Rumors of coach Al Golden leaving the University of Miami football team to take the helm at Penn State has already affected, literally, the biggest prospect in the Hurricanes’ Class of 2014 recruiting class.
Hialeah Champagnat Catholic defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (6-3, 338 pounds) decommitted from UM on Saturday after participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, and named LSU the lead school for his services.
“Since Miami ain't looking so good now, until further notice, I'm decommitting from Miami University because I'm not sure about Al Golden so far,” Valentine said in an interview with The Times-Picayune (New Orleans).
“All of the commotion about Penn State and this and that right now. Al Golden is a great coach. He told me I was going to see things that I've never seen before. So for right now, I'm decommitting.”
Valentine will take an official visit to LSU on Jan. 17, Kentucky on Jan. 24, and to UM on Jan. 31. Many believe LSU was always second place to Valentine behind UM, and now the Hurricanes’ next coach would have less than a month to regain his pledge with National Signing Day on Feb. 5.
Valentine’s coach Mike Tunsil said because LSU does a great job sending defensive tackles to the NFL, and the Tigers’ lack of depth at the position are intriguing factors.
“I’m a hometown guy, so I would definitely love for him to play down here so his friends and family could come see him,” Tunsil said, “but at the end of the day, it’s Travonte’s decision.”
Valentine took to his Twitter account later Saturday afternoon to help clear the air.
“Incase the U fans aint read things all the way , yes Im decommiting until this coaching situation is done until then sorry but im chillin!!” he wrote.