands. He's an explosive athlete."

Last fall, Freeman played tight end and defensive end for Hoke County, which ended the season with a 4-8 record (3-9 on the field, a victory was received via forfeit).

"It was a learning process," Freeman said. "Really just trying to get a feel of where I should be."

Playing against a schedule that only incorporated two pass-oriented offenses and playing in an offense that uses the tight end as an extra blocker, Freeman wasn't able to accumulate many meaningful statistics. He did, however, return a fumble 87 yards for a touchdown.

This Saturday, Freeman will attend East Carolina's Junior Day for what will be his first recruiting trip.

Hoke County is currently in the middle of a coaching transition. Once newly hired head football coach Leon Hope arrives at school, he'll assist Freeman in assembling a summer camping schedule, as well as other recruiting items.

Overwhelmed somewhat, Freeman isn't close to naming a solid leader.

"The recruiting process has just started, so I would like to hear from any school," Freeman said. "I do like UNC, Florida, schools down in the SEC conference."

Fortunately, he isn't in a rush to make his collegiate decision.

"I'm not too worried about distance," Freeman said. "[I'm focused on] education, the coaches, [and] the environment."

Freeman's teammate, Earl Wolff, signed with NC State in February. Wolff hasn't attempted to recruit Freeman, but rather lend some advice.

"He talked to me a little bit about NC State," Freeman said. "Mostly, he just talked about the process, and camps and stuff."

While it's hard to look past his physical tools, Freeman's character might be his greatest attribute.

"Cory is one of our biggest leaders here at the school – not just on the field but in the classroom," Pait said. He's a great student that works extremely hard. As good of an athlete as he is, he's a better person."

That high character and accountability carries over to the playing field.

"In practice, he gives you everything that he's got," Pait added. This summer, he went to every football and basketball workout that was held all summer. He would come in the morning for basketball, go home [and] catch a nap, and come back and work out for football."

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