On the Ship
Freshwater signs with East Carolina football program
Defensive lineman committed to Pirates in August
By Malcolm Shields
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Humble, hard working and a quiet leader.
Those were some of the words used to describe Northeastern senior Traveon Freshwater.
Freshwater, arguably one of the most talented football players to play at Northeastern in the school's 50 years of fielding a football team, made his college commitment official.
Freshwater signed to join the East Carolina University football program Wednesday morning.
ECU announced Freshwater's signing on Twitter just before 9:30 a.m.
A little after noon in the lobby of Northeastern's gym, Freshwater along with coaches, teammates, teachers, family and friends held a ceremony for signing a national letter of intent to the Pirates.
Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-3, 210 pound lineman during his recruitment.
Freshwater committed to ECU in August.
“It means a lot to me,” Freshwater said of signing. “Just staying humble through it all. It's a moment that I'll never forget.”
He acknowledged that it meant a lot to have the support of the community at the ceremony.
Freshwater is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, ESPN.com and 247sports.com.
Wednesday was the first of three days of the NCAA's early signing period window for prospective football players joining Division I programs.
The early window, which was first held last December, lasts three days.
This year's window is from Wednesday to Friday.
Freshwater said the reason he decided to sign early was to get it out of the way and to let everyone know that he was locked in with the Pirates.
He added that he plans to visit ECU's campus the second weekend in January.
After he signed, Freshwater said he talked with new ECU head coach Mike Houston and defensive coordinator Bob Trott.
“They seem like good guys,” Freshwater said. “I'm ready to get down there and meet them.”
Houston replaced Scottie Montgomery, who was fired Nov. 29 after his third season leading the program.
According to ECU, Freshwater was one of 11 players from North Carolina that signed with the Pirates Wednesday.
Freshwater is looking forward to joining forces with D.H. Conley's C.J. Johnson.
The two players faced each other in Week 1 of the 2018 season in Greenville, with Freshwater's Eagles securing the win.
“I'm just excited to get to play with him,” Freshwater said.
Before he gets the chance to meet his new coaches and teammates, his current coaches at Northeastern had high praise for the four-year varsity member.
NHS assistant coach Ed Comstock said during the ceremony that Freshwater was humble, respectable, friendly and talented.
He added that Freshwater was one of the most talented players to come out of this area.
Ed Thornton, who was Freshwater's defensive coordinator and running backs coach at NHS said during the ceremony that Freshwater was a great young man and he was going to miss him as a person and a player.
Northeastern head coach Antonio Moore said during the ceremony that Freshwater made his job easier and noted that Freshwater had great relationships with all people.
Freshwater credits the coaching staff for pushing him on the field, off the field and in the classroom along with guiding him.
Moore added that Freshwater put the work in and is leaving a legacy at Northeastern.
That legacy includes four Northeastern Coastal Conference championships, multiple all-conference selections, four state playoff appearances, two-time Associated Press all-state team selection, on the watch list for the 2018 Butkus Award for high school players, with a 2A East Regional championship and a state championship game berth during his senior season.
Freshwater added that it means a lot that his former teammate William “JR” Walker also signed to play at Virginia Tech Wednesday.
Walker and Freshwater had been teammates going back to their youth football years with the River City Rampage and at Northeastern for three seasons.
Walker finished his high school football career at Clayton High School this fall.
“A great moment to see a great cousin go off to college,” Freshwater said.