Catching up: Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman is approaching 7,000 combined yards (rushing and receiving) in his NFL career. Now in his eighth NFL season, Freeman has 440 rushing yards (averaging 4.2 yards per carry) but has also 178 receiving yards (6.4 yards per reception) this season as the Ravens (8-5) head into Sunday’s home game against Green Bay. The Osceola caught up with Freeman for a quick Q&A.

How has this season gone for you in Baltimore?

Freeman: Just very thankful for the opportunity and grateful for this moment this year. And it’s been a great organization to be a part of. Everything is all good, the work ethic from everybody is unique, which I gravitate to because that’s what I like to be around, and they embrace me for who I am. I get to be myself. That’s what I’ve always done my whole career anyway. It’s just to come here and not have to change too much. It’s a great thing. So it’s been good for me so far.

Can you reflect on your FSU experience?

Freeman: Florida State for me was the moment that a lot of things changed in my life. That was my first time being away from my family. But being there was a great experience. I feel like if I have kids one day, I will tell my kid to definitely go to Tallahassee somewhere one of those colleges — TCC, Florida State and FAMU. That city is just amazing. Being able to attend Florida State is unbelievable, a surreal moment. It was all love from everybody. It was a great time there. I really enjoyed myself. I always recommend people in my family to definitely make sure they go off to college and experience that because nothing was like Florida State. And I know that you might not get that exact experience.

Why was it important to come back to earn your degree? (Freeman walked at FSU in July.)

Freeman: Just because I started it, and I wanted to finish it. And why not? I feel like it’s something to add to my resume. Don’t care too much about bragging rights. But if I need to brag about something, I did this or I did that. Set an example for the youth. My community, Miami, where I’m from. Just showing those guys, ‘Hey, we could do it.’ This is much more than football because there’s lot more people in this world not going to make it to the NFL. There’s only 1,800 of us. So to get that thing that was very important for my family to see, my brothers and sisters to see, my mom and everyone to see. Because they are not just football players, they’re athletes. But still give them some type of motivation to go out and get whatever they want to get in life.

You have plenty of football left but how does the degree or people you have met help you for life after the game?

Freeman: Football is going to be my life for the rest of my life. I’m probably always stick around and be at it. I think it’s always important. It was important for me to start young and prepare for a life after football. Soon as I got in the league and I’m still working on little things right now as far as my businesses and outside things, that I do outside of my job here in the NFL. Just make sure that everywhere outside I have in order as far as my finances. Make sure family members are straight, making sure that I’m getting the proper nutrition, the proper meals and things like that. But just having that stuff set up right now so when I’m done, when I’m saying I don’t want to play no more or my time is up, It’d be a smooth transition. Maybe that’d be to get a coach job or train guys or side jobs. I’ll be around helping out. Real estate. So a lot of opportunities out there and I just look forward to it. But I’m actually doing a whole bunch of stuff right now off the field outside of football. Started my life after football kind of started already. Understanding finances, understanding how money works. Being a part of different projects, some real estate pieces that I’m a part of, some technology stuff. Just getting my hands in it. Whatever I could get my hands in, if it’s interesting enough, I’ll get into it and take advantage of it.