There's little doubt that after flying under the radar for much of his high school recruitment, Devonta Freeman quickly established himself as a fan favorite among Seminoles during his remarkable senior high school playoff run and came into Florida State as one of the more anticipated athletes in an extremely talented crop of players. From the time Freeman enrolled at Florida State in January, he has impressed coaches and teammates with his maturity, work ethic and ability and it was only a matter of time before all of those things translated to the field of play and were able to pay dividends for the Seminole football team. Unfortunately, the FSU ground game sputtered mightily out of the gate and was understandably the source of much scrutiny. It appears at this point though, that Devonta Freeman is beginning to hit his stride as a ball carrier and gaining confidence as a college player.
This past Saturday, Freeman became the first true freshman running back to rush for back-to-back 100 yard games for Florida State since Sammie Smith in 1986. In a season in which no Seminole running back had rushed for 100 yards total in the first five games of the year, Devonta Freeman now has 209 on 30 carries in the past two weeks. He has provided the spark that was much needed and it has come in conjunction with the return of a healthy EJ Manuel at QB and a slowly improving offensive line. What cannot be denied is Freeman's outstandingly deliberate, one cut and go type of running style that is quite literally what makes most football fans covet in their primary running back.
At 5'9 (generous) and 200 lbs., Devonta Freeman is built low and solid with amazingly quick feet and a natural feel for angling his body to avoid blows as well as the toughness and willingness to lower his shoulder and deliver them himself. He embodies the attributes that warrant the label of balanced back better than any other player on the Seminole roster and it was put on full display in the past two weeks. From quick feet, to burst and vision to sheer will to compete, Devonta Freeman is proving that he can be the back that a team rallies around and relies on to run time off the clock as the game is put out of reach. All this, from a mere true freshman that is still gathering himself within the college game. His 11 carry, 100 yard performance included a career long 41 yard touchdown scamper that would ice the game and was good enough to earn him ACC Rookie of the Week honors.
The college game and nature of fanhood typically dictates that people expect results immediately and it has not been uncommon for people to demand more Freeman. Fortunately, the time for more Freeman has very clearly come and there are not any signs that he will be letting go of the starting job. Devonta Freeman seems to fully grasp the position and all of the nuances involved now entering game eight of the season. He will also continue to benefit greatly from the apparent resurggence of senior tailback Jermaine Thomas, who serves as an alternative and capable back to spell him throughout the day. We will be looking further into the running game later today and why 10 or more touches for Devonta Freeman, particularly in conjunction with the continued thriving passing attack of Florida State will likely lead to increasingly positive results for the Noles.