DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Former BYU offensive tackle Blake Freeland was always highly regarded by NFL scouts. But when he pulled off a 37 inch vertical leap, the highest ever recorded by an offensive lineman at the NFL Combine, he started to skyrocket up draft boards.
“I had no idea,” said Freeland about the record. “When I hit 37, I was like, OK let’s go! Someone texted me and said, ‘dude, I think that’s a record.’ I looked it up, and was like, no way!”
Freeland was a third team AP All-American and did not give up a single sack last year in 435 pass attempts. He is being projected to be drafted anywhere from the second to fourth rounds. He could be the highest drafted BYU offensive lineman since John Tait went in the first round back in 1999.
“The second day would be great,” Freeland said. “But you’re starting from the bottom, and you’ve got to work your way up whether its the first round or undrafted. I’m happy to go anywhere that will give me an opportunity to play. “
Freeland was a tall, skinny quarterback at Herriman High School , but his dad and BYU’s coaches knew Blake’s future was on the offensive line.
“I had some good talks with some BYU coaches, and they thought that was the best position for me,” Freeland said. “I owe everything to BYU. I was barely a 3-star athlete coming out of high school, and they gave me a good opportunity to grow.”
And did he grow. At 6-foot-8, 302 pounds, Freeland, who also played basketball, baseball and set the state javelin record, is capable of becoming and NFL starter right away.
“I think my raw athleticism and my length and size,” Freeland said. “I think they’re able to do a lot and work with that. I know there are things I can clean up. I mean, everyone does, but I’m ready to work and get better everyday.”
Freeland comes from a very athletic family. His dad James played football at BYU, his mom Debbie was an All-American basketball player for the Cougars, and his sister Sierra was a BYU track star. So who is the best athlete in the family?
“I’m going to give it to my mom by far,” he said. “I don’t want to mess with her. Someone asked me if I played her 1-on-1, and I was like I don’t want any smoke. I don’t want any part of that.”