The Carolina Panthers announced late Thursday afternoon that they have claimed fourth-year running back and former Imperial High School star Royce Freeman off waivers from the Denver Broncos. Freeman was released on Wednesday from the Broncos’ roster to make room for another running back addition in Ex-Ravens RB Nate McCrary. To make room for Freeman on the roster, the Panthers waived running back Trenton Cannon.
Freeman spent three seasons with the Broncos, rushing for 1,187 yards, adding 409 receiving yards and nine TDs. Freeman started 8 games for Denver as a rookie after being drafted by them in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Oregon where he set Pac-12 records.
At the University of Oregon, Freeman rushed for 5,621 yards and 60 touchdowns through his four years as a Duck. He also broke the Pac-12 record for career rushing touchdowns (60). As a freshman, Freeman earned the honors of Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and played in the 2014 College Football Playoff National Championship, in which the Ducks were defeated by Ohio State.
While being recruited out of high school, Freeman was considered a 5-star recruit by Scout.com and was listed as the eighth-ranked running back in the nation in the 2014 class.
While at Imperial, Freeman played both football and basketball. As a running back for the Tigers, Freeman rushed for 7,606 yards and 111 touchdowns, and also set CIF – San Diego Section records for career rushing yards (7,606), career rushing touchdowns (111), and career points scored (724).
Freeman joins a strong running back core with the Panthers, already having Christian McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard in the backfield.