Liberty head football coach Hugh Freeze held a virtual press conference with the media to discuss the 2021 signing class, as well as other matters. With the ice storm going through Lynchburg, Freeze sent his staff home following the signing of the entire class. For more signing day coverage, check out our Signing Day Live Blog. Here’s everything Freeze had to say about his signing class:


“This morning was an incredible morning for us. I believe with all my heart that we got a lot better today. Coaches, our recruiting staff, our evaluators, our administration, academics, facilities, everyone played a huge part in this because it was recruiting like no other season that I have ever experienced before. With the COVID restrictions and not being able to get in homes to visit and not being able to have official visits on campus and truly get to evaluate like normal and get to know them and them get to know us, it was very very challenging and different. I don’t believe we could have done any better. I’m really pleased. We went through this morning every single kid that we signed and watched their cut ups again this morning. FaceTimed on the big screen with them and their families early this morning. I just think we hit a home run with the type of kid we signed and also the character that they bring and obviously what they’re going to add to us depth wise on the field. Really, really pleased, can’t thank Ian and all the support we get from our administration, Dr. Prevo, our IT people, our video people, and everybody that pitched in to really sell Liberty. Everyone did an amazing job. It was a total group effort. I think we killed it and I think you will see the product on the field next year where we are a much deeper football team.”

“There’s a strategy to almost everything I do. I had to think through and make sure I have a plan for everything. We purposely are only signing 18 kids. We could have signed more, but I just still think there’s going to be a lot of moving parts. There’s going to be other people that we might add with ones that we’re strategically holding back through the transfer portal and other late qualifiers with people that didn’t come out. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of states that haven’t played their high school season yet, Virginia is one of them. There are some hidden gems out there. I wanted to have some room at the end of the day to make sure we weren’t cornered and can continue to take some. We strategically signed that number. We’re very fortunate to get all 18 in today. It was a home run.”


“Man, I tell you, Khristian Zachary, I guess he’s the highest rated recruit in Liberty history. Just turn on his film. I watched it again this morning and just smiled. This dude is pretty special. He plays the game so hard, practices hard. He’s a really, really dynamic fit for Liberty and certainly had many, many great offers. We’re fortunate. I think defensively we changed the two-deep roster considerably more than we did on offense today. That’s what was needed. We were very thin.”


“(Quarterback) is one of the one’s I’m uncomfortable with (not watching live reps). I’ve never signed a quarterback without seeing them live. That’s probably one of the more uncomfortable positions. Here’s what I know about Nate, Nate is 6’6″ and can run and can throw and is a high IQ football guy. His family and him fit with our culture here. I think he is going to be a heck of a player. Kent, obviously, I leaned on Kent a lot on that. We kind of got it down to 3 or 4 quarterbacks early that we really felt like were full-gos for us. Nate ended up being who we really, really wanted. Fortunately, he came with us early and stayed with us. I think he’s going to be an outstanding athlete at quarterback. He’s got to change his mechanics just a little bit, but there’s times on film he shows he can really speed up his mechanics and function in the RPO world and all of that. It’s exciting to have that type of kid. Would we have liked to see him live? Of course, but Kent and I are very comfortable and think he’s going to be a heck of a player.”


“Kaci was a late…we had to work hard this weekend and this past week to get him convinced to come with us. It was one of those relational, we had offered him really early, luckily he had come to campus before COVID hit because he was one of our top backers on the board and then he got all Power Five offers and obviously committed to Texas A&M. For whatever reason, things started not to work out there. One of my former G.A.’s is at A&M, so through relationships we got to get in it probably earlier than the others. We just had to work really hard on the phone with he and his father, great father. Lost his mom when he was young. He and dad are really close, from Charlotte. We spent an enormous amount of time trying to convince them this week. Went all the way really to last night with us on Zoom, talking ball and just trying to get them to a comfort level. Then this morning to get the news that he decided to come with us. He’s another one that you put the tape on, he’s going to be a 230 pound Will linebacker that can run. They change us, those two kids (Khristian and Kaci), not just on the field, but in the locker room also.”


“Go put Rashaad’s first film on when he’s playing Florida State and he tackles Cam Akers who is the best running back I’ve ever recruited out of high school is Cam Akers. Watch how he plays in those games. This is a mature man. I love talking with him on the phone. He is all about business. He knows what he wants. He’s ready to grind at it and get here. We just got to get him here and get him with Dom and in great shape. He’s a great player. Expect him to step in and play right away in Anthony Butler’s spot, obviously if Anthony to decides to move on or stay, it’s still up in the air. If we have both of them I will feel really, really good.”


“Can’t wait to get to spring ball. We will have Rashaad, Ahmad, and we’ll have Kaci, all three of them will be here. I can’t wait. That room is going to look so different. Go put Ahmad’s film on. I think he’s one of the better linebackers that I’ve recruited. I think he’s going to play right away as a freshman next fall. Heck of a player from a great program in Georgia. Just makes plays all over the field. Hand him the ball in critical downs, he’s a running back too that can get it done. He’s just a football player. One of the more solid tacklers that I’ve seen on tape.”


“Bruce (Johnson’s) connections to Arizona for us to get TJ out of Utah. We’ve had good success at running back in our two years here. Obviously, you can be pleased but you’re always trying to improve. On film, he is probably the most complete back that we’ve had. I compare him very similar to Frankie Hickson. I thought Frankie was very complete. I can see TJ in that same mold that does everything very well, catches, runs, blocks. He’s a mature, mature kid. Depending on what J-Mack and Peytton do. Of course, we got some good returners also in that room, but adding an older guy in there to add to the competition I really felt was needed.”


“A receiver that I think’s got that huge upside out of Baltimore, can’t wait to get him here.”


“You’ve got to win in the trenches. Harrison was our first commit, he’s hugely responsible for helping us put this class together. Love his speed, love the way he finishes, just turn his tape on. He’s long and he’s got a sister that’s year so it’s going to be a family affair. Thrilled with him.”


“Adair is a big ol’ barreled chested inside guy that’s going to knock people off the ball.”


“Bundy is going to be a big, long offensive tackle, probably could go both ways. We’re really pleased with those (OL). I think most of our O-Linemen are coming back so that gets us to a number that you want to have in an offensive line room.”


“Getting Boti, Khristian, and then, we think we have a surprise coming this afternoon too that will help the D-Line be even better.”


“Tennessee Player of the Year, tore his ACL, we talked him into waiting a year to come.”


“Rocket, I think Rocket’s a heck of a football player. If they’d of played at Saddleback this year, I think we would have had a hard time holding on to him. Excited to get him here at safety.”


“Getting Skyler from Washington, a kid who’s had 160 tackles and is a ball hawk. Corey Batoon has a great relationship out there.”


“Amarian, down in Cedar Hill, Texas, what a great program. One of the best programs in the nation, long corner that we’re getting out of high school.”


“This guy is going to be a freak for us at tight end. One of my favorite moms I’ve ever recruited. I was talking to her last night and she was at my favorite store down in Mississippi, Williams Brothers Store. It’s the only place you can get your Cole Haans and your bologna in the world that I know. That’s where I went to get my shoes and my bologna. Every time I was near there, it’s the most incredible place, you can get Levi’s there, Cole Haans, bologna, it’s an incredible place. Miss Michelle and Stetson, this is a guy in our tight end room that we’re going to flex out. He’s a matchup nightmare. Go watch what he did to a lot of big time DBs in Mississippi JUCO play.”


“I think he’s a heck of a corner. We need one more corner, we’re in the market for one more corner, for sure.”