Safety Freeman commits to Hoosiers for 2021

Virginia safety Maurice Freeman announced his commitment to Indiana on Saturday, giving the Hoosiers their second verbal pledge of the day.

Brownsburg offensive tackle Joshua Sales, a top in-state target in 2021, also announced his intent to play for IU on Saturday. Freeman, a 6-foot, 200-pound athlete from Chesapeake, Va., adds an explosive athlete on the defensive side of the ball.

Ranked as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, Freeman was considering Illinois, Ole Miss, and Appalachian State among his final four. Because fall sports in Virginia have been canceled, Freeman previously announced he plans to graduate from high school early and enroll in college in December. 

He is the No. 39 safety prospect in the country and the No. 13-ranked recruit in Virginia, according to 247Sports.

Playing as an in-the-box safety for Oscar Smith High, the state’s 6A runners-up in 2019, Freeman collected 51 tackles, including 14 for a loss, and five sacks. He also forced three fumbles.

The title of Freeman’s junior highlight film on Hudl is “Horror Movie,” and he certainly dishes out some violent hits. On numerous occasions, he’s pictured in the box, exploding into the backfield for quarterback hits. He’s agile enough to drop into coverage, but he’s more than willing to break on a rusher, pursuing from sideline to sideline, and delivering a blow.

Freeman is yet another recruit added to the secondary mix for IU. Florida’s Aubrey Burks is already committed for 2021, as well as Georgia “athlete” Jordan Grier. Another IU commit, Larry Smith, also from Florida, has played safety but more likely profiles as a corner at the college level.

With Freeman’s commitment, the Hoosiers now have 13 slotted in for the 2021 class.

34 comments

  1. Maurice “Lights Out” Freeman? Maurice “Boom-Boom” Freeman? Maurice “Sandman” Freemen? Freight Train Freeman? Not sure what his nickname is going to be, but he’s going to earn one. Quarterbacks are going to fear this kid. Explosive, quick-twitch guy that explodes through the tackle. He’s going to be fun to watch attack quarterbacks for the next 4 years.

    1. Like that Freeman really seems to relish flattening people, but did you notice how after he levels a guy he likes to mouth off to his victim after the play. Go back and watch. “Attitude” is a very good thing for a football player, but it can spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e if it doesn’t go back in the cage after the whistle.

  2. Good pick up for IU. Tried to look up top ranked 2021 safeties recruits per espn and the site took me to a Pixar Disneyland site. Yes, I suppose another future all American IU recruit. How many future all Americans does that make for the IU 2021 football class? Oh, I forget? All of them are. Does that make everyone feel better?

  3. Ridiculous. What the majority of us are positive about is IUFB recruiting no longer has to settle for commitments from MAC/mid major level talent as it did as recent as a decade+ ago. When damn little speed, size and shallow depth dominated the Hoosier roster. The 8-5 season is a direct result of that improving progress. That is now a fact not to be ignored, unrecognized and rejected.

  4. Conference:

    Maryland 1-8
    Rutgers 0-9
    Northwestern 1-8
    Nebraska 3-6
    Purdue 3-6

    Guess what those studs above have in common? They are the conference teams that had the honorable distinction of losing to IU. All five of our ‘breakthrough’ lineup had a combined conference record of 8-37 (.216).
    Three had a combined conference record of 2-25 (.08).

    Non-conference:

    Ball State 5-7
    Eastern Illinois 1-11
    UConn 2-10

    Two teams with a combined 3-21 (.143) record. All three had a combined 8-28 (.286) . Not even sure if those three non-conference challenging foes deserve the high recognition of being referred to as “patsies.”

    Conclusion: Allen has been made a king for walking on the dog poop. Conference and non-conference all bottom feeders. We may touch a “Rock” went entering Memorial, but the breakthrough is against Charmin.

    It’s almost shameful to brag of defeating ANY of the 8 teams we found a win. Maybe I’ll give you Nebraska. The rest are sad and beyond sorry.

    Reality bites.

    1. Beating the beatables. I remember when IUFB struggled to do that. It’s called progress, not overnight success.

  5. Furthermore, it’s nearly criminal that the departing Fred Flintstone gave contract extensions and millions based on wins against such lowly foes. It’s like Tom Crean all over again.
    It’s rewarding Sweet 16’s when all Midwestern peers are dancing in Elite Eights and Final Fours. It’s reward defeating teams worse than “patsy” designation in non-conference schedules. It’s more inflated and exaggerations in unearned praise while never (or rarely in the case of basketball) measuring up to high quality opponents.
    It’s glorifying mediocrity.
    It’s the Fred Glass years. It’s the collusion of wealth conspirators found love in committee rooms who have not earned their keep nor done anything to self-indulge or give such impressions of themselves. They demand almost nothing of Indiana.
    It’s an insult to the entire fan base to act as if any milestones have been achieved against any competition deemed as worth one’s salt.

  6. And it pays really well while receiving pats on the back, standing ovations, and glorification in the very essence of hope.

  7. I came here to celebrate getting a very good player for the secondary. Freeman is a big hitter that finds the ball. He seems to be a play maker on a very good defense which shows he is an outstanding player. He has good feet, avoids blockers, and finishes tackles with a big hit.

    Add in the commitment of Sales gives IU a boost in average rating in the B1G. average rating per player[.8628] is the highest in program history:
    OSU is in a league of their own 94.94
    UM 89.37
    UW 88.76
    PSU 88.60
    Iowa 87.83
    Minn 87.77
    Mary 87.05
    Neb 86.70
    IU 86.28
    NW 85.99
    PU 85.39
    MSU 84.99
    RU 84.70
    UI 84.20

    Things at IUFB are improving even if it isn’t as fast as many hoped.

    1. Well, when including OSU, we still fall into 9th place on the above list. The other reality is that we play in the East which contains three of the top four.

      We witnessed recruiting upticks in basketball….and then we witnessed cue cards. And with the hype and the upticks we never measure up to the rest of the Midwest in March Madness (nowhere close, actually).

      Results is all that matter in sports. Anyone acting as if last year’s results are meaningful improvement isn’t being honest with the beyond soft schedule and the miserable seasons of the teams we found our victories. It’s not the sort of thing you should use to warrant throwing extensions and millions at a coach.
      It was Glass self-indulging and hyping as he did with the decade of Crean.

      Beat somebody worth one’s salt. Do it on the road and make me believe even more. Measure yourself in the quality of the opponent rather preseason hype, forever only talking of minuscule differences in highly subjective weighted recruiting averages, or, most importantly, merely stacking up 8 wins against cream puffs.

      What the fans of Indiana should demand of our administrators and coaches is a constant applied pressure on the BigTen conference/commissioners/leaders to make divisional/conference alignment have a base amount of fairness. To have OSU, Michigan and Penn State in the same divisions is criminal. The typical season for an IU football fan involves fake high notes against cream puffs and then total obliteration of hopes once the typical 0-4 results add up against the three ‘Murderer’s Row’ (OSU, PSU, UM) opponents and another conference loss against a somewhat worthy foe for good measure (e.g. MSU).

      Allen may be making inroads in recruiting….But there is constant turnover in assistant coaches and strength coaches. There is also always an imperative that our few game-changers stay healthy because the depth will never compare to the Murderer’s Row. Every season starts at a severe disadvantage because of conference alignment. Much of that imbalance creates the lower tier coaching instability, a frequent disheartening of fans reluctant to invest in purchasing tickets….and many other “imperatives” and slim odds that must always roll in our favor to gain very small stepping stones of improvements.

      The placing of OSU, UM and Penn State in one division is highly unfair to football programs with tradition…To place a program searching for decades to acquire momentum and fan base in such a locked in room of killer programs is cruel and unusual punishment. Credit to Tom Allen for any momentum …but we should curb the fantasy train and be honest with the forces pushing us beat up on cream puffs to balance out the unfairness already in a rigged conference alignment.

      1. oops (final sentence if you made it that far)…

        but we should curb the fantasy train and be honest with the forces pushing us [to] beat up on cream puffs to balance out the unfairness already in a rigged conference alignment.

  8. I agree with both HC and V13’s comments above. This is good news for IU FB fans. Although we’re not satisfied, we can certainly celebrate the improvement in the quality of athletes TA and staff are recruiting compared to the days of Bill Lynch, who didn’t even try to recruit the best players in the state or the region, let alone go to places like Georgia, Virginia and Florida.

    I’ve always thought that we can evaluate the quality of talent being signed by observing the other schools that have made offers to a kid. When you’re beating out notable Power-five conference schools, you’re on the right track. When you’re mostly recruiting against MAC schools and FCS-level schools, your FB program is not going to be competitive with most Big Ten East Conference schools.

    Wilson got it started, but TA and staff appear to be elevating recruiting to an even higher level.

  9. Heard IU football was having some solid recruiting wins. Thought I’d pop in.

    Same old BS. Still drinking from the cranky juice fountain, I see.

  10. Welcome back, Double Down.

    I think the last two paragraphs were honest and were not a critique of Allen. IU fans should demand a more just conference alignment. We should use the influence of our basketball television ratings to make football a far more fair competitive environment. If we are not given an ear, we should consider moving into another conference. Simply look at the concessions made for Notre Dame….
    We have options. I sometimes wonder if we don’t want to explore options. Our basketball program (along with very prestigious soccer and swimming programs) may not be the cash cow of a highly successful football program but I do believe we could use the strong following and rich tradition it to exert far more influence and pressure than we give ourselves credit. Our football program should not be apologized for (or falsely hyped)….but it should be allowed a fair opportunity rather than decades of a conference alignment which places a welterweight into a ring with three heavyweights. We have the ability and resources to exert pressure and force change.
    Could it be there is a certain ‘Establishment’ sector within IU Athletics which enjoys all the pressure solely placed on our basketball program because of the inherent structural injustices football must face year after year?

    Big brains need to thinkaboutit…..rather than always indulging on empty calories of hype. Not asking for a lifetime of “affirmative action,” but IU football fans should demand some equal opportunity. And our basketball program absorbs far too much pressure because of the lack of fairness and opportunity given to our football program forever under the heel of the BigTen’s top three teams. And probably no coincidence that part of that heel was years under a commissioner with “Tar Heel” in his boots.

  11. I still have many questions about rating systems in college recruiting of high school athletes comparing the last several years versus many many years ago even before the star system. In other words are the same schools consistently and sustainable getting the same talent level comparatively speaking.

    Then, there is good old Mr. Phil Dickens. The conspiracy, IU was getting a a little better recruits and Dickens playing a little lose with the rules. Alumni $75 or a $100 here and $75 or a $100 there just like others in major sports. It was kinda common knowledge. However, some big ten schools thought IU football could become a little better and thought IU football should remain in its rightful place, the big ten cellar. Herman Wells stood behind his man but accepted the NCAA and big ten consequences. While on probation big ten football games with IU would only count as scrimmages. This created a disadvantage for teams that played IU because a win would not count for big ten standings. Therefore, that was a time when other big ten football teams dreaded playing IU in football.

  12. I have no problem with wanting the B1G to be more balanced and not aligned against IU and other schools. I was hoping Frost could turn around Nebraska and challenge the West but now MN is doing that. IU only needs a few more years like the past three classes to challenge the Big Three. IU showed Frost hasn’t turned Nebraska around and not nearly as good as the big three in the East. Frost complained about playing OSU and other B1G big boys because he knos how tough it is for IU. He made IU fans and team infuriated and ended up losing to us.

    I hope in the next season, whenever it happens, IU can knock of a couple of the big boys. OSU is killing the rest of the country in recruiting so I don’t know if IU can be them but maybe. Thanks for the positive comments here Po and HC and thanks for bring up the inequity of the schedule in the B1G East.

  13. One of the three from the ‘Murderer’s Row’ needs moved. Actually, for what IU has been through for decades, we should be in the division which only contains one of those powerhouse teams.

    Even if Allen knocks off a “big boy,” it is a stacked deck season after season. Don’t complain about fan attendance (even post pandemic) when you’re not willing to use any voice to push for conference realignment. The fans are given cream puffs and ‘Murderer’s Row…season after season. It’s a regular routine of no challenges and extreme challenges. It’s not really a recipe for fan interest or participation. The BigTen has intentionally placed inordinate pressure on our basketball program to be the singular bright spot due to the structural injustices in the football divisions. It’s unfair to both our major programs via separate acting forces/pressures.

    Always appreciate your optimism, V13. If Allen could build a powerhouse football program at IU under such unfair structures and conference imbalance, he would go down as one of the greatest in the history of college coaching and turnarounds.

    I never want to hear about Purdue football until they must face a Murderer’s Row of conference opponents season after season…Let’s see your spectacular fan base then.

  14. H4H, you are right about the murders row as looking at the B1G west record against the three isn’t good. They can beat one of them now and then but facing them back to back every year would be a disaster for the programs in the west. These west teams v. OSU -Iowa 15-47, MN 7-46, Nebraska 1-7, NW 14-63, WS 18-61, PU 15-40, ILL 30-69. PSU v, west teams ILL 5-19, MN 6-9, Nebraska 9-8, NW 5-14, PU 3-15, WS 9-10. Michigan against the west ILL 23-71, Iowa 15-42, Nebraska 4-5, NW 15-58, PU 14-44, WS 16-51.

    It is clear the divisions aren’t evenly divided and I hope our new commish has ideas about balancing the conference football schedules and brings about changes.

    1. There is nothing on the table currently regarding a change in divisions, and any change wouldn’t have had much benefit for IU.

  15. I view the divisions as this; East-top heavy and nearly = bottom heavy and not much viable in the belly section
    West- evaluates close to the reverse.
    Rearranging 4 deck chairs (2 each division) would make much more competitive.
    If EAST-WEST no longer fits reclaim LEGENDS-LEADERS moniker. Hell then division names could be the subject of critiquing instead of division alignments.

  16. Being required to compete in Big Ten east simply means IU FB must be committed to getting better. If IU remains determined to get better in FB, in recruiting, in player development, coaching, etc., then competing against the big boys will simply make IU FB stronger. Then beating Eastern Division teams like NE, WISC, Purdue, MN, etc. will be, in relative terms, easier.

    But honestly, OSU FB is a National Powerhouse that is not likely to be overtaken by any other Big Ten school any time soon. OSU now considers any season a failure if they’re not in the final four teams competing for the National Championship. Everything is relative to expectations, so as long as the Hoosier Nation has reasonable expectations, IU FB should be fun, exciting and successful.

    What I want to see is the NCAA require (mandate) pre-season top ten teams play each other in pre-conference games. I want OSU to have to play Clemson in September, and Alabama to have to play Oklahoma, etc. If you think about it, that would tend to level the playing field if the big boys beat each other up before conference games are played.

    1. Hear, hear, PO. Sick of the griping about being in the East. Suck it up and play football. Unlike Nebraska whining two summers ago about not getting to play IUFB more often.

      1. There’s a lot of twisted motives on here. People rarely divulge the true reasons for their positions/opinions. I simply attempted to examine how decades of poor football performance has put undue pressure on IU Basketball to pick up the slack and function as the only bright spot.

        Suck it up, indeed. A bit of parity would be nice. IU fans don’t whine…They’ve accepted the near zero probabilities of ever playing for divisional championships. They’ve accepted cream puffs and sledgehammers. False hype followed by reality…Until there is conference realignment (some semblance of parity) and some true belief that every season isn’t structured to get to a bottom tier bowl (three cream puffs to get the three wins to counter the three losses against the collective of the Murderer’s Row ) , you’ll build no sustainable fan interest. You’ll also continue to place the vast majority of pressure on IU Basketball to ease the yearly football pain.

        Do some like the undue pressures on IU Basketball? I sometimes wonder….Twisted motives often comfortably hide behind status quo. The fastest road to building winning football is using our very popular basketball program to exert pressure on the BigTen. The television following of IU Basketball is mind boggling. The banner tradition, the vast hoops fan base stretching to all areas of the country, along with statewide basketball tradition rooted Indiana, is the base of our true power. We have yet to use that power to push for some semblance of parity for our football program.
        Conclusion: Many don’t want winning football. And some may even like the disproportionate pressure on basketball to make up for the stacked deck against football (which may weigh heavier on basketball coaches and rosters than realized).

  17. West Lafayette 40.4259° N, 86.9081° W
    Bloomington 39.1653° N, 86.5264° W

    Purdue escaped the East and the ‘Murderer’s Row’ of OSU, UM and Penn State each season because of a longitude difference of 38 minutes 17 seconds west of Bloomington (about 35 miles due west? ). This is why you don’t want to be born on the other side of the tracks.
    Maybe we need to expand to 16 teams? Maybe find two more schools east of 84.4839 degrees longitude (East Lansing) to add to the BigTen conference? Indiana and Michigan State could move into the West. Two new teams east of East Lansing’s longitude ( 84.4839° W) get put in with the rest of the East?
    Who can we convince to get Michigan, OSU and Penn State on their football schedule every year?

  18. Don’t ever expect fans to buy in when you’re giving them season after season of cream puffs and sledgehammers. False hope…Reality…False hope…Reality….False hope….Reality….False Hope….Reality. Throw in the broken record of preseason hype heard season after season.
    Come watch us “belong” as we beat up on four Tickle Me Elmo Colleges ….(a.k.a. you get to watch a high school game) to greatly increase our odds to secure a bottom tier bowl. Then come watch us get pounded and sledgehammered into a turf crepe against the three Murderer’s Row teams.

    If you want fans then demand conference realignment. IU football fans have grown tired of the cream puffs sold as “belonging.” We need to fight against our weight class more. You don’t train with Pee-wee Herman’s sparring partners to fight in a ring with three Mike Tysons. Fans will never buy into that joke.

  19. Fans want to see some sort of realistic chance at titles, undefeated seasons, long term turnarounds, competing near the top of the standings. When you place OSU, Michigan and Penn State into a season schedule, you’ve killed that hope. Do you really think they care if the season begins 3-0…or 4-1 before facing the Murderer’s Row? Do you actually believe they take any stock or interest in the early wins (or care enough to be in attendance) when they already know the near impossibility of ever having titles or shots at the upper echelon of the standings because the stacked deck of three powerhouse teams staring us down the barrel?

    Dream on….With the stacked deck, you’ve essentially told the so-called “fans” of IU Football you’re never going to even see a title game. You will never play in an upper echelon bowl. You’ll be sucking helium your whole life. There are plenty of ways to make it fair. The BigTen doesn’t want it fair.

    And placing IU Football behind the eternal 8 ball also puts way more pressure on basketball program always forced to be the bright light after the gloom of inevitable football stagnancy. Even the incompetent Crean had an unfair level of expectations because of the stacked deck against football (along with many before him…and many who will come after). Why should basketball be are only hope season after season because conference alignment in football puts us in a position to rarely (as in once every 1/2 century) have success?

  20. H4h, some very salient points about IUFB. It sounds good to say IU should pull up their big boy pants and improve enough to win in the B1G East. The reality is that it is difficult to get fans or players to come out for IUFB when they face a loaded deck of a schedule in the B1G East. You can look at teams all over the country and see the position IU is in – Duke, WF, NCST, MSU, MS, SC, KY, Van, etc. Playing the powers in football and staying there once you can is very difficult with their advantages.

    When you compete for recruits and the others keep pulling in top recruits year after year, getting better recruits will make you team better but not in the same league of the big boys.

  21. Yes, V13…And why must conference alignment be set in stone? Doesn’t it make more sense to jostle around those conference alignments/arrangements every few years (within a certain amount of reason, I suppose, to make travel distances not too crazy or unfair) ?

    BigTen basketball has the advantage of one conglomeration of teams/standings. Schedules rotate and no dominating team gets to sit atop numerous underdogs year after year in a favorable “division.” Not to mention, there is already far more parity in basketball…along with a far easier pathway to upsets when dealing with rosters that only require great games from five or six guys playing above their individual talents. Football contains such a vast “army” on the field, talent and depth disparities between teams are far more magnified, upset possibilities far more nullified, simply by the shear differences in numbers between the two sports.

    Nobody is asking for handouts to make IU Football competitive. But there is no valid argument for keeping conference alignment forever locked in a situation which almost constantly lumps the three top teams into one division. That’s an effort in sabotage as if there is a desire to seek the opposite of parity. It’s also not particularly fair to the three powerhouse teams in the country who do far more beating up on each other than some other quality teams across the country. Wisconsin seems to be the team living the dream in the BigTen. Such favorable football gifts to not be placed in a division with the ‘Murderer’s Row’ …? It’s no wonder their basketball team doesn’t face the same pressures to succeed as an IU basketball squad in there long term banner drought.

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