September 17, 2008

Ole Miss eyeing 2-A RB

After rushing for more than 550 yards in just three games - and on only 40 carries - Bruce, Miss. High School running back Richard Freelon is finding himself the object of a lot of attention.

That includes a call from Ole Miss running game coordinator Mike Markuson, who recruits parts of north Mississippi for the Rebels.

"We just talked after they got some film on me and he talked to my coach," Freelon said on Tuesday. "He's just telling me that they'd like for me to come over for a visit."

While Freelon was pretty much an unknown in recruiting circles prior to his explosive start this season, he has not gone totally unnoticed.

He was selected late last year to attend the US Army All-American Bowl where several hundred juniors from across the country participate in a combine. Last summer, he attended the Southern Miss camp and then went to Oxford where he participated in a 7-on-7 passing camp. He also said he attend a camp at Alabama.

However, it's mainly the three in-state schools that are looking at the 6-foot, 200 pound running back with 4.4 speed.

"Coach said Ole Miss, they're looking and may offer after the season, maybe during the season, depending on how things go," Freelon said. "State, they are thinking about offering as a defensive back. Coach (Tony) Hughes from Southern Miss called and told me that they liked my film and that I'm their top running back on their list. He said they haven't started recruiting running backs much yet, but I'm up there on their list."

Freelon is getting interest from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss and is receiving mail from Alabama, Colorado and Michigan. To date, Alcorn State is the only school that has offered.

The visits to Ole Miss, Hattiesburg and Tuscaloosa left him impressed with all three schools.

"I really didn't grow up a fan of any school," Freelon said. "I'm just a big fan of college football. I really liked everything that I saw over at Ole Miss. The facilities are really great. I really like everything, the way everything is set up and how the admin stuff is so close by. I also like Southern and Alabama."

Freelon hasn't been back to Oxford since summer camp, and wasn't able to watch the Rebels' lone appearance so far this year on television against Wake Forest. However, he says he's kept up with the changes going on at Ole Miss under first-year head coach Houston Nutt.

"I think he's doing really good," Freelon said. "I think he'll have Ole Miss back up there real soon."

Part of the fact that Freelon is flying low on the recruiting radar is the fact that he's playing for a Division 2-A school at Bruce.

"Richard is a strong runner," Bruce head coach James Ray told in a previous interview. "He has a 330 pound bench, 600 squat, and 310 power clean. Richard runs with great determination and if he sees a crease he will hit it or he will run you over. He's the type of back that very rarely gets tackled on first contact. He's more of a power back but can run by people."

"He could be a fullback as well and just works hard at whatever you want him to do. He also gives great effort. Our quarterback is our second leading rusher primarily because of his blocking ability. Richard has great hands as well."

Freelon reports his speed at 4.4 and says that he was clocked at least three times this summer in the sub-4.4 range.

Freelon also starts at weak-side linebacker, where he recorded 80 tackles as a junior and is on pace to match that tackle count this season.

He reports a 3.6 GPA and said he made a 16 on his ACT on his first attempt and plans to re-take the test later this year.

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