Dalton Freeman Hopes to Hear More from ND

Dalton Freeman got very good news from the doctor, despite hearing that his right thumb was broken, and he might have to miss his freshman football season at Pelion (S.C.) High. Looking at the x-rays, the doctor saw a big gap in Freeman's growth plate, and told him and his parents that he expected Freeman to grow from 6-foot-2, to 6-7, 6-8ish.

The doctor was right. Freeman has since grown to 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, and has become one of the top offensive linemen in the recruiting class of 2008. All-state the last two seasons as a guard, Freeman holds scholarship offers from Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Middle Tennessee State, Maryland and Wake Forest. Notre Dame has been sending a couple letters a week.

At 6-2, 225 pounds, Dalton Freeman originally thought he would play tight end his freshman year. An opportunity to play center on the varsity presented itself, and Freeman became the front runner. The first day of contact drills, he broke his right thumb. A sad day was perked up by the doctor.

"I loved to hear that," said Freeman, who won't be 17 until June, making him one of the younger players in this recruiting class. "It's been weird every year on the roster. Last year I was 6-4, 255 pounds, and this year I was 6-6, 260 pounds."

Not willing to admit defeat on account of his right thumb, Freeman asked his father Ben, the school's athletic director and head coach if he could try snapping the ball left handed.

"It was on the money every time," Freeman said. "So I snapped with my left hand, wearing a big cast and club on my right hand. It looked odd, but I had an alright year, and my sophomore year he moved me to guard, and I did that again this year, and I think that is what I'm best suited for the way I play the game."

It sure seems that way. Freeman didn't allow a sack this past season, helping the team finish 10-2 before losing in the second round of the state tournament. On the season, Freeman graded out at 92 percent, averaging three or four pancakes and six or seven knockdowns per game.

"He is athletic," Ben Freeman said. He played center and guard at Wake Forest. "We pull a lot with him in our offense, and he is capable of doing that because he is so athletic. He also does a lot of trapping. I think he has the capability to play tackle on the next level with his height, and some schools are looking at him as that. I think it just depends on what people are looking for. He can also play center, because of his experience as a freshman. He has a lot of things he can do."

Clemson was the first school to offer Freeman, and remains his favorite.

"It was impressive, Freeman said of the offer. "Growing up in South Carolina, everyone is pretty much for South Carolina or Clemson. I was never really for either one. They came in and offered me, and started recruiting me hard, so I've been going towards them.

"If you had to pick one, it'd be Clemson, but I'm trying to keep all my options open and play this thing out until I know in my heart that I want to go somewhere for the next four years of my life."

Wake Forest also holds a special place in Freeman's heart.

"I was never a big fan of Wake Forest, and then I went there my sophomore year and fell in love with their campus," Freeman said. "I went their for their invitation only rising senior camp, and I was only a sophomore. They toured us around their campus and football facilities. It's a lot like my town, smaller, everyone knows everyone, and I like it like that."

Freeman also likes Notre Dame.

"They have awesome tradition," Freeman stated. "When you hear of big time college football, you think of Notre Dame, Play Like a Champion, and stuff like that.

"They have invited me to junior days and games during the past season, I'm on they're mailing list. But its hard to be real interested in a school that doesn't seem that interested in you."

With Freeman's college prep classes, he has a 4.3 GPA on a 4.7 scale. Freeman reports a bench press of 340 pounds.

Though no school is recruiting Freeman to play on defense, he was an all-area defensive tackle this past season, ranking second on the team with 76 tackles.

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