Notre Dame’s new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman: 10 to know

Notre Dame Football made a defensive coordinator’s slam dunk hire on Friday night when they announced the hiring of Marcus Freeman.

Freeman brings an impressive resume to the table, having already accomplished more than it has all done before his 35th birthday (arrives on Sunday).

So who did Notre Dame appoint as its new defensive coordinator?

Here are 10 fast facts about Marcus Freeman:

1 in 10: Ohio High School Mega-Star

Freeman (No. 1 in white) performs a tackle at the 2006 Ohio State Spring Game by Matt Sullivan / Getty Images.

Back in 2004, Marcus Freeman was one of Ohio’s best prospects coming out of the state. He was a Parade All-American out of Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Oher, where he was a two-time first-team All-Ohio selection. .

2 out of 10: Ohio State line backing star

Credit: Photo Byron Hetzler-USA Today Sports Copyright (c) 2006 Byron Heisler

In his four years at Ohio State from 2005–2008, Freeman played 51 matches for the Buckeyes, starting 37 of them. He topped the all-time top-twenty in Ohio State history, finishing with 268 for his career.

Freeman also added 21.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, 15 pass breakups, an interception and a pair of forced fumbles as a Buckeye.

3 out of 10: Bowl history as a player

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Freeman was a part of the great Ohio State teams that went to the BCS National Championship Game twice and the Fiesta Bowl twice during his playing career.

2006 Fiesta Bowl: 34-20 win vs. Notre Dame
2007 BCS National Championship: 41-14 Los vs. Florida
2008 BCS National Championship: 38-24 loss vs. LSU
2009 Fiesta Bowl: 24-21 Los vs. Texas

4 of 10: 2009 NFL Draft Pick

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Marcus Freeman was the Chicago Bears’ fifth-round pick (154 overall) in the 2009 NFL draft, but was waived after that season’s final pre-season game.

10 of 5: Other NFL Stops, No Game Action

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After being waived by the Chicago Bears, Freeman made a stop with the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans as a member of his practice squad, but never played a regular season NFL game, retired because of an enlarged heart condition Had happened.

6 out of 10: Return to Ohio State

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After watching his NFL career, the younger Freeman returned to Ohio State as coach of the 2010 Buckeyes as a graduate assistant to Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes went 12–1 with a season-ending win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

7 out of 10: Between Ohio State and Cincinnati

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Freeman eventually coached linebackers at Akron before taking the linebackers coaching job at Purdue in 2011 and 2012, before eventually arriving in Cincinnati as defensive coordinator, a position he held until 2013-2016.

While at Purdue, Freeman coached future NFL linebackers Je’Hwan Bentley and Danny Ichukwu.

8 out of 10: Cincinnati success

Photo courtesy of Inquirer / Tom Gro

After struggling for a 4-8 season in 2016, Cincinnati grew in the last three years with Freeman as their defensive coordinator. Bearcats head coach Luke Fickel hired Freeman on his first staff and the two together helped the team to a 31–6 record in the past three seasons together, as Freeman’s defense ranked among the nation’s best defensive units Performed as.

In 2020, Cincinnati’s defense was ranked in the top 20 nationally in several categories for 2020-21, including 13th in total defense (324.6 yards per game) and defense (16.8 points per game) among all FFI teams. ) Finished eighth in scoring. In addition, the Bearcats finished third in team passing efficiency defense (101.25), 14th in defensive defense (111.1 yards per game), 15th in red zone defense (0.735 rate), 17th in fourth down defense (0.375 rate). Finished 16th on the team in sacks (3.0 per game) and 10th in turnovers (21).

9 out of 10: Broins Award Finalist

Freeman was a finalist for the Broyles Award this past season which annually goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. It was going to Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkissian, but getting that kind of recognition as an assistant coach in Cincinnati tells you a ton of respect that he earned in his eleven years of coaching is.

10 out of 10: Notre Dame defeated LSU

Photo courtesy: Karim Elgazar / The Inquirer

When you have a resume as a freeman, you are going to be in demand. That is why LSU was in search of his services, interviewed him on Thursday.

Freeman deserves all the praise for hiring him because Brian Kelly has now fielded Mike Elko, Clarke Lay and Marcus Freeman as their final three defensive coordinators, which are far from the days of Brian Forestguard.


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