Freeman Benefits From Early Start

Linebacker Marcus Freeman was one of four true freshmen to get an early start at Ohio State. Freeman says he still feels like a freshman, but at the same time, the early start has given him a jump on the other members of his class.

In some ways, blue-chip prep linebacker Marcus Freeman from Wayne High School in Huber Heights was already a veteran at Media Day although he's still listed as a true freshman on the roster that was handed out.

"I feel that I'm a lot farther ahead now," Freeman said. "Just coming in and listening to the meetings these last couple of days I feel a little ahead of what I did in the spring because I came in early and got a lot of knowledge. But I'm just real excited about this year and I'm looking forward to helping out the team do the best we can."

Freeman, along with Tony Pittman and Steve Rehring, enrolled early at Ohio State and participated in spring football drills. All three guys have already played a game, the Scarlet and Gray game, in Ohio Stadium.

"There's a lot of freshman coming in, and I'm still a freshman, and I'm just going to try to do the best that I can to help them out whenever they need help," he said. "It's a good group of guys."

As a linebacker, Freeman is a member of another talented group of guys as well. Despite being regarded as one of the nation's top high school linebackers last year, he's just trying to fit in comfortably among the ranks of a talented and deep corps of linebackers.

"I'm just going to be ready to play at any time and just do whatever I can to help this defense and this team overall to be the best team that we can be," Freeman said. "I feel that we're the strength of the defense because we've got a lot of veterans at linebacker. Coming here and seeing all of these great athletes at linebacker, I'm still in awe sometimes and shocked to see how good they really are. I'm just trying to be half the player that all the rest of them are and I'm just trying to be the best player that I can be."

At 6-2, 230 pounds Freeman has already proven he belongs after holding his own in the spring.

"I can say that I feel that I'm a little ahead right now," he said. "Yeah, I'm not like the other freshmen that are brand new, not knowing where they're at or where they're going, but I'm still young and I'm still a freshman."

Freeman, named a 2004 Parade All-American and a second-team All-American by USA Today, goes into the fall as the backup to Bobby Carpenter at the Sam linebacker position.

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