Freeman Looking To Take Next Step

Entering Saturday's Ohio State Spring Football game, linebacker Marcus Freeman was looking to help set the tone he and his teammates have worked on since their season ended. With 75,301 fans in attendance Freeman wasted little time in giving fans something to cheer about.

"It's a defensive guys dream come true," Freeman explained about his interception and touchdown.  "Anytime you get a chance to take one to the house it's something special.  I haven't done that since high school."

But while giving the Scarlet team an early lead was special, it was the continued work to his overall game and staying healthy that made it even more special.

"I came out of spring without any injuries and got a lot of work done.  So that was a positive thing."

For Freeman and the Buckeyes defense much will be expected this fall.

"We're expected to be pretty good.  Our D-linemen are stepping up to replace the older guys we had leave the program.  Losing the way we did has been on our minds, but this spring has helped ease the feeling a little bit and we know we want to go out there and show we're still the Ohio State team that can be very dominant."

While working on skills is very important Marcus expressed his desire to take his overall game to a higher level.

"My biggest goal of this spring was to step up and be more of a leader.  I wanted to step up and earn the respect of my teammates and coaches and show them I'll be ready to step up when needed.  I'm one of the older guys now and I know the in-and-outs of the program and feel that will help me take on more of a leadership role. "

Freeman In Action Last Season

For Marcus the college experience has been more than just football.  On track to earn his degree in Sports Management this fall, Freeman hopes to work in athletics at some capacity. 

"I'll have my degree this fall and will look to start another major or work on my masters.  After my playing days are over I want to work in athletics as an athletics director or some other capacity."

While Freeman has seen his success on and off the field he knows there are others working just as hard to help the Buckeyes return to a National Championship.

"James (Laurinaitis) has shown Ohio State fans what he's able to do by being one of the top defensive players in the country last year.  But he's also a great guy off the field.  Curtis Terry ended up starting half-way through the year and he'll be fighting for more playing time and being a leader as a senior."

Marcus also spoke highly of some of the underclassmen.

"Ross (Homan), I don't know if you can call him young, but he's got so much talent and ability he'll be playing a lot here very soon.  And then you've got Thaddeus (Gibson), he's such a tremendous athlete and talent who is still learning the game.  Once he gets the mental part of the game down the sky is the limit for what he can do."

While Freeman came from Huber Heights Wayne considered a physical specimen, he stresses the college game is so much different than the high school game.

"75% of this game is mental.  If you know where to go, what's expect of you, and where to be, the rest of the game comes easy.  Everybody at this level is athletic and physically strong so to get the edge you've got to know what to do and that really helps you excel at this level."

For Marcus this fall is setting up to be one of great promise.  The Buckeyes defense returns one, if not the best linebacker groups in the country and fans will be looking for the defense to help carry the team in the early going and the offense looks to replace the star power that helped power the team's offense.

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