Photo by Cory Guinn
Jonathan Coelho, Assistant Editor
The bright lights, game-winning drives and walk-off home runs -- every kid dreams of playing on the big stage and North Greenville University product Freddie Martino is just beginning his journey.
The former NGU wide receiver signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a college free agent on May 12, according to the team’s website. While at NGU, Martino set countless school records including yards in a season with 1,680, and touchdowns in a season with 12. As a four-year starter Martino recorded 296 receptions for 3,766 yards and 26 touchdowns. In his last season at NGU he set a NCAA Division II record with 146 receptions.
As NGU wide receiver coach Brian Bratton notes Martino is not a big wide receiver. Listed at just 6 feet tall and 195 pounds it’s the other areas of Martino’s game that have allowed him to make it where he is. “To be honest there are a lot of wide receivers who are bigger and taller,” said Bratton. “What sets him apart as an NFL caliber wide receiver is his work ethic, his hands; he doesn’t drop balls, and his ability to run routes. Those three things make up for the fact he’s not 6’2” 220 pound wide receiver.”
While Martino is still working his way up the depth chart Bratton believes he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. “Freddie has to keep doing what he’s doing,” said Bratton. “He’s very durable and works very hard. He’s the hardest working person I’ve ever been around and that hard work has gotten him where he is now. They love him there, he pays attention and he gets along with people. He’s the type of player coaches want around. So he keeps doing what he’s doing he can see himself move up the depth chart.”
Head coach Jeff Farrington agreed wholeheartedly. “Freddie’s a gym rat, he loves the game, and he loves being a part of the team. The Lords blessed him with great hand-eye coordination and he’s cultivated a great work ethic for himself so he just needs to keep working hard and continue the things he’s done.”