For an offense that’s supposed to be using a running back-by-committee approach, it’s fair to say Royce Freeman is the committee chair. The Freshman phenom is well on his way to placing his name among other Oregon greats at the RB position, as the 230 pounder from Imperial, CA has already broken LaMichael James’ freshman TD record with 16 on the season. Freeman has also broken the 1000 yard mark, and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Needless to say he’s turning a lot of heads, but maybe none more so than RB coach Gary Campbell.
When I got a chance to talk to Campbell at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in an interview for FishDuck.com, he praised Freeman for his work ethic. Campbell said, ”He just loves to play the game. He goes out and does his job, and wants to know what he can do to be better.” Freeman has drawn comparisons from both Campbell and Head Coach Mark Helfrich to Marcus Mariota, as both are impressively modest based on their skill sets.
In terms of Freeman’s specific skill set Campbell commented that, ”He’s 230 pounds, runs a 4.5…you better bring your big boy pads if you’re going against him.” He went on to say that, ”He’s a naturally physical guy, he’s just got those good genes. He’s a hard worker. When you put all those things together you get a pretty good football player.”
Campbell ended by saying that Freeman has made huge progress this season, and that the area he has improved most is his ”Knowledge of the offense.” Because of that Campbell said that Freeman “Now feels more comfortable with what he’s doing. He can finally use all of his natural talents.” When I asked what’s contributed most to Freeman’s improvements though, Campbell jokingly said, ”I taught him it all.”
Top photo from Craig Strobeck