Since decommitting for the University of Miami football team after the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in San Antonio, Travonte Valentine has wanted nothing but clarity from his future coaching staff at the next level.
Valentine, who told the Miami Herald he wanted a sit down conversation with UM coach Al Golden to gauge Golden’s stance with the program, said Saturday he was going to stop by the UM campus that night to have that talk.
The four-star Hialeah Champagnat Catholic defensive tackle did visit the school, according to his high school coach Mike Tunsil on Sunday. Tunsil said he did not speak with Valentine after reaching campus Saturday night.
Valentine did have a reassuring in-home visit from Canes defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, and running backs coach Hurlie Brown on Thursday -- despite LSU and Texas also sitting atop his list.
“It was just rumors about Miami this, Miami that,” Valentine said. “I didn’t want to be in the picture with all them rumors so I just backed myself up and did what I had to do and just decommit.
“[Texas] and LSU looking good, but Miami -- after they talked to me Thursday -- it went well. The coaching staff, everybody they came over and talked to me. It was a good talk, and I was satisfied with what they were telling me, and they did a good job.”
Valentine said he recently received an offer to play at Texas “and they came at me strong,” but had plenty to boast about regarding LSU.
Valentine said he likes the way defensive backs coach Corey Raymond “talks to my mom, [and] they way he talks to me.” He also said he has “good communication” with head coach Les Miles, and received a visit from defensive line coach Brick Haley this week as well.
Valentine has an official visit to LSU planned for Jan. 24, and UM on Jan. 31. If Valentine did go to UM on Saturday – like he said he was going to, mostly to hang out with Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas defensive tackle Anthony Moten – it would mark two stops on the UM campus within a three-week span before National Signing Day on Feb. 5.
“I think today while Moten is taking his official, I might slide over there,” Valentine said. “It’s not my official today, but I’m just going to support my boy and have fun with him.”