Cru’s Jerrell Freeman signs with Indianapolis Colts
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football program's all-time leader in tackles is heading to the National Football League --- Former Cru standout linebacker Jerrell Freeman has signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts after closing out a great three-year stint with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
The Waco native opted out of his CFL contract after posting the best season of his professional career. Freeman led the CFL with 105 tackles and added six sacks and three interceptions. He was a CFL All-Star this season and was the runner-up for the CFL Defensive Player of the Year. Freeman was the CFL Defensive Player of the Week three times and played in two Grey Cup games with the Roughriders.
"I'm leaving probably the best fans in Canada with Rider Nation, so it's one of those things where you are kinda torn," said Freeman. "But, I'm leaving the CFL on a high note and joining an organization that really seems to like me and you have to look at it like a job where you get a promotion."
This is Freeman's second chance at the NFL. He signed a free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans after UMHB but was one of the team's final cuts in training camp.
His college coach and mentor, Cru head coach Pete Fredenberg, offered a unique perspective on his former great linebacker.
"You know, the amazing thing is, Jerrell's just like so many division three players across the United States that has a big heart but because of an inch here or 10 pounds or whatever there, they don't fit in some guy's box. Thank goodness he didn't fit into a lot of college recruiters' box and he came here and was a great player for us," Fredenberg commented. "He's done the same thing with the NFL. They drafted him out of college because of the way he played and then were disappointed in his size. Then, he went to Canada and just set the place on fire. Now, several people in the National Football League have a keen interest in him! He's about 230 (lbs) and has to fit into the scheme. He is going to be a real asset to the Colts and is in a situation where he can make the team."
During his playing years for UMHB, the Waco University High alum was a three-time American Southwest Conference First Team All-Conference pick and was named D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year as a Cru senior.
Let's be watching for Jerrell Freeman in an Indianapolis Colts uniform on Sunday afternoons next fall.