Talking isn’t quite the forte of Northeastern (NC) four-star defensive end Traveon Freshwater. He’s quiet by nature, but he’s found himself talking a lot more of late, to reporters, to coaches and to plenty of fans.
Freshwater (6-1, 220) now has 15 offers, the most recent from Tennessee. He’s taken a few recent visits for some one-on-one talking with coaches and to see more of a few of his options.
His interview skills have gotten better. But Freshwater hasn’t lost sight of what will make the biggest differences for him in his recruitment.
“I look at how many graduates they have, if football players finish,” he said. “I want to go somewhere that has good teachers for me. Then, just the coaches, if they’ll be there for me after football season, to build a relationship. I want them to be the same coach during the season and when it’s over. Then, just somewhere I can feel at home.”
The No. 157 player in the 2019 Rivals250, Freshwater has talked to Virginia Tech’s staff for quite some time. The Hokies offered before his junior season. He also visited for Virginia Tech’s game against Clemson last fall, where he also posted a photo of meeting Hokie great Michael Vick.
“They’re still one of my top schools,” Freshwater said. “I just haven’t had a chance to visit again yet. They were one of my dream schools, so it just clicked, now that I’m getting recruited for them. Their defense stands out to me. I feel like it’s a defense I can seem myself playing, getting better and going to the next level, school-wise too. Hopefully, I can get up there and learn more.”
Assistant coach Charley Wiles has been Freshwater’s primary recruiter. But defensive coordinator Bud Foster also continues to play a big role.
“They’re pretty cool coaches,” Freshwater said. “They’re pretty laid back, but they keep it real as well. I feel like I have a good relationship and I can talk with them. Hopefully it builds more as we talk.”
Most recently, Freshwater visited South Carolina two weekends ago. Before that was Wake Forest. But the Gamecocks especially caught his attention in a few ways.
“The players talked, more from South Carolina, and it felt like the coaches really care for me,” Freshwater said. “Everyone is like a family and has a good bond. They’re there for one another, so that really stuck out. Basically, they say they hang out all the time, even when...
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