It's hard to believe that Marcus Freeman is in college now.
He played his last football game as a high school player on Saturday in the Army All-American Bowl and was in Columbus on Sunday preparing for his first day of Winter quarter at Ohio State.
I caught up with Marcus on his way to class Monday evening around 6:10 p.m. and I didn't have a lot of time to ask him a lot of questions, so before I asked him about school, I asked him about the Bowl game.
"For me, it was a big learning experience. It was a lot different than your typical everyday high school game," he said. "The speed is what really shocked me about the game. The speed of the game was so fast that you couldn't do the same things that you did in high school. You had to adjust your game."
I asked him how he thought he did?
"That game is made for offense, and there was a lot of passing actually, and you really couldn't do a lot about the run. But it just was a learning experience that is going to help prepare me for the next level."
What did you think of Jeff Byers?
"He was a great center. One thing about Jeff is that he never quit. If he got on to you he would be on you until the play was over. I can see why he's rated so high; he's a real good center. I'm going to face players like him everyday now, so it just helped me to prepare for the next level?
Who are some of the guys there that really surprised you?
"Brian Toal, the running back for us on the East squad from New Jersey is real good. Ted, I've never actually seen Ted play in real life. I heard a lot about Ted and I knew he was good, but I didn't know how good he was, and Ted's a great player and I can see why he's rated so high. Willie Williams out of Miami, he's a great linebacker and he hustles every play. There were a lot of great players there, and it's hard to name some off the top of my head, all of them down there were great.
"And Xavier Lee is great, not just as a quarterback but as an athlete. I sat there and watched him throw the ball down the field 84 yards and it was shocking. It looked effortless for him to throw that ball that far. And then watching him in practice run routes and he made Keith Rivers -- Keith Rivers is one of the best linebackers in America (and) Xavier Lee made him look horrible. He ran a route and left Keith behind, and you know Xavier Lee is a great player if he can do that to a great player like Keith Rivers."
Is it true Ohio State has no shot at Xavier Lee?
"I don't know. I don't know where he's going to go, he didn't give me any clue."
What do you think of James Bryant, Leon Hart and Kyle Mitchum?
"James is a great player. He's very intense and very enthusiastic and he's the kind of player that we would love to have at Ohio State. I tried to throw a recruiting pitch and hopefully we'll impress him enough on his visit that he'll want to come here. James is a great player.
"Leon Hart is a great player. He's not as big as every other linemen that you see but Leon can move, he has great feet. By far, he was the best lineman I saw on the East squad. He's stuck between Ohio State and Auburn from what I hear and I hope he comes to Ohio State. I tried to tell him we're losing a lot of linemen here and hopefully he pulls the trigger and comes to Ohio State. And Kyle Mitchum is a great player too and I'm pretty sure he'll be coming to Ohio State."
What's the latest on Fred Davis from your perspective?
"Fred doesn't want to give anybody any clues so I have no idea. I asked him plenty of times where he was going and he said he didn't know. I tried to get the inside scoop but I'm wondering just as much as you guys are, so I have no idea where he's going to go. It's between Miami, USC and Ohio State so hopefully he picks Ohio State."
What's your last two days have been like?
"It's just been hectic, I came home from San Antonio and about three hours later I was on my way up to Columbus. I got my feet wet last night and today I'm trying to find out where my class is and I got a lot of people looking out for me and helping me. It's a lot different than high school, I'm on my to a class now. I'm just trying to get accustomed to all of this different college stuff. It's been hectic but I think it's going to be good."
Have you talked to football people at all yet or has it just been academics for you so far?
"Actually today I went over to the Woody Hayes Center for a little bit and talked to Coach Heacock, Coach Fickell and Coach Tucker, and right now they want me to concentrate on academics and we'll worry about football stuff in a little bit."
What did you think of the Fiesta Bowl and did you get a chance to see it?
"I only got a chance to see the last quarter but it was a great experience to get to see that."
So what's your game plan in the short term?
"Right now, I'm just trying to get the academic stuff done and then hopefully I can get ready to play spring ball. Right now is all academics, I think we start working out the 12th."
Any regrets at all or is it all full-speed ahead?
"No regrets right now. I'm still not realizing what I'm doing right now. But in the long run I think it's a great move for me."
Do you believe you're in college right now?
"It's unbelievable right now. It's starting to hit me a little bit."
What's the most exciting thing that you're feeling right now?
"Right now the most exciting thing to me is that I don't have to worry my mama saying ‘Come home' and everybody saying that you got to do this and that. I'm becoming a man and I'm growing up in life that's the most exciting thing to me right now."
In football Marcus what's your biggest goal that you want to accomplish in the short term?
"In the short term, I just want to get in there and learn the playbook and make a name for myself. I want to go out in spring ball and try hard and I want people to know that Marcus Freeman is a good ball player. I just want to go out there and make a name for myself and learn the system."
And did you get a number yet?
"Not yet, I get it tomorrow."
Best of Luck to you and congratulations!
Freeman an OSU student now
It's hard to believe that Marcus Freeman is in college now.