In an article that ran Tuesday on The Players Tribune website, new Notre Dame head football coach Marcus Freeman wrote that if he had to do it over again, he would have picked Notre Dame to play college football.
"I visited this university for the first time when I was about 16 or 17 years old and was recruited to play here," he wrote in the article. "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."
Freeman was hired by Notre Dame as head coach on Dec. 3 after Brian Kelly was hired at LSU.
Freeman is the second Black head coach in school history following Tyrone Willingham, who was the head coach at Notre Dame from 2002-2004 and is now serving on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
Here's what we know about Freeman.
Marcus Freeman is an Ohio native
Freeman was born on Jan. 10, 1986, in Huber Heights, Ohio.
Marcus Freeman starred in high school
As a high school senior, Freeman was named to the Parade All-America team from Wayne High School and was one of the top three prospects coming out of Ohio.
Marcus Freeman started at Ohio State for several years
Freeman played for the Buckeyes from 2004-2008 and started 37 games at linebacker.
He finished his career with 268 tackles and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection his senior season.
Marcus Freeman played for three teams during his NFL career
Freeman was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2009 NFL Draft.
He also played for the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans.
Freeman retired in 2010 due to an enlarged heart condition.
Marcus Freeman's coaching career before he came to Cincinnati
Freeman started his coaching career as the linebackers and assistant coach for Kent State in 2011 before moving to Purdue, where he served as the linebackers coach in 2013 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2016.
Marcus Freeman was one of the first hires in Cincinnati by Luke Fickell
Freeman was hired by the Bearcats on Dec. 13, 2016.His defense led the AAC in scoring defense in the 2018 and 2019 seasons and was a finalist for the Broyles Award and was named the 247Sports Defensive Coordinator of the Year during the 2020 season.
Joe Harrington contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Notre Dame football or OSU? Marcus Freeman looks back