October 27, 2009

Eltoro rising up after slow start

Eltoro Freeman came to Auburn with high expectations. After winning a starting linebacker position in the spring many had him pegged for big things this fall including Freeman himself.

But through the first seven games the junior college transfer had just seven total tackles, missed the Arkansas game for personal reasons and was relegated to special teams upon his return for the Kentucky game.

It was a precipitous fall for the sophomore.

"I felt like I was letting myself down, my fans down, my teammates down," Freeman said. "They were really looking forward to me coming in and making an impact and I felt like I wasn't doing that. That was just really frustrating for me."

Looking back, Freeman feels like he put too much pressure on himself to perform at a high level from the start.

"It wasn't about I didn't know the plays, I didn't know what I was doing or it was hard for me to adjust. I was just trying to play not to make a mistake," Freeman said.

At the lowest point Freeman said he was able to turn to his coaches and teammates for help including head coach Gene Chizik, defensive coordinator Ted Roof, graduate assistant Travis Williams, linebackers Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens, and defensive ends Antoine Carter, Michael Goggans and Antonio Coleman.

He even received a phone call from former AU linebacker Takeo Spikes.

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