Virginia Tech has only sent out a small list of offers to 2019 linebackers. While the Hokies will send out more offers, it's clear that those who have been offered are priorities.
One of those priorities is Traveon Freshwater.
Four-star LB Traveon Freshwater has emerged as one of Virginia Tech's top 2019 targets at linebacker. The Elizabeth City, NC native has a strong offer list that includes the Hokies, South Carolina, Michigan State, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, and Old Dominion.
Nationally, Freshwater is well-regarded as Rivals ranks him as the 187th best recruit in the Class of 2019 while the 247 Sports Composite has him ranked 193rd nationally. Freshwater has intriguing size similar to Nathan Proctor that could lead to him ending up at DE or OLB with Rivals ranking him as the 11th best weakside DE while the 247 Sports Composite ranks Freshwater as the 15th best OLB.
The biggest thing right now is that Freshwater is one of the top recruits in the state of North Carolina. Both Rivals and the 247 Sports Composite have Freshwater ranked as North Carolina's fifth-best 2019 recruit.
Recently, Freshwater visited Virginia Tech for the Hokies' showdown and had a "great" visit that he loved. Freshwater told us that he enjoyed "getting on campus and seeing how it feels" along with getting to watch Bud Foster's defense in action. Though Freshwater doesn't have a leader in his recruitment, he did say that this VT visit impacted his recruitment "a lot."
Virginia Tech has made Traveon Freshwater a high priority on their linebacker board, and is definitely making a hard push for him. Freshwater told us that the Hokies are in contact with him around 3 times a week. Freshwater is also building a strong relationship with Bud Foster and praised Foster for being someone who "keeps it real."
However, South Carolina has Freshwater as a top target and is in contact with him the most. Freshwater also told us that he has the best relationship with South Carolina assistant Lance Thompson. In a recruiting world where relationships are critical, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are both positioning themselves well.
Right now, South Carolina is the favorite for Freshwater. The Gamecocks have been consistently pursuing Freshwater at a high level, and it appears that he is one of their top defensive targets. South Carolina is also showing signs of improvement in year 2 of the Will Muschamp era with Muschamp being one of the few SEC coaches who has lots of job security.
Virginia Tech has had lots of success recruiting in North Carolina, especially in 2018. However, most of that success has been in the western part of the state in areas like Greensboro. The Hokies don't have the same footprint in the Eastern part of the state where the talent pool usually isn't very deep.
Despite that, Virginia Tech is currently the top challenger to South Carolina for Freshwater. The Hokies may only take 2 or 3 linebackers this cycle and should have room for a larger linebacker class in 2019. NC State also looms as an in-state threat, especially with their breakout season that has them as the biggest challenger to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic this year.
Virginia Tech improved their standing with Traveon Freshwater on his visit to Blacksburg. However, the Hokies still have a lot of work ahead with South Carolina making a significant push for Freshwater.
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