Who is Marcus Freeman? Things to know about Notre Dame’s newly reported head coach

Here’s the Irish – this time, with Marcus Freeman.

After the sudden and unexpected departure of Brian Kelly from Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish side wasted little time trying to find the next head coach. It was easy, since he was already in the building.

Reports say defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman will become the next head coach at the ND after spending just a year as the team’s defensive coordinator. Freeman’s meteoric rise through the ranks is guaranteed: As defensive coordinator, Freeman’s Cincinnati defense ranks among the best-scoring D-players in the nation, a trend that followed him to Notre Dame Cathedral.

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Perhaps in a bit of foreshadowing, Freeman re-emphasized Kelly’s offer to invite him to join Notre Dame and turn down LSU in July:

Here’s what you need to know about Freeman:

Who is Marcus Freeman?

Freeman, 35, is a former quarterback who played at Ohio State from 2004 to 2008. He was included by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft, but will not get a regular season. with the team. He will retire in 2010 with a heart problem.

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After taking a break from playing on the field, Freeman returned to Ohio State as a graduate assistant, before taking a job as a quarterback coach at Kent State. After two seasons, he stopped at Purdue (2013-16), where he was the inside line coach, and later, co-defensive coordinator.

Freeman was finally landed in Cincinnati under head coach Luke Fickell in 2017 as the Bearcats’ defensive coordinator. Freeman instantly turned the Bearcats defense into a powerhouse, jumping from outside the top 50 to the top 15 defense programs nationally. After placing 100th nationally in 2017 in points allowed (33.5 per game), the Bearcats jumped to 8th nationally in 2018 (18.1), 18th in 2019 (20,6) and Saturday in 2020 (16.4 points per game allowed).

An attractive January 2021 coaching candidate, Freeman was hired by Kelly as the team’s defensive coordinator. Coincidentally, Freeman said he really wanted to join LSU to become the Tigers defensive coordinator before taking the job at Notre Dame.

“The work Marcus has done that has raised the bar for the programs he’s been on speaks for itself, but equally important is the exceptional work he’s done in building relationships with employees. its members and players,” former head coach Kelly said at the time of Freeman’s hiring.

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Freeman’s impact is immediately felt in South Bend in 2021, with Notre Dame’s defense scoring just 18.3 points per game, ranking 12th nationally with Minnesota.

Along with the defensive prowess of the units led by Freeman, he also cultivated a reputation as a top recruiter and communicator.

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