Clemson Flashback: Freeman helped lay foundation for Tigers' current success

Clemson Flashback: Freeman helped lay foundation for Tigers' current success

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Clemson Flashback: Freeman helped lay foundation for Tigers' current success

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One of 4 centers in Clemson history to earn All-American status

Since Kyle Young was a two-time All-American in 2000 and 2001, only one center has earned All-American status at Clemson. In fact, Dalton Freeman is one of just four centers in the history of Clemson football to earn All-American honors.

Check out Freeman’s All-American career at Clemson in this photo gallery by The Clemson Insider. PHOTO GALLERY LINK

The Pelion, S.C., native was a second-team All-American in 2012, joining Young, O.K. Presley (1928) and Ralph Jenkins (1945) as Clemson centers who were named All-Americans.

Freeman, who lettered at Clemson from 2009-’12, redshirted his first year in Tigertown, but became the first center to start at Clemson as a freshman in over 60 years when he played in each of the team’s final nine games in 2009.

Once he became a starter, Freeman never left the starting line-up again. As a durable mainstay of the Clemson offense, Freeman led the offensive line for 45 games and was a Remington Trophy finalist, All-American and a two-time First-Team All-ACC pick. He also played a then school-record 1,044 snaps in 2011.

Freeman is regarded as one of Clemson’s greatest offensive linemen, helping the Tigers win the 2011 ACC Championship during his junior year. He was such a mainstay on the Tigers’ offensive line, he blocked for running backs such as C.J. Spiller and Andre Ellington, two of the greatest running backs in Clemson history.

The 2011 team became the first Clemson squad in 20 years to win an ACC Championship and the first one in 21 years to win 10 games in a season.

In 2012, with Freeman earning First-Team All-ACC honors again, the Tigers went 11-2 and finished the season ranked No. 9 in the final Coaches Poll, the program’s first top 10 finish since 1990.

Clemson won 36 games with Freeman at center, played in two ACC Championship games and an Orange Bowl. In his last game, he helped the Tigers rally to beat LSU in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl with a game-winning field goal as time expired.

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