Marcus Freeman on Choosing Notre Dame After Playing at Ohio State: “I Just Thank God That I Didn't Make The Wrong Decision Twice”

By Kevin Harrish on December 8, 2021 at 12:17 pm
Marcus Freeman
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Former Buckeye linebacker Marcus Freeman once chose Ohio State over Notre Dame, signing with the Buckeyes ahead of the 2004 season and playing four years for head coach Jim Tressel, twice earning second-team All-Big Ten honors.

He had a long, successful career at Ohio State, but that's not a choice he would make twice.

Freeman penned an open letter to Notre Dame in The Players' Tribune this week, in which he revealed that he regrets choosing the Buckeyes over the Irish out of high school, referring to his decision to sign with Ohio State instead of Notre Dame as “the wrong decision."

Now that he's at Notre Dame as the program's head coach, he says "I just thank God that I didn’t make the wrong decision twice.”

"I visited this university for the first time when I was about 16 or 17 years old and was recruited to play here. I had a choice to make, and in the end what it came down to was Ohio State or Notre Dame. And I chose Ohio State. I loved Tyrone Willingham. I thought he was a great coach, and to be honest, he reminded me a bit of my father.

"Fast-forward to last year, and you might have heard that I was being considered for a couple of coaching jobs. During that time, me and my wife, Joanna, took a trip down to Louisiana and then up here to South Bend — and when we got back home, it was another tough decision. I can’t tell you exactly what it was that told us to come to Notre Dame, but there was something. We all know there’s something different about Notre Dame. We all know it’s something special. And I just thank God that I didn’t make the wrong decision twice."

Though Freeman may not be intentionally taking shots at Ohio State as much as he's expressing his satisfaction at being Notre Dame's head coach, his words quite clearly indicate that he regrets not playing for the Fighting Irish instead of the Buckeyes.

These comments will add a little fire to what was already going to be an intriguing homecoming for Freeman next season as he will open his first full season as Notre Dame's head coach in Ohio Stadium against his alma mater.

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