By Kyra Hallett
Josh Freeman, QB, #5
Height: 6′ 6″
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
College: Kansas State
Experience: 4 years
Joshua Tyler Freeman was born on January 13, 1988 to Ron and Teresa Freeman in Kansas City, Missouri. He has one brother, Caleb, and two sisters, Aubree and Dacia. Football is in his family, as his father Ron was a hall of fame linebacker for Pittsburgh State University.
Freeman attended Grandview High School where he threw for over 7,000 yards and was a four-star rated prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. He set 10 school records, including career passing yards, career passing touchdowns, passing yards in a game and touchdowns in a game. As a senior, Rivals.com ranked him #4 pro-style rated quarterback, #92 overall prospect in the nation and top player in the state of Missouri. The Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association gave him first team Class 4 all-state honors. Freeman was also selected to the Kansas City Star All-Metro Team and won the Thomas A. Simone Award in 2005 for the top player in the Kansas City metro area.
When he was looking at colleges, some wanted to use him as a tight end for his size, but Freeman’s dream was to always be an NFL quarterback. He originally committed to the University of Nebraska, but the newly-hired head coach of Kansas State, Ron Prince, convinced him to sign with the Wildcats. As a freshman he played in 11 of the 13 games and set the freshman record with 1,780 passing yards with a 52 percent completion percentage. He was the first true freshman to start a game at Kansas State since 1976. In his three years at Kansas State, Freeman threw for over 8,000 yards, 44 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in 35 games. He majored in business administrations.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Freeman in the first round, 17th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Bucs signed him to a five-year, $26 million deal, $36 million with incentives.
In training camp that summer, he said that he planned on being the starting quarterback, and it happened on November 8, 2009 at home against the Green Bay Packers. He became the youngest quarterback in Bucs’ history to start and win his first game. Freeman threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.READ MORE: 'The Sweetest Thing': 10-Year-Old Phillies Fan Goes Viral For Giving Foul Ball To Crying Girl
2010 was Freeman’s best year so far. After coming off an powerful rookie season, he kept on impressing fans leading the team to a winning record of 10-6, barley missing the playoffs. Freeman started all 16 games, the first time a quarterback did that for the Bucs since 2003. He threw for over 3,000 yards, 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions and was named FedEx Air Player of the Week twice and also an alternate for the Pro Bowl.
The 2011 season was a flip for Freeman. He threw for only 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions but for more yards than 2010.
The 2012 season has been up and down for the quarterback so far. In the first four games, he threw for five touchdowns and four interceptions.
Freeman is also very big in the community. He holds a game day ticket program that provides tickets to underprivileged students and other local charities in the Tampa Bay area called “Freeman’s Front Line.” He has also visited MacDill Air Force Base and has done several meet and greets with the fans. This year he even took part in the ground breaking ceremony for a local community football team to get a field.
Freeman looks to continue his success in the Tampa Bay area on and off the field.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.