Edwin Freeman to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star OLB Prospect

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2014

Courtesy of 247Sports

Edwin Freeman has officially committed to the Texas Longhorns.   

ESPN's Max Olson reported the news:

Although Freeman, a 4-star prospect in the Class of 2014, has played some safety at Bowie High School, he projects as an outside linebacker in college. He's ranked as the 14th-best OLB recruit in the country, 21st-best overall player in Texas and the 177th-best recruit in the country according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Considering the fact that he was a defensive back in high school, it should come as no surprise that Freeman is a great athlete. He has the speed to cover opposing tight ends and will track down wide receivers and running backs from behind.

In addition, Freeman can use that speed to cover a lot of ground in the secondary. Opposing quarterbacks will have to know where he is on the field, because he's capable of quickly jumping the route and stepping in front of the receiver.

This is obviously a huge get for new head coach Charlie Strong, who is working to assert Texas as an elite force in the world of college football by recruiting this caliber player. Transitioning to a new regime is never easy, but it's safe to say this is just the beginning of Texas' splash commitments under Strong.

More than a one-dimensional linebacker, Freeman is more than capable of moving up to stop the run. He's aggressive but not to the extreme that he'll often take himself out of plays.

Of course, physical tools aren't nearly as valuable when the player is an unpolished mess.

As you'd expect of a player making a positional transition, Freeman is going to need some more work in order to become more versed at outside linebacker. He'll need to add some muscle (he's 6'0.5" and 212 pounds), which will allow him to get off blocks easier. In addition, coaches will need to work with him to improve his technique.

You can't expect any high school recruit to be the complete package when he gets to college.

Freeman's potential is high, though. If he can capitalize on his physical gifts, he can become a force on defense.