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February 4, 2009No one covers the Tigers' recruiting efforts like PowerMizzou.com. Sign up today to start your Free Seven-Day Trial. and follow National Signing Day as it happens.
Chris Freeman set the message boards aflame over two weeks when he decided on a last-minute visit to Columbia. His size - a gargantuan 6-foot-7, 325 lbs - made Tiger supporters salivate. With a player of his stature, Missouri would be able to stand its ground in the trenches each and every game, many fans maintained.
And, while he played his cards close to the vest the last two weeks, Missouri fans won't have to dream anymore:
The nimble-footed giant officially became a Tiger at 8:30 AM Wednesday.
"It feels great to make it official," Freeman said over the phone, his signing celebration still going on in the background. "It's been a long process, but I'm glad I made the right choice."
The process began nearly two years ago, when Trotwood (OH) football coach Maurice Douglass convinced Freeman to switch from the hardwood to the gridiron.
Still raw, Freeman nonetheless garnered nation-wide attention has his talents on the field grew. With interest growing from east to west coast, Freeman narrowed his choices down to Wisconsin, Colorado, and Tennessee.
Missouri, according to Freeman, came in later, at the behest of his dad.
"My dad is from Sedalia," the younger Freeman said. "And I still have family in Kansas City. He would never force me to go to Missouri though. He said he would support me no matter what I decided."
Before signing day, Freeman tossed out Tennessee, due to the mid-season coaching change.
"I was really tight with Coach Fulmer and Coach Clawson," Freeman explained last week. "It just wasn't a good fit with the new coaches."
Missouri coaches had a final in-home visit with the Freemans last Thursday.
"The coaches just made me feel really welcome. They made me feel like I would be at home in the program," Freeman said.
However, there was one more factor Freeman considered before making his final decision.
"I want to major in business," Freeman said. "And Mizzou has the best business school out of the other schools I was considering. That was it for me."
Now, the gentle giant - who ends his voice mail by telling his caller to "Have a blessed day" - is focused on finishing his senior year.
After that, it's back to business in Columbia.
No one covers the Tigers' recruiting efforts like PowerMizzou.com. Sign up today to start your Free Seven-Day Trial. and follow National Signing Day as it happens.