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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2023 Notre Dame OL Target Monroe Freeling Feeling Blessed

March 17, 2021

The initial thing that stands out about 2023 South Carolina offensive lineman Monroe Freeling‍ to Antoine Rivens is the most obvious thing.

“First you've got to start with the genetics,” the offensive line coach at Oceanside Collegiate Academy says. “He's 6-7, 260 pounds.”

Rivens coached college ball for two decades before returning to the high school game.

“They always say you can't teach size,” he says. “He has that as a young man, but the great part about him, most guys that young, when they're that big, they're of course a little awkward, but they're usually not aggressive because they're so much bigger than everybody.

“But he works hard and is really aggressive. He really gets after it for a guy that big and that's what I think a lot of college recruiters like.”

That aggression doesn’t take away any of Freeling’s athleticism either.

“He has a basketball background where he can move his feet,” says Rivens. “Obviously he's got to improve more and more, but I think his potential is just so high for being a great college player and maybe later on be an NFL offensive lineman because he has that wingspan, but he also has the footspeed and all that stuff for that size.”

College coaches certainly see the potential. Freeling has early offers from schools like Notre Dame, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Penn State and Oregon among others.

“I don't think he's put any offer above another one,” Rivens says. “He doesn't really have a wishlist. He grew up in Oregon and he's been in Virginia and now he's in South Carolina. It's not really like he's tied to a certain school. He said he’s just ready to go see these schools. He hasn't seen any of these facilities for the most part.

“The Notre Dame offer obviously was exciting to him, but I don't think he's even started the process of trying to say, ‘Well, this one is more than this one or whatever.’ He's just taking it all in.”

Off the field, Rivens says Freeling is “a great kid.”

“He's very humble,” the coach continues. “All this attention he's getting from all of these offers, it's almost unbelievable. I don't know if he's just shocked.  He doesn't really get too high about it. He just goes, ‘I've got to still keep working.’

“He just feels so blessed to have these opportunities. He's a quiet kid for the most part, when it's time to work, he'll encourage his teammates and get vocal that way, but other than that, he doesn't do a whole lot of talking. That's what I think sets him apart to me. He's a real humble kid. And he's also a great student. He's a 4.0 student.”

It’s still early enough for Freeling to be patient with the process.

“He can't even talk to the coaches unless he initiates it,” the coach says. “They talk through us, but it's not really a lot.

“So, just be humble and thankful for what you get and he's already that type of kid. That's a tribute to his mother and father. They do a good job with him. Our advice is just. Listen, always be respectful and just wait to the time you can go visit and kind of start going from there.”

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