Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla Champagnat Catholic – Hialeah) had been committed to the Miami Hurricanes but with the rumors surrounding the fate of Al Golden in recent days gaining traction, Valentine dropped his commitment to the ‘Canes and named the LSU Tigers his leader.
The four-star defensive tackle is 6-3, 338-pounds and is the No. 8 recruit at his position and the No. 115 player overall according to the 247Sports composite rankings and is only considering LSU and the Kentucky Wildcats at the moment.
Adding a defensive tackle to this class after failing to land Gerald Willis, who was believed to be a prohibitive favorite for LSU prior to his announcement at the Under Armour All-American Game on Thursday, before committing to the Florida Gators is a priority for LSU before signing day.
In addition to Valentine, LSU offered Ole Miss Rebels defensive tackle commit Breeland Speaks on Jan. 3, but he has three high school teammates headed with him to Oxford, so I think it’s too late to flip Speaks.
Valentine is taking his official visit to LSU on the weekend of Jan. 17 and he could commit to the team during the trip. Valentine had 86 tackles this season with 31.5 coming for loss and 16 sacks.
The wildcard in the Golden to Penn State fallout is high four-star recruit Chad Thomas (Miami, Fla. Booker T. Washington) who is the nation’s No. 38 ranked player and No. 3 weakside defensive end.
With LSU likely to land Valentine after he decommitted, LSU will push Thomas to at least take an official visit to LSU, perhaps with Valentine to see if the potential for a flip is there. It’s a longshot for now, but it’s something worth monitoring.
At the very least it looks like LSU is going to add a big defensive tackle with the potential to add a top-40 player.