Years before Devonta Freeman became a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, he was accumulating rushing yards at a dizzying pace for Miami Central High School in Florida.
During his senior year in 2010, Freeman led his team to the state title game against Dr. Phillips High School and star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who now plays for the Green Bay Packers.
"It was a good game," Freeman said. "They jumped out on us 21-zip. We came back (after) halftime and we continued to run the ball. They held me to 38 yards in the first half. I went off after that."
Freeman ended the game with 308 yards on 36 carries, earning MVP. Following the game, Freeman met Clinton-Dix at midfield, shook his hand and told him to "keep your head up because you have bigger things coming ahead."
He was right. Both high school stars went on to thrive in college, each winning a national title, Freeman at Florida State and Clinton-Dix at Alabama, before being selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The friendly rivals haven't talked much since Freeman walked off the field as a state champion. Upon entering the league, however, the duo crossed paths at the NFL rookie symposium in the offseason.
"He brought up the state championship game," Freeman said. "He was like, 'Man, I'll never forget that day. I want my payback.' I guess we're facing each other again, so we'll see."
The rematch is set for Monday night at 8:30 p.m. ET at Lambeau Field.