MIDWEST CITY — If you surveyed high school linemen, many of them would tell you they prefer defense, because it's more fun.
Carlos Freeman, Midwest City's 6-foot-3, 295-pound senior, would agree that the defensive line is more fun — but that's exactly why he prefers offense.
“Defense is more fun, but offense is a lot harder,” he said. “It's more of a challenge, and there's always something new. There's always a different guy to block. Maybe he's bigger or smaller or faster or better than me. Defense gets old for me, but offense never gets old.”
Freeman, No. 14 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list, will face plenty of challenges as the left tackle for the Bombers, and college will present even more. He has scholarship offers from Utah State and Dartmouth so far, with interest from programs like Missouri, Iowa State, Tulsa and Arkansas State, among others.
But most college coaches project him as an interior lineman.
“I want to be our left tackle this season. Our quarterback, Joel Davis, has been my friend since kindergarten, and I want to do my best to protect him so he doesn't get hit from the backside,” Freeman said. “But colleges see me as a center or guard. They tell me I move pretty well, which is important. I've been working on my snaps a lot, because that's something that you have to practice.”
Freeman gets extra practice on snaps as the center for Midwest City's 7-on-7 team, which will be competing in the Red Bull Game Breakers national finals Thursday and Friday in Dallas.
The timing of the event was perfect for Freeman, who will stay in the DFW area an extra day to attend a lineman camp at TCU. He also has camps coming up at Arkansas State and either Iowa State or Kansas State in the next few weeks.
The offseason has been a roller coaster for Freeman, who missed some time after surgery to repair a torn meniscus suffered at the state wrestling tournament.
Not knowing he had suffered the tear, Freeman finished the tournament, finishing third. Then next week, he took fourth at state in powerlifting. Then he went to get the knee checked out and learned he needed surgery.
He came back from his time off at 310 pounds, and only had a couple of days to work out before a camp at Tulsa. The knee wasn't a problem, but he felt he was out of shape, so he has been focused on getting his body back in condition.
“I was 310 about four weeks ago, and I'm trying to get back down to about 290,” he said. “I'm at 295 right now, and I'm a lot stronger than I was last year. I feel a lot more comfortable now. This is the easiest weight for me to hit guys and do some damage.”
Still, speed is his biggest focus as he tries to prepare himself for the next level.
“Speed and explosion, the same things I've been focused on forever,” he said. “I want to be able to move better laterally. It's tough with a running back running a 4.4 (40-yard dash) and a lineman running a 5.0. I'm always telling our running back, Qualon Johnson, that I'm trying to get faster for him.
“I'm trying to make it where I can be the best in whatever position coaches want to put me in.”
The Oklahoman's Super 30
Name: Carlos Freeman
School: Midwest City
Position: Offensive line
Offers: Utah State and Dartmouth, with interest from Missouri, Tulsa, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Iowa State and New Mexico.