"I think I will have the chance to play during my first year, and get on the field early," Freeman told BlueGoldNews.com after committing to the Mountaineers. "They lost some players there, so the coaches told me I would have the chance to do that."
At 220 lbs., Freeman might seem a bit undersized to man a defensive end spot, especially in WVU's 3-3 set, but he doesn't view that as a negative. Counting his speed and footwork as two of his best attributes, the Cleveland Heights standout burned off the corner during his senior season for 90+ tackles and 14 ½ sacks.
"The coaches told me they would use me at defensive end and maybe as a rush linebacker to get to the quarterback," Freeman noted. He did not seem particularly concerned about his position at West Virginia, and was more excited about the relationship he developed quickly with new coach Steve Dunlap.
"Coach Dunlap keeps it real," Freeman said. "He was really down to earth. He talked with me a lot, and really worked at recruiting me. We joked a lot too – he talked about his tackle record at West Virginia (Dunlap still holds the single game (28) and single season (190) tackle marks at WVU), and I told him I would break them. Then he came back and said that now that you can count bowl games on the records, I'd have an advantage in doing that."
Dunlap laid the groundwork for an excellent visit for Freeman, who found "everything" to his liking on the WVU campus.
"It was a real college atmosphere, and I just fit in there really well," said Freeman. "I can see West Virginia winning a national championship in the next couple of years. They have everything in place they need to be successful, and I don't see anything there that will change that."
That includes the coaching staff, which, to Freeman's eyes, is ready to continue West Virginia's success. He also believes that the coaches who remained from WVU's 48-28 Fiesta Bowl thumping of Oklahoma are primed for even greater achievements.
"I watched that game, and I thought, if Coach Stewart can do that with just a few weeks of work with the team, what is he going to be able to do after he has had it for a year?" Freeman asked rhetorically. "I think it's going to be great."
Freeman is not playing any spring sports, instead choosing to concentrate on strength and conditioning work, as well as his academics. He is working out with a private instructor on both fronts, attending workouts at a facility while also putting in hours with a tutor for the ACT. He believes he is on track with his coursework to earn a qualifying score, and has scheduled more than one test date in order to maximize his chances of a matching test mark.
An intense competitor who earned All-District, All-League and All-State mentions, Freeman is also pleased with West Virginia's location, which will make it easier for friends and family to attend games.
"It's only three hours from home, so that's just one more reason that I liked it," concluded Freeman." The players, the facilities, the coaches – I just like it all."