November 19, 2008

Is Saturday Freeman's last stand?

In one corner, Ernie Pierce talked about how Kansas State "has a lot of young kids that are going to do positive things for the program." In another corner, Brooks Rossman said, "I'm so appreciative of the opportunities I've had here," while Ray Cheatham said a victory against Iowa State "would complete my season." The only underclassman in the interview room at the Vanier Football Complex was Josh Freeman. Everybody, of course, wanted to know what he was thinking about.

And more specifically, if the 2:35 p.m. kickoff on Saturday against Iowa State might also mark the junior quarterback's farewell at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

"It really comes down to the new coach (K-State) hires," Freeman said on Monday. "Honestly, I'm not going to make any decisions until they hire a new coach and I have an opportunity to sit down with him and hear what he's talking about. I can't really make any decisions until I explore all of the options and obviously all of the options aren't open until we get a new coach."

Freeman, the school's all-time leader in passing attempts, completions, yardage and touchdowns, will certainly have some decisions to make in the weeks following his final pass downfield in 2008.

Could it entice Freeman to stay if the new head coach retains a member or two of the current offensive staff?

"I have no idea, honestly," he said. "We're going to run what the new coach wants to run and it just depends on everything like that."

Does Freeman have any preference on the type of coach he'd like to play for?


K-State coach Ron Prince anticipated Freeman would reach a crossroads after his junior season. Freeman, the 6-foot-6, 250-pounder and gem of Prince's first recruiting class, said he would seek counsel from Prince, his parents and would also seek input from former teammates and current NFL players Jordy Nelson and Zach Diles "to get their outlook on things."

"At the end of the year, perspective juniors are able to put their names pretty much into a hat and all of the general managers tell you where they'd think you'd come out at (in the NFL Draft)," Freeman said. "You've got to look at it from that standpoint also, and the standpoint of graduating and finishing out with your friends."

Prince said, "From the time we recruited (Freeman), we said this would probably be the situation, that he would play a lot and that there would be some decisions that would need to be made.

"I know he wants to win and wants to contribute to winning."

But might Freeman have any guidelines in mind? Could being projected as a first-day pick in the draft make the NFL all the more appealing?

"No," he replied, "it's going to come down to…"

He started again.

"I really, really want to stay. I plan on being here, but, yeah, it really comes down to my situation here and if I feel that I can get better and improve my game."

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