Bruce Frieson Is Glenville's Best Kept Secret

Bruce Frieson came to Glenville from John Marshall in time for last season but was an academic casualty when he arrived and missed just about the entire campaign. Now he's eligible and ready to go as the main running back for the Tarblooders this season and he wants to make a name for himself starting in week one.

He'll probably be the best running back in Ohio this year that no one outside of the Senate League in Cleveland really knows a whole lot about.

The college recruiters already know all about Bruce Frieson (pronounced Free-zen) of Glenville High School, he was involved in the incredible recruiting tour led by Ted Ginn Sr. in June, but after sitting out of all but one game last season as an academic casualty, Frieson isn't exactly a household name in the recruiting circles for the class of 2006.

"I started my first year on varsity in my sophomore year at John Marshall High School in Cleveland," Frieson said. "I had a successful sophomore season, I had 1,300 yards rushing, the most yards in the Senate that year."

The head coach at Marshall was let go and Frieson went about looking for a new school to attend.

"I really didn't know what school I was going to go to," Frieson said. "I talked with the assistant coaches there about going to St. Ed's or St. Ignatius, but my parents and everyone felt that I would have a better chance at Glenville. So I just talked to Coach Ginn about me going to Glenville and he gave me some good odds about me making it to college and getting a scholarship."

Frieson said that Ginn told him that he would help him get his grades up and stay on him about his grades.

"They were concerned about me more as a student than as an athlete," he said. "So that's what helped me to make my decision to go to Glenville."

Obviously academics were not his strong point when he transferred to Glenville in June of 2004.

"I wasn't able to play because I was ineligible," said Frieson who, to no avail, tried to make up for some of his poor grades that summer. "That was the story about me not playing last year."

Instead, Frieson just worked out and ran with his new team and helped them out as much as he possibly could. And he got his grades up enought to become eligible late in the post season.

"I just tried to learn as much as I could from them so I would know what to do when I became eligible in the playoffs," he said. "I did as much as I could to stick by the team and stay out of trouble and try to get ready for my senior year."

His football activity was limited. He wasn't able to wear any pads until the week that he became eligible in time to play against Canton McKinley in the state semifinal game.

"It was kind of hard. It was kind of different for me to be putting on pads that late in the season," Frieson said. "But our Glenville defense helped me get used to it pretty quick."

It was the first time that Frieson ever sat out during football season since he began playing as a youngster.

"Every Friday was like a sad day to me," he said. "At the games, when they were getting ready and getting warmed up, I would just sit there in tears. I don't want to have that kind of feeling again."

Frieson played on the kick return team and had just one carry against the Bulldogs for five yards.

"I really didn't get a taste of it last year," he said. "But I'm kind of glad I sat out a year because now I know what it takes to make it that far. When I was at Marshall I really didn't understand what it took to be a state contender or make a run at a state title. But at Glenville I got to sit back and look at it on the outside and got a good look at what I've got to do this year. So I'm real confident about myself now."

With Tim Conner at Eastern Michigan now, Frieson will have the first crack at the top running back spot this year.

"It's my time this year. I'm going to go out there and open up a lot of eyes," Frieson said. "I get to carry a legend's number this year, I get to wear Ted's (Ginn Jr.) old number, number 2, so I'm going to open a lot of eyes out there."

At 5-9 and 190 pounds, Frieson is a hard runner that can go between the tackles or use his speed to get outside. He's actually similar in style to Conner with a little more speed.

"I'm very explosive as a running back. I keep my feet going no matter what and I grind for those extra yards as hard as I can," he said. "And of course I got that Glenville speed. My 40 time went down (during the various camps), I'm running a 4.4-flat now so I'm getting there. I'm just gaining weight, doing a lot of eating and drinking a lot of protein shakes. I'm just trying to get better."

The camp tour in general helped him to get better also.

"There was a lot of stuff that I learned as far as my cutting, speed control and body movement," Frieson said. "I learned a whole lot and can't wait to get out there."

Glenville will operate mainly out of a one-back set this season and Frieson will mainly be that one back.

"I'm the main back right now. And Royce Adams will get in on some two-back gun," he said. "We'll run the one-back set, just me and Arvell Nelson back there, and some two-back gun a little bit like last year."

He's got a new lease on life as the feature back on what should be a pretty good football team. Maybe the best overall Glenville team yet.

"I'm so excited about it, it's like a dream. It's handed to me and all I have to do is handle my business," Frieson said. "So I'm real grateful to be with Ginn and that coaching staff at Glenville where they really look out for me as a student and an athlete. I'm just blessed to be around."

His lack of notoriety could actually work to his benefit on the gridiron this year, at least initially.

"I think it will help me a lot," Frieson said. "Nobody really knows who Bruce Frieson is but people will know after the first game against Mentor."

He hopes to parlay one successful season at Glenville into a college scholarship somewhere. Frieson will be surrounded by a talented cast of players that should automatically bring some attention his way.

"I'm fine with it. I ain't got no problem with those guys that are getting all the attention right now," said Frieson, who admitted that he would love to play in the Big Ten himself if things go well. "I've just got to do my thing this season and earn my spotlight just like they did. So there's a lot that I have to prove this year because I want to get my college paid for."

Although the odds might not be stacked in his favor, Frieson would love to get a serious look from Ohio State like some of his Tarblooder teammates already have.

"I would love to go to Ohio State. That would be a dream for me. That's every kid's dream in Ohio," he said. "Just thinking about it is getting me excited. Ohio State is the place and I'm going to try to open their eyes as much as I can and give them some reason to look at me."

Frieson has his GPA up to 2.3 now and he's still waiting on the results from the ACT he took in Cincinnati in June when he was on the college camp tour.

"I'm just a real grateful person and a humble guy," Frieson said. "But keep your eye on me."

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