Sunshine State linebacker talks Vanderbilt
Posted Apr 10, 2012

This high school prospect had a standout junior season despite his team having a down year in 2011. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound outside linebacker is up to 13 scholarship offers since season's end, including heavy interest from three SEC schools.

"I have offers from Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss," Freddie Stevenson said from Bartow, Fla. of his SEC offers. "I'm not sure about Ole Miss because I haven't heard from them in awhile, but they told me they were going to come down during the spring.

"The Vanderbilt offer came about a month ago. I was on the phone with Coach Gattis. He said they liked my physical style of play, my closing speed, and my instincts. They offered me at outside linebacker, but said with my athleticism, size, and speed that I could play all three [linebacker] positions."

Massachusetts was the first to offer Stevenson. He also has two ACC offers, Duke and North Carolina State, and one Big 12 offer to his credit, Iowa State. Stevenson has attended three junior days which included Miami, UCF (offer) and USF (offer).

"I'm going to look at all of my offers and narrow in down to a top three," Stevenson said. "I plan on taking official visits to my top three schools then making a decision sometime after that.

"The school's environment, academics, and being able to compete for early playing time are the main things I'll look at when trimming my list. I'm pretty happy with my list of offers. I'm going to take my time and look carefully at each school and get ready for my senior year and try to win state."

Stevenson injured his leg in the second to last game of the season and is currently wearing a boot as he prepares for Bartow's spring practice in May. Stevenson upped his stat sheet in his second season as a starter with the Yellow Jackets and caught the attention of numerous college coaches scouting the talent-rich region of central Florida.

"I thought I did a better job of making plays and rushing the passer," Stevenson said of his junior season. "I had 95 tackles, four forced fumbles, and three sacks. We play multiple defenses, but mainly run a 4-3. Next year, the coaches plan to use me more on the line coming off the edge."

The Yellow Jackets defense scored three times in their win against Auburndale. One was a 64-yard touchdown scamper by Stevenson after he picked up a fumble. He reports a 4.54 best 40-yard dash time which was run at his high school.

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