One of the biggest question marks for the San Jose State Spartans coming into this year was who would replace Ryan Otten at tight end. Head coach Ron Caragher has been known to utilize his tight end in the passing game so it was important for someone to step up. Redshirt Freshman Billy Freeman was the favorite to win the job but he had trouble being an effective blocker.
“I think I am coming along alright as a blocker. I still have a long way to go and I am nowhere near where I want to be. Every week I try and work on a new aspect of blocking so I will keep working and try to get better,” Freeman said about his blocking.
Early on in the season, it looked like the Spartans passing game would have to make do without a solid tight end. Throughout his first six games Freeman had no more than three receptions. However, last week against Wyoming was Freeman’s breakout game as he had 6 receptions for 119 yards. While Freeman had a huge game against Wyoming, everyone will remember the game for the insane leap that Freeman made. After catching the ball Freeman was running straight towards a defender and instead of lowering his shoulder he hurdled the defender to get a few more yards.
“Safeties usually go low on me because I am a tight end. You know even though I am not a huge tight end but I’m bigger. I have always had kind of had that idea in the back of my head and I saw him go a little lower and I kind of reacted and it worked out. You know it was a lot of fun,” explained Freeman.
The Spartans are entering the final stretch of the season and of David Fales brilliant career. Over the next five games the Spartans offense will need to be flawless in order for the Spartans to have a shot of making another bowl game appearance.
“It’s a blast to play with David Fales. Timing is his game and the ball is always there. He’s such a great guy and a great quarterback so it is fun to play with him,” asserted Freeman.
During his redshirt year, Freeman had the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest tight ends to ever play for San Jose State, Ryan Otten.
“Playing with Ryan Otten was a blessing because he taught me a lot. Having coach Malley help me out with the receiving, it has been a big change but it has been great this year,” explained Freeman.
If Freeman can continue to improve, expect him to have a chance to break Otten’s records at San Jose State. Although Freeman is not the biggest tight end he does have the athletic ability and the soft hands to be a force in the passing game. For now, Freeman is just focused on making sure the Spartans reach their lofty preseason goals.
“Going into the year we set a lot of goals, including winning the Mountain West Championship. We are going to work hard every week and we will work to get a win on Saturday,” exclaimed Freeman.