October 1, 2016 Atlanta - Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) is tackled by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive end KeShun Freeman (42) in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 1, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC

KeShun Freeman a key on Georgia Tech defense

With three seasons of starting experience at a critical position and a leadership role, Georgia Tech defensive end KeShun Freeman has a key role on the Yellow Jackets’ defense.

Tech coach Paul Johnson paid Freeman a high compliment in July, saying that he was “the kind of guy that you’d want your daughter to bring home. He’s good in school, no off-the-field issues, he plays hard, everybody loves him.”

An aspiring pediatric anesthesiologist, Freeman is a campus leader and a credit to Tech.

What Tech fans would love even more would be if Freeman, entering his fourth season as a starter, can be the sort of guy you’d want to take to the NFL draft combine. Freeman’s character, effort and ability to do the little things aren’t questioned, but his production has lagged. In his past two seasons, in which he’s started 25 games, he has eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

With an experienced secondary ready to take advantage of hurried and distracted quarterbacks, the Jackets are counting on Freeman to stop the run on first and second downs and cause havoc on third downs. If he and fellow defensive end Antonio Simmons can create enough pressure to markedly improve Tech’s third-down performance (126th at 49 percent), it could be part of a great season.

From LaGrange, Freeman studied his 2016 game video closely over the summer, taking notes on mistakes.

“I’m just in the process of continuing to better my feet, better my hands, so I can move better,” he said.

The quicker the process goes, the better for Tech.

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