Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Assessment by Joe Marino
Name: Royce Freeman
School: University of Oregon
Position: Running Back
Date of Birth: 02/24/1996
High School: Imperial (CA)
Games played: 39
Games started: 23
Team Captain: Yes
703 carries, 4146 rushing yards, 44 rushing touchdowns, 65 receptions, 650 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns
High School Accolades
Four star recruit.
2014 Freshman All-American. 2014 1st team All-PAC 12 and PAC 12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year. 2015 2nd team All-American. 2015 1st team All-PAC 12. 2016 All-PAC 12 Honorable Mention.
Powerful runner with exciting ability to challenge tacklers with pad level and pick up yards after contact. Absorbs contact with ease and tacklers frequently bounce off his thighs. Power in his legs is excellent to move piles and break contact. Does well to reduce his surface area to work through gaps. Smooth runner. Reliable hands and is a viable option to catch passes out of the backfield. Big, thick frame. Excels attacking gaps. Outstanding production.
Lacks excitable burst and has apparent build-up speed. Holes often squeeze down before he gets there. Cuts can be elongated with noticeable throttle down; ideally they are more continuous to not allow flow to catch up. Questionable ability to create for himself if the play is bottled up. Requires space to be created for him with bodies being moved to open up lanes.
Oregon running back Royce Freeman is looking to put everything together in his senior campaign with regarded running back developer Willie Taggart now employed as the Ducks’ head coach. In terms of his power components, receiving upside and fluid movement skills, Freeman delivers quality traits. When he gets loose in the secondary, he’s a joy to watch with his smooth running skills. His power through contact is outstanding.
It’s apparent when studying his tape that Freeman struggles when the play design fails. Freeman is at his best when he is attacking gaps and space is created for him and his natural movement skills take over. When things are bottled up, Freeman is highly consistent to create space for himself. This concern is accentuated when considering Freeman lacks burst to and through the hole. He doesn’t have natural field vision.
As it stands, Freeman looks like a complimentary power back at the next level but it would come as no surprise to see a more well-rounded skill set this season with the new coaching staff in place at Oregon.