Thursday, January 16, 2014
Longhorns land ESPN 300 S/LB hybrid
By Damon Sayles
Just when the Texas Longhorns needed some good news from the defensive side of their recruiting class, an ESPN 300 safety/linebacker delivered it with a verbal commitment.
Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie) pledged to new coach Charlie Strong on Thursday afternoon, giving the Longhorns another ESPN 300 prospect and further quieting the grumblings of the Longhorns losing three four-star defensive tackles last week. Freeman, No. 128 in the ESPN 300, became the Longhorns’ 21st commit of the 2014 class.
Freeman, who confirmed the commitment via text message, chose the Longhorns over Texas A&M. The two in-state schools had been his top choices for several months, but Freeman has always had a love for Texas.
“I’ve liked Texas ever since I was a kid,” Freeman said in an interview shortly after Texas and former coach Mack Brown parted ways. “I just want to wait and see who the new coach is.”
In Strong, Texas will get a no-nonsense coach and someone who expects perfection with his defense. That was one of the winning points with Freeman, a hybrid defender.
At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Freeman is quick enough to play safety, powerful enough to play outside linebacker and a hard-enough hitter to excel at both spots. Freeman said that while he doesn’t mind playing outside linebacker, safety is “where my heart’s at.”
Baylor, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC were among the many schools to offer Freeman. Assistant coach Bruce Chambers, who remained on the Texas staff after Brown’s departure, recruited Freeman to the Longhorns.
In addition to Freeman’s pledge, a Texas spokesperson, per ESPN’s Max Olson, also confirmed Thursday that tight end Blake Whiteley (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada/Arizona Western College) and linebacker Andrew Beck (Tampa, Fla./Plant) have enrolled early and are now on campus.