- Name: Joseph Freeland (Joe)
- Position: Cornerback
- College: Ashland University
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 205
- Instagram: @J.fre3
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?
What makes me a top prospect in this year’s draft is my perspective on the sport which ultimately shapes my style of play. Play recognition, film study, and proper preparation are second nature to me. I live in the film room- it’s practically my second home. Great speed, strength, and athleticism are all talents that I possess. However, what separates other players from me is the passion I have for my craft, and the technique I refine to display on game day.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
Ironically, I had a super late start with football. My mother is not from this country so growing up, “football” to me was soccer. I decided to give sports a try my junior year of high school at the age of 17 and fell in love with them. My first sport was wrestling, I ended up becoming a state qualifier within my first year. Next, I tried powerlifting and ended up placing second in the state that same year. I gave football a chance on accident thinking by football tryouts I was going to attend a soccer tryout (In my mother’s country we call soccer “football”). I ended up loving the sport and since have honed my craft to what it is today. In love with the game.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
I’m used to being a leader, because of that, I take pride in learning new ways to improve my play and the play of those around me.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
Homelessness. It’s so prevalent that people decide to turn a blind eye and view it as a common occurrence. Homelessness is an issue that I want to take steps to help in some way throughout my career.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“You don’t know what you don’t know” Actively take steps to learn from others and grow through their experiences.
Who was your childhood hero?
My Father – Has battled through so much and always made sure my family was taken care of. My role model.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
Jourdan Swett – Team Captain that really has a presence on the field.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
Before playing high school sports, I attended a private Christian school that didn’t have any athletic programs. During my junior year in public school, I dominated in all the sports I participated in. After the season had ended, my principal told me that my previous school wouldn’t release certain school records because my family was unable to pay for the private school at the time. Because of the issue, I had to forgo my senior sports season and lost the scholarships that I had. This changed my journey to college sports tremendously.
I started my journey as a walk-on, earning the starting position, and battling my way to a top DII program. I also earned defensive MVP after the season at a scouting showcase and aim to showcase my skills at the next level. I believe the hardest moment of my life was having everything I had worked for at a young age stripped away from me. However, thanks to the friends I’ve made, and the challenges I’ve faced, this journey to overcome has developed me into who I am today. I am extremely thankful.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
I love how genuine people are at my school. My Co-head coach Douglas Geiser spends so much time with each player taking time to know them genuinely. I wouldn’t replace that man for the world. Secondly, the defensive secondary room is extremely competitive and goal-oriented. Coach Dominic Orsini and Coach Devin Holiday have held the players in that room to a standard that reflects our performance (#1 rated defense in the GMAC). The bond we have as a team at Ashland University is special and extremely hard to find. Appreciate those guys.
What is your favorite snack food?
Hot potato Chips
What is the best part of football?
Developing your craft and then watching the hard work pay off.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
A plug-in and play technician, that has yet to find his ceiling.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
2018 Patrick Peterson – A player with supreme athletic ability who prioritized technique to dominate the field.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- Nikola Tesla – A supreme inventor who was years ahead of his time
- Deion Sanders – Great cornerback and person. He’s doing amazing things for HBCU’s and bringing about change to the college football scene.
- Ray Lewis – A great leader that elevates the play of those around him, I would like to learn from him.