HUGE news for the Oregon Ducks as they have landed a commitment from five-star running back Royce Freeman out of Imperial, California. Justin Hopkins of Duck Territory was the first to break the news on Twitter, followed by Craig Loper of KVAL Sports in Eugene:
#Ducks get huge commitment out of 5-star RB Royce Freeman.— Craig Loper II (@cLoperII) July 12, 2013
Freeman is Oregon's first running back commitment in the 2014 class and a player we profiled last month. After standing out at Nike's The Opening in Beaverton a couple of weeks ago, Freeman was upgraded to five-star status and the #2 running back in the country by 247Sports. Recruiting Editor JC Shurburtt had this to say about Freeman last week:
"Freeman is a player that we've heard a lot about and seen at camps, but we wanted to get a good look at how he compared physically in an environment like The Opening and he passed the test with flying colors...There are college coaches that think he's a better pure running back than [Joe] Mixon and he compares favorably to former Oregon and current NFL running back Jonathan Stewart. He's 6-feet tall, 227 pounds, runs 4.58 consistently and has excellent feet."
The Ducks coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for identifying Freeman's talent early and extending him an offer before powerhouse programs like Alabama, USC, and Florida came along. Freeman is the kind of bigger back that Oregon has been known to covet for some time and a player who can make an instant impact given his size and powerful running style. Comparisons to former Ducks Jonathan Stewart and LeGarrette Blount are apt. Current Duck commits Arrion Springs and Morgan Mahalak were quick to express their excitement at Freeman's commitment via Twitter:
I'm so hype right now we got my boy Royce too #GoDucks it's looking good— Arrion Springs (@A_Springs4) July 12, 2013
Should Freeman stay committed to Oregon, the Ducks will have landed a five-star running back in four out of the last five recruiting classes, joining Lache Seastrunk, De'Anthony Thomas, and Thomas Tyner as five-star running backs that have recently committed to Oregon. In addition to the Ducks, Freeman also had offers from Alabama, USC, Florida, Florida State, Arkansas, Tennessee, UCLA, and Stanford, among many others. Check out his highlight video below to see what all the hype is about.