A Pirate's Life
Northeastern's Traveon Freshwater commits to East Carolina football program
Expected to contribute on defense at ECU
By Malcolm Shields
Monday, August 6, 2018
Traveon Freshwater is set to become a Pirate.
The standout linebacker and defensive end announced on Monday afternoon his commitment to the East Carolina University football program on the social media platform Twitter.
Freshwater — a two-time Associated Press all-state football team selection on defense — had reportedly been offered scholarships by Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech among other major Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
Freshwater told The Daily Advance on Monday afternoon that it was a relief for him to make his decision now to join the Pirates and focus on his upcoming senior season with the Eagles.
There were a lot of positives that Freshwater liked about the ECU program that he recently visited.
“I loved the coaching staff and the environment,” he said. “I felt the family vibe.”
Freshwater added that the close proximity of Greenville to Elizabeth City played a role in his decision to become a Pirate.
Although he is a standout running back at the high school level, Freshwater noted that his love is on the defensive side of the ball.
Freshwater said that the coaching staff at East Carolina wants to use him as a pass rusher and will also be able drop back in coverage.
Northeastern head football coach Antonio Moore said that the timing of Freshwater's commitment was good to avoid distractions during the upcoming season.
“You don't want any distractions while he is in school,” Moore said.
Freshwater is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com.
Freshwater was also named to the watchlist of the 2018 The Butkus Award 2018 High School Watchlist on July 23.
He was one of 51 athletes from across the nation to be selected.
The Butkus award is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus.
Freshwater said that he was honored and blessed to be named to the watchlist.
The linebacker, listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, also participated at the U.S. Army All-American Game combine back in January.
Freshwater led Northeastern last season with over 150 tackles with more than 25 sacks.
Offensively, he posted more than 2,000 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
Freshwater joins a recent list of players from Northeastern to sign with the Pirates.
Former NHS running back Daronte McNeil signed with the Pirates in 2007, wide receiver Javon Brumsey signed in 2006 and wide receiver Phillip Henry joined ECU after his senior year at NHS in 2002.
Targeting top athletes in North Carolina is a goal for East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery.
“We are growing not only in football, but the energy with what we have going on with our Pirate Club has had a direct connection to the way we are recruiting,” Montgomery said at ECU's media day on Saturday. “We are recruiting a better athlete in our state and will continue to grow a pipeline with what we are doing here in the east and in the state.”
The third-year ECU coach acknowledged that his program expects to develop talent.
“We are a developmental program and we are not an acquisitional program where we go get five-star after five-star after five-star (players), but we are going to get three-stars and turn three- and four-stars into five-stars over a long period of time,” Montgomery said.
ECU posted a 3-9 overall record during the 2017 season.
Daily Reflector East Carolina sports reporter Ronnie Woodward contributed to this report.