Running back CJ Freeman, a South Carolina commitment from Greensboro, N.C., is disappointed with USC’s start to the season, but he also has found a silver lining.
“Watching them, you see them make little mistakes and it kind of makes you mad. You see them lose games that you think they should win,” he said. “I guess it’s kind of frustrating being committed and as a recruit too because you want to see your team succeed. But then again, you can also see flaws and you see where you can come in and help the team improve.”
Freeman, a senior, was averaging nearly 180 rushing yards per game before being held to 34 yards in a 36-21 loss on Monday night. He has scored eight touchdowns. Northern Guilford High is 3-2.
In a recent Thursday night game, playing on local TV, he scored the game-winning touchdown in his team’s 13-10 win over Reidsville. Freeman carried the ball 24 times for 166 yards.
“Since it was a TV game there were more people in the crowd than usual and more people around there,” he said. “It felt good and felt crazy watching it after the game and watching highlights on TV and how it looked from everyone else’s perspective. That was just a great feeling.”
Freeman has goals of rushing for 2,000 yards this year and leading his team to a state title.
Freeman plans to be at the rest of South Carolina’s home games, including the Clemson game, which will be his official visit. He is not planning to visit any other schools.
“I really like their atmosphere. The coaches, when it came down to it, it was really the coaches and the opportunity I saw at South Carolina that made me want to play there,” he said. “Coach (Everette) Sands, me and him have a really good relationship. I’d find it really great to be able to have him as my running backs coach.”
Freeman said he does not have a true position coach at Northern Guilford, and he is anxious for that to change when he gets to South Carolina.
“Throughout my whole high school career, at my high school, we don’t necessarily have a specific running backs coach, so it’s kind of just like, ‘Run this, run that.’ I never really had a legit running backs coach to teach me all the fundamentals and things,” he said. “Coach Sands says that I have a lot of raw talent and that I’m still fundamentally and everything not there yet. He’s a good coach and I’m really excited to play for him.”
Freeman is also a big fan of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
“Coach Spurrier, he’s a great guy. He reminds me of my high school coach right now. They’re actually pretty close. They talk to each other all the time,” Freeman said. “Johnny Roscoe, he’s from South Carolina. Him and Coach Spurrier have a pretty good relationship. Coach Spurrier’s a great dude. He’s funny. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a really great guy.”
Freeman said he has no doubt that South Carolina will be on the way back up soon.
“I feel like in a few years they could really be a top contender in the SEC and fighting for the SEC championship and maybe playing for a national championship,” he said.