October 16, 2009

Freeman feeling no pressure

Phillip Freeman was one of Mississippi State's highest rated recruits coming in the 2008 signing class.

The four-star offensive tackle out of Copiah-Lincoln Community College redshirted last season but has appeared in every game for the Bulldogs this year. Much was expected from the highly touted 6-foot-6, 305-pounder from fans and coaches but possibly the most pressure to perform comes from Freeman himself.

"I'm the biggest critic of myself," Freeman said. "I was recruited by Coach (J.B.) Grimes and he told me I needed to redshirt before I even got here. I knew that was coming. My family and friends are just happy that I am playing somewhere and are happy that I am happy. The pressure more than anything is from myself and my teammates. When I do get my reps I want to be perfect at them because I don't want to mess up for the guy next to me because I know he's doing the right thing."

Freeman starts on the extra point and field goal teams and has appeared in all six games in that capacity. He is also second on the depth chart behind Addison Lawrence at right tackle and has seen action on the offensive line in several games as well.

"Right now I'm just trying to contribute anyway that I can," Freeman said. "I'm on the extra point team and the field goal team and have subbed Addison in and out a few games. I'm just trying to work harder so I can get some more playing time. I'm just there if anything happens to Addison or Derek (Sherrod) because I can play right or left tackle."

Freeman feels that spending all of the 2008 season on the practice field has helped him adjust to life in the Southeastern Conference as well as get bigger and stronger. He has added 15-pounds to his frame since arriving in Starkville.

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