The high school football season is off and running here in Southern California. On Friday night Lynwood High School headed down to Long Beach to take on Millikan High School in a non league contest.
“Oh yeah I am very excited,” Free said after his Knights defeated the Rams 40-6. “Going into my senior year, I’m just waiting to see what God’s got in store for me.
“I really want to get our team to the playoffs.”
Free was an integral part in the opening game victory, playing cornerback, safety, receiver and for the first time he lined up at quarterback as well.
“This is the first year I’ve actually played quarterback here,” Free said. “It was something I was asked to do so I took it into consideration and I have to step up and do what I have to do.
“I will be playing both sides of the ball, offense and defense, and hoping to dominate on both.”
Free wasn’t the main quarterback for the Knights but he was brought in during some of the most critical situations. In the red zone he would enter the game and run an effective quarterback draw, resulting in a pair of touchdowns against Millikan. He also was brought in on several third and long or fourth down situations.
And while quarterback won’t be his likely position at the next level, it shows how versatile of an athlete he is.
On the defensive side Free wasn’t tested very often from his cornerback spot. The Rams don’t possess a dynamic passing game so Free mostly showed his skills by recognizing running plays and coming up to make an open field tackle.
Despite the lack of opportunities, Free was able to snag a spectacular one-handed interception after falling down on the play.
“We were in cover three, it’s called ‘roll’ for us, and I actually had the flats,” Free explained. “I’ve seen them run a speed out, and I tried to break but I slipped because it was grass. And I looked up and I saw them miss the ball so I tried to put my hand up, in an effort to catch the ball, and so [it happened].”
On the recruiting front, Free decided to end that entire process in late July when he told Clay Helton he wanted to be a Trojan. Since then, Free has been all smiles.
“It was much love,” he said about the response to his commitment. “Everybody showed me a lot of love as far as the players and coaches, they made me feel like I was already a part of the team.”
Since he committed Free has been on campus a couple of times.
“I just recently went to watch a few of their practices and I’m actually going to be going to the USC versus Utah State game.
“[Their practices have] a lot of intensity, nothing like high school though.”
It is common practice for verbal commits to take official visits to other programs, but that isn’t on Free’s radar at the moment.
“I haven’t really thought of taking any official visits to any other schools, so right now, not really,” he said. “I don’t have anything else in mind.”
One thing that is on Free’s mind is the Trojans opener against Alabama.
“It should be a good game. Everybody’s ready for us. Definitely USC is going to come out on top so, it’s going to be a great game.”
To make sure Free is able to sign his letter of intent come February, he has some work to do in the classroom.
“I did summer school for English and Spanish II, and I got a C and a B in those classes. Right now, I’m taking my courses that I need plus one extra class and trying to keep my grades up.”
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more updates on Wylan Free and USC’s recruiting class of 2017.