Jerrell Freman’s aura doesn’t scream someone who is coming off a franchise-record season with 203 tackles.
After a college career playing Division III football and three seasons in the Canadian Football League, Freeman raises his eyes to any question forecasting his play on the field in 2013.
“I’m just trying to make the team. That’s my mindset every year,” Freeman said earlier this week.
“It’s one of those things where I still have that DIII, Canadian over my head. I’m probably going to have that the rest of my life. I really don’t mind proving myself each and every year. That’s always going to be my mindset.”
When Pat Angerer went down during the Colts first preseason game of 2012, the question for the rest of training camp surrounded on who would fill the void in the middle of the Colts new 3-4 hybrid defensive scheme.
Freeman wasted no time answering that question, becoming the first undrafted NFL player to return an interception for a touchdown in their NFL debut when No. 50 scored on a four-yard “pick-six” against the Chicago Bears last season.
Even after a year in which Freeman started all 16 games, including leading the team in tackles the first seven weeks of the season, he had one focus this offseason.
Freeman held true to his word of returning to Mary-Hardin Baylor (Texas) in an effort to try and earn a degree in criminal justice.
“I went back to school and drove back and forth about an hour every day going up to Austin (to train) and going back to Belton, where my college was. It was a little bit of a grind but it was worth it,” Freeman said.
Over the next few weeks, Freeman will wrap up 12 final credits and before trying to ‘just make the team’ back in Indianapolis, there is a little unfinished business the Colts leading tackler will attend to down in Texas.
“I should be graduating here in May,” Freeman said. “Hopefully I can fly back and make this graduation and get my mom and dad and everybody there with all the tears and the hugs.”
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