Height: 6-6 Weight: 240 Age: 26
Born: 1/13/1988 Kansas City , MO
College: Kansas State
Selected By: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick (Overall): 17 (17)
Georgia's Matthew Stafford and Southern California's Mark Sanchez are getting most of the attention, but a team could turn out to be the ultimate winner with Freeman as its consolation prize on draft day.
There are teams that consider Freeman the finest all-around athlete available at the position. The junior has been a model of consistency and an outstanding leader who possesses a strong, accurate arm to go along with his unbelievable frame.
He never had the weapons that both Stafford and Sanchez had to work with but he made things happen with his strong arm and mobility. He also developed touch and has top physical skills. He might have the best opportunity of the three top-level quarterbacks to succeed at the next level.
Freeman was one of the most highly sought recruits during his senior year at Grandview High School, where he played for head coach Jason Godfrey, whose staff also included Josh's father, Ron (defensive coordinator). Josh Freeman received a four-star prospect rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com, throwing for over 7,000 yards during his career. Rivals.com rated him the fourth-best pro-style quarterback in the nation and he was rated ninth in the prep ranks at his position by Prep Star. Super Prep rated him the country's eighth-best passer and sixth-ranked overall prospect in the Midwest.
Freeman was also named to Prep Star's Top 100 Dream Team and earned first-team Class IV All-State honors from the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He was selected to the Kansas City Star All-Metro team and was the 2005 Tony Simone Award winner as the top player in the Kansas City metro area. He was a participant at the 2005 EA Sports Elite 11 Camp and was chosen to play in the prestigious U.S. Army High School All-America game.
Freeman led Grandview to a 7-4 record, a district title and a berth in the sectional round of the Missouri state playoffs as a senior. That year, he completed 151-of-286 passes (52.8%) for 2,622 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for five scores. He also topped 2,400 yards passing with 23 touchdowns as a junior.
As a sophomore, Freeman threw for 1,946 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading Grandview to a 9-3 record and a spot in the quarterfinals of the Class IV playoffs. He set 10 school records during his career, including career passing yards (7,175), passing touchdowns (78), attempts (809), completions (385), yards passing in a game (403) and touchdowns in a game (six).
Freeman graduated from high school early and enrolled at Kansas State in time to participate in 2006 spring drills. He played in 11 games as a true freshman, starting the final eight contests as the blue-chip prospect from head coach Ron Prince's first recruiting class. The Freshman All-American honorable mention earned Big Twelve Conference Player of the Week honors vs. Colorado and Texas, becoming the first Wildcat freshman to earn those honors in back-to-back weeks and the first KSU player to accomplish that feat since 2001.
That year, Freeman threw for a school freshman record 1,780 yards on 140-of-270 passes (51.85%) and was the only true freshman to lead his team to a bowl appearance in 2006. He threw six touchdown passes, but was intercepted 15 times while also getting sacked 25 times. His pass completion percentage of .846 vs. Colorado is the second-best average in a game by a Wildcats passer.
As a sophomore, Freeman earned All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention from league coaches. The strong-armed quarterback started all 12 games, set five school passing records -- most completions in a game and season, most attempts in a season, most passing yards in a season and most 300-yard passing games in a season.
Freeman totaled 3,353 yards on 316-of-499 passing, completing 63.33% of those attempts while adding 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed at least 20 passes in 11-of-12 games, scoring four times of 53 carries. His 276.08-yard per-game average in total offense ranked 26th in the nation and he led a passing attack that ranked 19th in the major college ranks in 2007, averaging 269.58 yards per game.
In 2008, Freeman ranked 17th in the nation in total offense (279.08 yards per game) and 11th in points responsible for (17.17 per game). While his passing yards were down from the previous season (2,945), he did complete 58.64% of his attempts (224-of-382), a career-high 20 touchdowns and a career-low eight interceptions. He exploded for 14 scores and 404 yards on the ground. Only Colin Kaepernick of Nevada (17) ran for more touchdowns among major college quarterbacks in 2008.