In the stands near midfield, a former high school coach beamed with pride. Freeman jogged over, and the two talked for several minutes, his coach reminding him to savor the moment.
"I already know," Freeman told him.
Freeman doesn't need to be reminded to appreciate these moments, and Saturday's performance might as well have been scripted in Hollywood. Freeman was in his hometown of Miami for the first time in nearly a month. The last trip had been for the funeral of his cousin, a man Freeman thought of as a brother. Until the second half of last week's blowout win, Freeman had been an afterthought in Florida State's offense, but when Chris Thompson went down with a knee injury Saturday, Freeman stepped to the forefront. His family has been rocked by tragedy in recent weeks, but Freeman has never had it easy. On Saturday, however, he offered a reminder that better days are always ahead.
"I wanted to give my family something to smile about," said Freeman, who racked up 70 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Thompson. "I've got little brothers and sisters, and I want them to be happy. I want to be their role model. I want them to see that anything is possible."
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