A product of Miami Central High School, running back Devonta Freeman believed that he would end up at the University of Miami. After all, he shined at a high school just a 20 minute drive away from the school, and grew up idolizing past stars like Clinton Portis and Frank Gore.
But after dominating his senior season at Miami Central by rushing for 2,208 yards and 26 touchdowns, including a sensational performance in the 2010 Class 6A state championship game where he won MVP honors after a 308 yard performance, the Hurricanes didn’t come calling. So Freeman accepted an offer to go to Florida State. Safe to say that turned out well for the current NFL draft prospect. Freeman was a 2013 First Team All-ACC Selection, finishing with career highs in rushing yards (1,016) and touchdowns (16) helping the Seminoles to a BCS National Championship last season.
After bypassing his senior season at FSU for the pros, Freeman appears primed and ready for life and success in the NFL. That may be attributed to the chip he still carries on his shoulder from his slight from the Hurricanes four years ago.
As part of a pre-draft Prospect Perspective series, Freeman talked to The Finsiders about growing up in the Miami area and how being passed over by his hometown school motivated him to become the player he is today.
“To be honest growing up, I wanted to play for UM, I ain’t going to lie I wanted to be there,” said Freeman. “I felt like it was a slap in the face when they didn’t recruit me even though I felt I was the best running back coming out that year in college. And I was hurt by that.”
Freeman went about showing the Hurricanes what they missing when he faced them. He most certainly did that this season as he combined for 176 all-purpose yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns in a 41-14 rout of the then #7 ranked Hurricanes.
“My mindset was just to destroy and make them regret what they did,” said Freeman. “That’s my whole mindset. I’m going to destroy them, I’m going to make y’all mad at yourselves for not recruiting me when I felt they should have.”
While Miami passed on Freeman, there’s another one of his favorite teams that still has a chance to grab him in the upcoming draft. Being a local kid, he of course grew up a Dolphins fan, looking up to players like Ricky Williams. So what would his reaction be if he got the call from the ‘Fins? A moment that he can’t even describe.
“You’re making me smile too much. I would be shocked,” said Freeman. “If I do get that chance to go there, I don’t know what my reaction would be. It would just be one of those things where it’ll be a great moment.”
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