Although he retired in 1992 after a truly remarkable 12-year career in the NFL, Freeman McNeil still remains as one of the most successful, pivotal and beloved player in the New York Jets history. That's because of his contributions on the gridiron and his devotion to helping others off the field.
Born in Jackson, MI, Freeman attended UCLA where he was selected by the Jets in the 1st round (3rd overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft, and in 1982 he led the NFL in rushing with 786 yards. During the mid to late 80's, he was a member of the Jets Two-Headed Monster backfield, along with teammate Johnny Hector, a tandem that ranked among the league's elite.
Freeman's talent and focus on the field helped him rush for 8,074 yards in his career, which ranks him second in Jets team history. He scored 38 touchdowns and played in three Pro Bowl games. Remarkably, he not only ran for an average of 4.5 yards per carry, but is also one of the few running backs in NFL history to average 4.0 yards per carry in every season he played.
In his retirement, Freeman has been busier than ever. On the business side, he has been involved with a wide variety of ventures and activities, including financial protection plans, product endorsements and public speaking. His commitment to those less fortunate than himself and in dire need of assistance has led the Jets' #24 to become involved in a wide scope of non-profit groups, civic and community organizations and youth assistance programs and mentoring.
In 2005, Freeman was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame. He currently lives on Long Island.