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Falcons RB Devonta Freeman named a Pro Bowl captain

It's only his first Pro Bowl trip and Devonta Freeman has already earned a captain role.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Running back Devonta Freeman was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season. He exploded onto the scene when he assumed the starting role in Week 3 following a Tevin Coleman rib injury, and suddenly he was a household name. Freeman racked up 141 yards and three touchdowns in his first start, and though he was slowed by a concussion mid-season and also by a decline in blocking, he finished the season with 1,056 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 265 carries. He added 578 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He earned his Pro Bowl nod.

Now Freeman's being honored again, by being selected as a captain for the Pro Bowl.

Freeman joins New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the captain role for this year's Pro Bowl. The four captains will help establish the rosters for NFL Legends captains Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin during the Pro Bowl Draft.

Freeman told ESPN's Vaughn McClure that he's looking forward to the experience.

"It feels good,'' Freeman said. "I'm just excited. I'm going to go and enjoy Hawaii and really have some fun.''

Freeman is a great player, a great teammate, and he works hard and is extremely dedicated to his craft. He's also a delight to be around, and it's really nice to see his efforts recognized in this way.

Freeman will be joined by teammate Julio Jones, who was tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown atop the league in receptions this season with 136 and also led the league in receiving yards with 1,871. There's still a chance that fullback Patrick DiMarco and cornerback Desmond Trufant could go as alternates depending on the outcomes of tomorrow's championship games.

The Pro Bowl Draft will air on ESPN2 on Wed., January 27th at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The Pro Bowl will be played on Sun., January 31st and will air live on ESPN beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.