In an increasingly self absorbed culture, it is not only refreshing, but hopeful and encouraging to hear the story of Wil Freeman and his journey through the Southern Miss football program.
The redshirt senior, who played his high school ball at NW Rankin, has been moved around both the offensive and defensive lines in his career depending upon the needs of the team. For Freeman, the ultimate team first player, the most recent move this season to offensive line has been one that he's just made in stride.
"It has been a big adjustment, there is no doubt about that," Freeman told GoldenEaglePride.com after Friday's practice.
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"It is a much different attitude because you don't just get to attack off the snap of the ball. On defense, you can pin your ears back and go after the ball. On offense, you have to really think about everything that is going on and assignment and alignment.
"I'll just do whatever the coaches need me to because I love this school. I've grown up as a fan of Southern Miss and just to be here and playing has been a dream come true for me."
Freeman has certainly seen it all in his time with the Golden Eagles, including multiple position changes and coaching changes. A 6th year medical redshirt granted by the NCAA has allowed him one more year to be with the Golden Eagles.
"Fall camp has been great and I'm excited to just get another chance with Southern Miss," he said.
"The way the offensive line has embraced me has been awesome. It is just a great group. You have Cameron Tom that is a great leader, and other seniors that I've played with for many years. They took me in and made me feel a part of their unit. They've played together for years and just accepted me. It speaks to their leadership and just the type of guys they are.
"I came in as a defensive end, then was moved to tight end after a few weeks," he went on to explain.
"The coaches realized I couldn't catch and they moved me to the interior of the defensive line. After a few years there, I was needed back on the offensive line to add some depth, and here I am now."
Related Notes: Friday's practice news and notes $$
Freeman, who has seen several coaching staffs in his career, had high praise for Coach Hopson and his staff.
"He said we'd be the most conditioned team in America and I really believe it," he said.
"We run gassers and 200 yard sprints after every practice. We all feel like we are in the best condition of our lives.
"Coach Hopson also has been great about bringing back the Southern Miss traditions. He always talks to us about being giant killers and about the toughness and physicality that has always made Southern Miss teams what they are. We won't back down to anyone.
"Everyone has really bought in."
Freeman and the Golden Eagles now prepare for the final week of fall camp, leading up to game week that begins in seven days.