Royce Freeman Has Good Vision And Body Control
Royce Freeman’s best trait is his vision. He does a good job of recognizing holes, being decisive, and getting to and through the hole. He recognizes cutback lanes well and makes good use of his blockers. He has good anticipation and reads the defense well as he takes the handoff.
On the play below, Royce Freeman recognizes the outside pressure before taking the handoff, avoids the defender and makes a really nice jump cut behind his blockers to bounce the run to the outside. This is a play that really sums up what Royce Freeman does well. He shows off his vision, anticipation, lateral agility and decisiveness, turning what could have been a loss of yards into a first down.
Freeman has very good body control. He is able to contort his body while maintaining forward momentum, avoiding arm tackles and often minimizing contact. On the play below, Freeman was a little late on his cut to the outside, but his ability to lean his hip outside allowed him to avoid the initial contact. He goes down shortly afterward, but he uses his body control to maximize yards gained.
Royce Freeman is good at getting through tight spaces. This is rare for a guy of his size. He combines his vision and his ability to contort his body to help him get through holes that you wouldn’t expect him to fit through. This helps him minimize the plays where he is stopped for a loss, despite his non-physical style of running. This helps make up for his lack of functional power in shorter yardage situations.
The play below is well defended, and it looks like there is no way that Freeman makes it to the sticks. Freeman shows good patience and then picks his way through a lot of trash to make his way to the sticks. In this situation, this is preferable to just powering his way through the pile.
Royce Freeman routinely finds cutback lanes in the defense. He regularly shows good patience, and even after picking a lane, he is always scanning the field and looking for the ideal running lane. His ability to find holes, and get to them is the staple of his game and will probably be his best asset heading into the NFL.