One of the best junior college transfers is now eligible to play for LSU, as defensive tackle Travonte Valentine has been cleared to play for the Tigers, as Ryan Bartow of 247Sports first reported on Monday.
— Ryan Bartow (@RyanBartow) August 8, 2016
If you recall, Valentine originally signed to play with the Tigers in 2014, but was ruled ineligible to play. He was later dismissed last summer due to team violations. Valentine has bounced around junior colleges and was last enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
However, Valentine is ready and raring to go and will now begin practicing with the team. More from Bartow of 247Sports.
“I want to focus on my three years at LSU to graduate and hopefully win a few National Championships,” Valentine said. “I’ve matured as a man since I left and want to prove myself to the wonderful fans at LSU.”
Valentine, a 6’2”, 315-pound defensive tackle from Palm Bay, Florida (Champagnat Catholic – Hialeah) is rated as a 4-star recruit according to 247Sports. The site ranks him as the No. 18 overall junior college prospect in the 2016 class and the best defensive tackle in the country.
Valentine’s presence on the defensive line will be a huge boon to coach Les Miles, as the Tigers gear up for and important season.
It’s been an eventful offseason for Miles and the Tigers, as Miles nearly lost his job when some LSU officials wanted him ousted. Also, the program has had to deal with a state budget crisis.
Miles, 62, has been at LSU for the last 11 years and has compiled an 110-32 record (60-27 in the SEC) at the school. He has led the Tigers to a bowl game in each season he has been coach, including taking LSU to two national championships and winning the 2007 BCS title game. Prior to LSU, Miles coached at Oklahoma State, where he recorded a 28-21 record.
LSU finished 9-3 (5-3 in the SEC) last season while beating Texas Tech in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.
The Tigers will open their season when they play Wisconsin at Lambeau Field on September 3