Marcus Freeman aims to keep the hype train moving when his Notre Dame honeymoon is almost over

Marcus Freeman aims to keep the hype train moving when his Notre Dame honeymoon is almost over

Marcus Freeman will never have a finer summer. How could there possibly be? Back slaps, grins, handshakes, and cheers abound wherever Notre Dame’s new coach walks these days. Every first-year coach looks forward to this time. There isn’t a track record to examine, and there aren’t any techniques to question. It’s just… the man himself, without the headset. This summer, CBS Sports paid a visit to the Fighting Irish coach when he was on a nationwide barnstorming tour. The Notre Dame fans are feasting on a fresh vision in Brian Kelly’s post-coaching career.

“Within the first 48 hours of getting the job, Marcus called Tim Brown, the ultimate Notre Dame player,” Miller said. “Bam, Tim Brown goes, ‘Alvin, he’s the real deal.’ He said, ‘Miller, we got one.’ Different people for different reasons are telling me he’s the man.”Freeman is a first-time head coach with one game on his record (a loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl). For one magic night in The Lou, he projected as vulnerable, opening himself up to let those fans see … the man. It is part of the dawning on Freeman that he has taken one of the most visible coaching jobs in the world.

On a humid night last month in one of Notre Dame’s strongholds — Catholic-heavy St. Louis — it was the duty of a portly, smiling, gregarious gentleman named Alvin Miller to introduce Freeman to a crowd of about 130 Irish alums in a swanky relic known as the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel.

People view you differently,” Freeman confided to CBS Sports in a private moment that night. “Your words have more power. They act differently around you.”

That’s not a complaint, just an observation. Freeman is big on observations. He got to this point being as analytical as he is social. If you haven’t seen the viral video of Freeman meeting the Irish for the first time as their head coach, it’s a must-watch.

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