Dwight Freeney (born February 19, 19801 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American football player who currently plays defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts.
A long time resident of Bloomfield, Connecticut, Freeney played football for Bloomfield High School where he earned All Conference (CCC WEST) and All State (CIAC) honors. Freeney was raised down the street from current WNBA star Nykesha Sales (Connecticut Sun.)
Freeney returns to the area often to host his annual Dwight Freeney Celebrity Golf Tournament. Several of the biggest names in the NFL and NBA appear annually including: Edgerrin James, Amare Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Keith Bulluck, Marvin Harrison, etc.
He was drafted by the Colts out of Syracuse University with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He set an NFL rookie record with 9 forced fumbles (3 of those forced fumbles came from a game with the Eagles, in which Freeney victimized Donovan Mcnabb for 3 strips), and was runner up for defensive rookie of the year to Carolina's Julius Peppers. Freeney is the only player in Colts history with three consecutive double-digit sack seasons. In 2004 he led the NFL with 16 sacks, winning the league sack title and a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl team. His 40 sacks in his first three seasons rank 3rd-most by a player to start an NFL career. He also won the 2004 EA Sports Madden Bowl.
As an undersized end at only 268 pounds, Freeney uses his agility and patented "spin" move to terrorize offensive lines. One particular attention-getting performance was against the Ravens, when Freeney faced off against 9-time Pro Bowler Jonathan Ogden and proceeded to record two sacks and hurry Kyle Boller multiple times. In one 2005 game, however, Rams left tackle Orlando Pace was able to completely neutralize Freeney's pass rush. Other teams began to repeat Pace's technique, and Freeney's production has slowed slightly as a result.
Freeney is well known for making his whole defensive line better, for this reason. Because of the doubles he gets from offensive linemen, it opens up his teammates, especially Robert Mathis to get more opportunities at the quarterback. That is why he is considered one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.