Country Gets Involved with Freeman

Florida recent offered Royce Freeman, the running back from Imperial (Calif.), and Freeman talked about the offer, and the Bruins...

Running back Royce Freeman has seen some college coaches from distant places come to Imperial (Calif.) to check him out.

Florida running backs coach Brian White, who also recruits the state of California, went to Imperial about a month ago to see Freeman, and the 6-1, 215-pounder received a Florida scholarship offer as a result.

"Coach White came down a while ago and we talked and everything went very well," Freeman said earlier this week. "He said they think that I could be a big player in the conference coached under Coach White and especially with my combination of size and speed."

Freeman understands the importance of playing in a big-time football conference like the Southeastern Conference.

"The SEC is one of the best conferences," he said. "Just the caliber of players that they have and getting to the next level is amazing."

Freeman talked about how his skills make him a prime candidate for offenses that want to feature running backs and want to get them in open spaces.

"I think what separates me from other guys is that I am a versatile back out of the backfield," Freeman said. "I am just open to try anything offensively and will do whatever I am coached to do. I can do anything on the field."

With recruiting, Freeman isn't thinking he'll commit anytime soon, but talks about some specific schools.

"I am still open, honestly, but I have been looking at Florida, Oregon, and UCLA," he said. "They are schools that I have been talking to a while and have great relationships with the coaches."

UCLA head coach Jim Mora brings his NFL mentality to the game and his experience at the highest level has left an impression on Freeman.

"Coach Jim Mora is a great guy," Freeman said. "He has been to the next level and knows what to expect and his coaching staff also has many guys from the NFL. It is just a great staff."

Oregon has a new head coach, but Mark Helfrich was the offensive coordinator of the high-flying Oregon Ducks last year and will retain the same offense in 2013. Besides the offense, Freeman knows that the position coach at the school is big time.

"(Oregon Assistant) Coach Gary Campbell has been there for 30 years and knows what he is doing with the running backs," Freeman said. "He is well established. It is a great offense that will spread you out and pick you apart. With Coach Helfrich there, he was the offensive coordinator there and I don't expect them to change at all.

Freeman is getting interest from across the country, with offers from the likes of Arkansas, Florida State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin, but the Pac-12 schools may have the advantage in terms of distance from home. Florida and other non-west coast programs will have to make sure he feels at home if he leaves the west.

"Distance is probably going to be a factor, but if I feel like I am going to be comfortable with it being my home away from home, I can do it.

"My mom and dad will play a part in the decision. They are fine with (the distance issue) and it is how I feel most comfortable. They will try as much as they can to come see me no matter what."

He has no visits set yet and also no set time to announce as well.

"I am just going to play it by ear and see what comes up," he said. "I haven't gotten to that point so far."

Freeman is a guy that leads by example in his approach to the game. Being a vocal leader, though, is something his coach is working on with him.

"It is a quality of mine, but I am more into showing by actions than words," he said of being a leader. "Coach is trying to work on me being an outspoken leader and I am working on that."

In the meantime, he will keep doing his thing.

"I am a hard-working guy," he said. "I am open to any coaching. They know more than I do. I am a very humble guy that likes to have fun but I like to play hard as well."

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