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

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Notre Dame football slam dunked to hire a defensive coordinator on Friday night when they announced the hiring of Marcus Freeman.
Freeman brings an impressive resume to the table, having accomplished more than ever before, all of this happened ahead of his 35th birthday (which comes Sunday).

So who has Notre Dame just hired as the new defensive coordinator?

Here are 10 quick facts about Marcus Freeman:

1 in 10: Ohio High School mega-star

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

Marcus Freeman was one of Ohio State’s top prospects in 2004. He was an All-American Parade from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, where he was twice selected to the First Team All -Ohio. .

2 of 10: Ohio State Line Support Star

Crédit: Photo de Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2006 Byron Hetzler

During his four years at Ohio State from 2005 to 2008, Freeman played 51 games with the Buckeyes, starting 37 of them. He finished in the top 20 all-time tackles in Ohio State history, finishing with 268 for his career.

Freeman also added 21.5 tackles for the loss, six sacks, 15 pass breakages, one inteception and a pair of forced fumbles as the Buckeye.

3 of 10: Bowl History as a Player

Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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

2006 Fiesta Bowl: 34-20 victory over Notre Dame
2007 BCS National Championship: 41-14 loss to Florida
2008 BCS National Championship: 38-24 loss to LSU
Fiesta Bowl 2009: 24-21 loss to Texas

4 of 10: 2009 NFL Draft Pick

Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Freeman was a fifth-round selection (154 overall) for the Chicago Bears in the 2009 NFL Draft, but was called off after their last preseason game this season.

5 of 10: Other NFL saves, no playing action

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After being waived by the Chicago Bears, Freeman made saves with the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans as part of their practice teams, but never played a regular season game in the NFL. , retiring due to enlarged heart disease.

6 of 10: Back in the state of Ohio

Crédit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After seeing his NFL career cut short, Freeman returned to Ohio State as a graduate assistant for the 2010 Buckeyes, coached by Jim Tressel. This Buckeyes team went 12-1 with a season-ending victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

7 of 10: Between Ohio State and Cincinnati

Crédit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports © copyright Matthew Emmons

Prior to coming to Cincinnati as a defensive coordinator, Freeman coached Akron linebackers in 2011 and 2012 before taking on the linebacking coach position at Purdue, a position he held from 2013 to 2016.

At Purdue, Freeman coached future NFL linebackers Ja’Whwan Bentley and Danny Ezechukwu.

8 of 10: Success in Cincinnati

Photo courtesy of the Enquirer / Tom Gro

After struggling for a 4-8 season in 2016, Cincinnati has soared for the past three years with Freeman as the defensive coordinator. Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell has hired Freeman into his first staff and the two have combined to help the team put together a 31-6 record in their past three seasons as Freeman’s defense was one of the best defensive units in the country.

In 2020, the Cincinnati defense placed in the National Top 20 in several categories for 2020-2021, including being ranked 13th in total defense (324.6 yards per game) and eighth in goal defense (16.8 points per game) among all FBS teams. In addition, the Bearcats were third in team passing efficiency defense (101.25), 14th in rushing defense (111.1 yards per game), 15th in red zone defense (0.735 rate), 17th in fourth defense (rate of 0.375), 16th in team sacks (3.0 per game) and 10th in earned turnovers (21).

9 out of 10: Broyles Prize finalist

Freeman was a finalist for the Broyles Award last season, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach every year. It ended up going to Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, but getting that kind of recognition as an assistant coach at Cincinnati tells you a lot about the respect he has earned over his eleven years of playing. coach.

10 of 10: Notre Dame defeated LSU

Photo courtoisie: Kareem Elgazzar / The Enquirer

When you have such an impressive resume as Freeman, you’re going to be in demand. This was the case as LSU sought his services, having interviewed him on Thursday.

The hiring of Freeman deserves all the praise it receives as Brian Kelly has now landed Mike Elko, Clark Lea and Marcus Freeman as his last three defensive coordinator hires, all a far cry from the Brian VanGorder days.

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