The rumors of the massive 6'3" 338 lb. defensive tackle Travonte Valentine from Champagnat Catholic - Hialeah in Florida flipping from Miami started months before. Things quickly picked up steam when he officially announced his de-commitment from Miami at the Army All-American Game. Everything wrapped up on Wednesday when he signed his name on the LSU letter of intent, officially making him a member of the Tigers. The work of Corey Raymond yet again was a huge part in getting Valentine to Baton Rouge and with 2016 WR Darnell Salomon on that same team, nabbing the massive defensive tackle should help with that cause.
What He Brings To Baton Rouge
Watching him in pads quickly shows that he will be a massive force in the middle. He will need to turn some of the fat he is carrying into muscle, but when he does he can become a dominant member of the defensive line. While he isn't as tall as his comparison, I can see a lot of Albert Haynesworth just in the way he uses his size to dominate opposing linemen. His presence on the field will command double teams on a consistent basis as a lone lineman will not be enough to contain him in the middle. What that does is gives the other guys on the line more favorable matchups and wreak havoc.
Valentine is a huge, literally and figuratively, National Signing Day addition and with the loss of Freak and Ego to the NFL Draft, the possibility of early playing time is apparent. LaCouture and Quentin Thomas were the only two to really receive significant snaps over the season so those two starting spots are up for grabs. Valentine will definitely be in the conversation, but getting in shape to handle the rigors of the SEC will be key as to how much early time he will receive.