Story by Don Norcross of UT San Diego
He’s 6 feet tall, weighs 227 pounds and when he gets in the open field not too many people can run down Imperial High running back Royce Freeman.
The Oregon-bound senior is the section’s No. 3 all-time rusher with 5,638 yards. Barring injury, he’ll shatter the San Diego Section record of 6,694 yards, set by Escondido High’s Ricky Seale.
Now here’s the good news. This week you don’t have to drive to the Imperial Valley to catch Freeman’s act. The Tigers (3-0) face Mater Dei Catholic (2-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Freeman’s stats through three games are eye-popping. Try 48 carries for 866 yards, an 18-yard per-carry average and 14 TDs.
At that pace he’ll finish the regular season with 2,880 yards and close his career with 7,658.
Those, though, are just the black and white numbers. To appreciate him, he must be seen.
The guy can bang between the tackles. But he’s at his best when he explodes into the open field. He’s blessed with cut-back moves and sprinter speed.
Bottom line: if you want to see one of the San Diego Section’s all-time great running backs, head to Mater Dei on Friday night. Freeman will be easy to spot. He’ll be the guy politely flipping
the ball to officials at the end of touchdown runs.