Breaking Down Oregon's Royce Freeman's Highlight Tape
Royce Freeman is a 4-star running back who signed with Oregon in February. The Ducks run an uptempo spread offense that usually features speedy and shifty running backs.
However, at 5'11.5" and 215 pounds, Freeman will bring a powerful element to the offensive backfield in Eugene. The California native has just enough wiggle to elude a couple of defenders, and he also has solid speed.
He showcases what he can do throughout his highlight tape.
Play No. 1
Freeman starts his highlight tape with an impressive touchdown run. He displays great lateral quickness by immediately weaving around the defender who is getting pressure into the backfield.
He slashes to the second level, where he proves he has good balance by powering through a high-striking defender and staying on his feet. Freeman then displays above-average speed to race downfield.
Play No. 2
Freeman exhibits solid lateral quickness again on this carry. He also shows he has the vision and decision-making ability to be a creative runner.
The future Duck presses the hole to his right but jump-cuts out of it with sharp quickness and athleticism.
He skates to the perimeter, where he eludes a defender at the edge. He does a good job on the perimeter of setting up a block while he squares his shoulders to the end zone. Freeman then fires downfield with solid speed.
Play No. 3
This play is a simple counter, and Freeman does an adequate job of selling the misdirection. The most impressive aspect of this play is his vision.
Watch how he locates a crease in the middle of the field. Most running backs would have been distracted by the traffic, which would have led them to keep running to the edge. Freeman, however, sees the crease and skates through it with good quickness.
He clears the second and third levels of the defense with above-average speed to reach the end zone.
Play No. 4
Freeman displays toughness, agility and quick feet during this play. It appears to be a classic draw, and he does a great job of attacking the line of scrimmage.
His instincts and vision help him slide and elude defenders while skating to his left on the second level.
However, his creativity allows him to cut back and weave around several other defenders during this impressive run.
Play No. 5
On a quick pitch, Freeman stays disciplined by attacking the perimeter. Watch how his patience to set up his block comes into play by him decelerating to keep the pulling offensive lineman in front of him.
He shows good balance by staying up when he slips, plus he spins away from contact. Freeman then uses a series of sharp cuts and short-area quickness to surge to the end zone.
Greg Powers of Scout.com wrote last December: "He gets a lot of yards after contact. You can not try to arm tackle him."
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.