As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
Where Freeman stood out during his Clemson career, more than most offensive line prospects, is durability. Starting 49 consecutive games at offensive line is no small feat — especially in college against a persistent rush in a pass-happy offense. As a senior, Freeman was a second-team All-American, first-team All-ACC and Academic All-ACC as well. With an average grade above 80 on the season (a number that grew as the season wore on), Freeman let up just two sacks on the entire season. Again, this was all while playing center in an offense that threw the ball 474 times this season (31st in the country). At the next level, some are curious about whether his 6’4″, 286-pound frame can hold up against pro defensive lineman, and there’s also an outward display of concern over his speed (or lack thereof). If you’ve watched Freeman over the past few years, however, you know this is a player who has and will put in the work to find success. He’s intelligent, durable and experienced — a skill set that can’t be found everywhere. It’s a mystery to when he’ll be drafted in April, but trust that he will.