September 11, 2008

Freeman adds to his offensive threat

When a defensive lineman sees a 6-foot-6, 250-pound tower of man bearing down of him in a goal-line situation, It's safe to assume approaching figure is a fullback … or, in some rare cases, Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman. The junior quarterback, whose size is beginning to use his legs as weapons, adding another element to what seems like one of the most quickly developing all-around players in college football. Undersized linebackers beware.

"I think he is at the place in his career where he's ready to round out the things he is capable of," said K-State head coach Ron Prince. "There is some things that we haven't shown yet, but he is at that place now where is able to contribute in a lot of different ways. He has taken that and done a nice job with it. When he finds that opportunities are there, then we want him to take them. Then we obviously have some things that are organized for him to do that."

That's one way of putting it.

Another is: K-State's star quarterback has added yet another element to his game.

And yet another is: Freeman might just be even more of a freak athlete than many originally thought.

Through games in 2008, Freeman ranks in fifth nationally in passing efficiency, while the 229 yards of total offense he's averaging ranks 21st. The quarterback's hot start and last season's body of work, combined with his physical tools have already spurred talk of a possible early departure for the money-colored pastures of the NFL. Freeman's recent emergence as an effective runner could do wonders in increasing his post-college worth, but as he has apparently been trained to do, the Wildcat quarterback refuses to be lead down that road.

"I'm not really worried about any of that," Freeman said. "I'm just worried about winning football games. So far, so good"

Still, contrary to the opinion of Freeman, who has made a habit of deflecting self-congratulatory praise and remaining vanilla at a Jordy Nelson-like clip, it's hard to argue with the numbers.

On top of his four rushing touchdowns, Freeman's 5.8 yards per carry is more than a full yard better than any running back's on the Wildcats' roster, and the 58 yards he's racked up on just 10 carries dwarfs the three carries for 16 yards the quarterback gained through the first two games of 2007, highlighting the fact that K-State's golden boy is still evolving, a scary thought for opposing defenses.

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