Since I have been roundly castigated – and rightfully so – for referring to Marcus as "Antonio Freeman" in my recruiting review, I thought I owed it to Marcus and to our loyal following to get him on the phone and straighten out all the misconceptions about this wonderfully gifted Ohio athlete.
Here's a kid who runs one of the four legs on the 4X100 Wayne High School relay track team, yet he weighs over 240 pounds and bench presses over 450! That's quite a combination. And how good is the Wayne 4X100 team? They have put up some of the best times in the state this year.
So when you are looking for a good time (and a sincerely good kid), Marcus Freeman is the guy to call.
Hey Marcus, what's the deal on the recent message board gossip about you telling Nebraska that OSU wasn't even in your top 5?
"That's ridiculous. Coach Minton told me this year to believe about half of what's written about me and none of what I read on the internet. Right now, my top five start with Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, and one of the Florida schools."
Do you fall in love with the traditional "linebacker schools" like Ohio State and Penn State?
"Well, Ohio State has had great linebackers and Penn State is called "Linebacker U". But I'm more interested in establishing myself. I don't want to be the next Chris Spielman. I want to be the first Marcus Freeman."
Wayne High School – and Coach Jay Minton – has produced a number of Division I players, many of whom have gone to Ohio State. Some of the recent names include Will Allen, John Hollins, Ashton Watson and (from when Coach Minton was in Florida), both Steve and Greg Bellisari. Do you stay in touch with these recent grads and how does that influence you?
"Will Allen and I stay in touch and I talk with him whenever he's in town. He tells me to put God first and everything else will fall into place. John Hollins is like an older brother to me. I trust him completely. He would never guide me wrong. We talk about his experiences and his advice."
Hey – what about Ashton Watson, the one that got away? We thought he'd end up at OSU but went to Michigan State instead…do you think he has regrets?
"You got to know Ashton. He likes to do things different. We talk because he's my brother's best friend. He's told me before, 'If I had gone to Ohio State, I would have played for the national championship.' So he's thought about it. But he's at Michigan State and he'll stay there."
Coach Minton told me that Jay Paterno from Penn State was in town to see him this week. With all this attention, do you think there will be a helmet big enough for your head by the time football season comes around?
(Laughs). "I don't pay much attention to it, really. Once I am comfortable, I'll make a decision and that will be that."
When I talked with you earlier this year, you thought you would wait until the end of the season, plus make your visits before you decided. Is that still the plan?
"I could see myself making an earlier decision. I pretty much know what I'm looking for. I might not wait until that late although I would like to take some visits."
I can't go without asking, what are Ohio State's chances…?
"At least 50%. That's all I'll commit to right now!"
For more on Marcus Freeman, we will have him on the
Bucknuts Radio Hour next week. Listen in and you'll hear a very centered and
intelligent young man.