July 13, 2017
Matt Winkeljohn | The Good Word
KeShun Freeman is just about as busy as ever, which is to say that he’s going a million miles an hour. He’s taking a little time away from a jam-packed summer that has included an internship, offseason workouts and his usual commitment to community service to participate in the ACC’s annual Football Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday.
Yet he’s taken moments — just a few — to marvel over his lot in life.
It seems like just a blink ago that Georgia Tech’s defensive end earned freshman all-America honors but he’s suddenly mere months away from graduating and moving on “to start the next chapter of my life.”
So, while it’s not like Freeman to ponder the past nor mull the future, he hardly has a choice now that his senior season on The Flats is weeks away from its start.
“It came faster than I thought. I’m excited about one more season in Bobby Dodd Stadium,” he said. “You reflect on the things you’ve done in the past and put it to the side and focus on what I can do this year. It’s a new chance to make plays. I’m really excited to see what the team does.” Freeman’s always excited and engaged.
One of the great contributors to charitable organizations among Georgia Tech student-athletes, he’s all-in when it comes to philanthropic donations that can be clocked by hours rather than money. He even hopes to one day work professionally for one of his main stop-off points, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta.
“I want to be a pediatric anesthesiologist,” Freeman said. “My dream job is to one day go to CHOA; they helped my family so much.”
Indeed. Freeman’s adopted brother was born prematurely. Part of the reason KeShun chose to attend Georgia Tech after starring at Callaway High School in LaGrange, Ga., was so that he would be close to Landon’s hospitals in Atlanta.
Before the real world arrives, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Freeman has one season of college football left. He looks at it as a dream extension.
He’s played in 39 games for the Yellow Jackets, starting 37, and he’d like to go out with a bang. Given that Tech has eight starters returning on offense and eight more on defense from a team that went 9-4 with wins over Georgia (in Athens) and Kentucky (at the TaxSlayer Bowl) to close the season, Freeman likes his team’s chances.
And he loves the chemistry that the Jackets have brewing.
“This offseason has been unlike any since I’ve been here,” he said. “The guys have put in work. The [player development] coaches have really challenged us.”
The Jackets have some questions to answer on the defensive line, where starters Patrick Gamble and Rod Rook-Chungong and primary contributor Francis Kallon graduated, but Freeman has a good feeling.
He’s in a great place mentally knowing that he’s on track for a December graduation with a business degree only 12 more semester hours away. Plus, he has great faith in fellow D-linemen Kyle Cerge-Henderson and Anree Saint-Amour, who are juniors, as well as sophomore Desmond Branch and others. Once in a while, Freeman even looks to the future and leaves the present to idle.
“Hopefully, after the season I’ll start training and praying I have a shot at the NFL,” he said. “When I get in the groove of everything, I’ll get on track to take classes for medical [school].”
There’s work being done for the future right now, too.
Freeman’s internship at Barton Executive Search aligns him with teammates Corey Griffin, Tyler Meriweather, Qua Searcy and Shawn Kagawa. Plus, basketball player Josh Okogie — just a sophomore — is working there as well.
“We find candidates for different jobs all around the U.S. — Proctor and Gamble, Walmart and more,” he explained. “Whether it’s for director of sales, or a vice president, even a CEO, we help identify candidates . . . You learn a lot about business and confidentiality.”
Freeman’s learned a lot about football and he likes his chances to be an even bigger contributor than he’s been in the past. That freshman season, when he registered 54 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for lost yardage?
He thinks he can better that, and he can hardly wait for the season opener on Sept. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Tennessee.
“I know the game better. [Defensive line] coach Pelton and [former tackle] Adam Gotsis had to teach me the game. I understand now how to do film study . . . I’m looking forward to each day and looking forward to everything . . .
“It’s very exciting. It can be easy to get caught up in the ACC vs. SEC and playing in Mercedes-Benz but we’re trying to focus on task at hand. I’m going to enjoy focusing with my team. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m looking forward to it.”