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December 29, 2005

Freeman speaks out

Grandview (Mo.) quarterback Josh Freeman has been the topic of much media discussion since he switched his commitment from Nebraska to Kansas State, and the No. 4 rated pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com recently took the opportunity to speak about his recruitment on Sports Radio 810WHB in Kansas City when he appeared on Crunch Time Thursday morning. Now you can read everything Freeman said on the air on GoPowercat.com.

Take us inside your world right now and how you've dealt with everything going on. Having any trouble sleeping, are you nervous about picking up the phone?

Josh Freeman: Not really. I'm sleeping just fine. Every now and then I'll get a letter from a fan who is a little upset, no hate mail though.

Does the feedback bother you?

JF: No, it just shows me that they are out there and paying attention, and everybody has their own opinion, so it doesn't really bother me.

In the end, what did it come down to?

JF: Coach Prince. The Nebraska coaches are all great, I like them all, but Coach Prince is amazing.

What was it about him? He recruited you hard at Virginia, and what was so different about K-State than Virginia?

JF: I'm trying to stay around Kansas City, not go too far. I got two or three letters a day from Virginia, pretty basic stuff, starting my late sophomore year or early junior year.

Are you familiar with what Virginia was doing on offense?

JF: Not really, but when he met with me he talked about it. The offense is pretty much 50-50 pass/run, and they work a lot out of the single back. They'll spread it out and run, create big gaps in the defense and run to set up the pass. He said one of the great things about that offense is that the quarterback is rarely under pressure because he sets it up so nice for them.

Did you do research to see what kind of talent would surround you at K-State?

JF: Oh, I did. They are returning four out of five starters on the line, and Coach Prince assured me that he'd get them ready. He's got a pretty good reputation for having good linemen.

Did Coach Prince make any promise of any kind to you? What did he tell you about your role there?

JF: He said I would just come in and compete on a clean slate. He said he had no loyalties to any players coming in. He told me that some of the guys there are good, but that maybe I could be better. He just wants me to come and compete for the starting job.

Did your impression with Nebraska change over time?

JF: Just leading up to the final week of the commitment I was ready to go to Nebraska, I was getting excited about it. Coach Prince just came in and really caught my attention.

Even though you had verbally committed, what was the recruiting process like with other schools?

JF: I didn't get a whole lot of negative recruiting. Every once in a while somebody would say something about Nebraska just being a stop for Coach Callahan and that he wanted to get back in the NFL and he won't be there for long. Talking to Coach Callahan, he's into it, he's loving Nebraska football.

Did you watch the bowl game last night?

JF: Oh, I did.

What did you think about it?

JF: A lot of those guys are my friends, I wouldn't say it was upsetting…I don't know.

What was it like telling some of those guys you wouldn't play at Nebraska?

JF: They were disappointed, but they said I had to do what was best for me. I couldn't go into a situation where I wouldn't thrive…not that I thought I couldn't do well at Nebraska. I just think K-State is going to be a better opportunity for me."

Are you upset at the perception of some that you went back on you word?

JF: There are people saying that out of the blue I just said no I'm not coming here, that Nebraska had been completely honest the whole time, which was not true.

What was not true? Was it the recruitment of other quarterbacks?

JF: That was one of the things. This whole summer they were telling me that I was the only guy they were bringing in. Later on they told me if I would just commit that they wouldn't have to talk to any more quarterbacks, that they were talking to all those good ones. There was one quarterback who they said was getting really close to committing and that he was probably going to come, and that they couldn't guarantee me a spot if he committed. Thinking that if he commits I won't have a chance to play at Nebraska, which is pretty much my dream school, I committed way back in June.

What would it have been like with Zac Taylor and Harrison Beck there? Was it realistic to get on the field?

JF: It was realistic to get on the field, because Harrison is out there this year.

Would you be satisfied to have a year like Harrison Beck where you just play a handful of snaps?

JF: If it would have helped the team like he did, they ended up beating K-State. I would have been satisfied. It's one year, but just one, he'll be a two-year starter.

How will you feel if you go to K-State, go through spring ball and Coach Prince tells you he thinks it's best if you redshirt your first year?

JF: I'd be fine with it. If he wants to redshirt me then obviously I'm not ready to compete at that level and need a little more fine-tuning, but I'd be okay with it.

Why did you try and graduate so early?

JF: I'm trying to get in good with the system. The guys that come in during the fall, normal guys, you don't see a lot of them starting. There are the guys that are just really exceptional players who can make a difference as a freshman, like Marlon Lucky at Nebraska. They fed him stuff and he learned, and he's doing well for a freshman.

You had never been to Manhattan before you went to meet with Coach Prince?

JF: Never.

How much contact did you have with Bill Snyder and his staff?

JF: Hardly any.

Why?

JF: I have no idea. They were pretty much the only school in the Big 12 I wasn't getting letters from all the time.

Do you have a lot of Nebraska stuff that you don't know what to do with?

JF: Yeah. I had quite a bit of Nebraska gear.

Bottom line: What happened where it made sense for you not to go to Nebraska and go somewhere else?

JF: Point blank, Nebraska wasn't being completely honest with me. Leading up, the summer I committed and the first part of the school year they were talking about how Joe Dailey transferred and I would have a chance to come in and compete for to starting job. The feeling I started to get from Coach Callahan as of late, starting in October about how it was going to be a great fit for me for five, five-and-a-half years.

And he hadn't been saying it like that all along?

JF: The whole time he was saying I'd have a shot to compete, and I felt like he was kind of writing me off and had decided to redshirt me pretty much.

You'd have an easy time putting on weight on that frame, how easy is that for you?

JF: I pretty much stay between 240 and 225. It doesn't matter what I eat. Last night I was about 228.

Some will say you've got the frame, you're athletic and can run well, you could be a tight end. If you were the tight end at K-State in three years would that be totally out of the blue?

JF: Yeah, I'd say so. I'm playing quarterback.

What things do you need to get better at?

JF: My dad and some coaches, we've been working really hard on some things. Footwork and form. My sophomore and junior year I was just kind of out there playing. I'd do footwork, but it wasn't really a point of emphasis. This year my coach really pushed me on that and setting the ball high when I took my drops. In my junior year I'd drop down and it would mess up my release. This year I got it pretty good.

What was it like at a camp like the Elite 11?

JF: It was heated, everybody was working hard. Leading up to the camp we had regional workouts and final workouts, there were hundreds of guys out there working hard.

Get nervous at all about high school all-star game?

JF: It's all about practicing and performing in the game. The game is obviously in the national spotlight to show what you've got. You learn a lot from the guys you compete against in practice. I've worked out before against these guys at the Elite 11 camp, and there are some pretty good guys."

How many quarterbacks will be there?

JF: There are three quarterbacks on each side.

You've been at the combine at that game, does that help?

JF: It's always nice to go in prepared and knowing what will be in front of you. They send out packets and let you pick out all the equipment you want to wear on gameday.

Do you love the game of football and not see it as a business?

JF: Yeah, to an extent. If you just look at it as a game and not about how you have to work to get better, just go out and play, you aren't going to get very far. I mean, I love the game and love working on the game, and that love has to keep you going.

Is your goal to be in the NFL, how long has that been a goal for you?

JF: Pretty much my whole life. I had been a running back, if you can believe that, in eighth grade I was 6-foot, 155 pounds. I was skinny, but I was a running back. Going into high school I wanted to play linebacker because that's what my dad played. I could always throw, so I was torn between quarterback and linebacker. I finally ended up deciding to play quarterback. I'd get a few reps at linebacker, but I like having everything in my hands and being a quarterback.

Have an idea for a major?

JF: Not right now. I'm starting out in business, and I'll see where it goes from there. The first semester is just to kind of feel around and see what's there. I don't know if I'll change that or not.




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