Travonte Valentine is gearing up for his first season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but he may already have set his sights on a potential return to LSU.
The former LSU signee from the star-studded Class of 2014, Valentine was expected to become a 2017 prospect. However, there is a bylaw in the NCAA rules that may allow him to return to Baton Rouge, La., for the 2016 season, a source told NOLA.com’s James Smith.
Valentine, a former four-star defensive tackle out of Champagnat Catholic High School (Hialeah, Fla.), was considered a key component in the Tigers’ 2014 signing class.
However, the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder was dismissed by LSU in July 2015 after academic issues left him ineligible for his freshman season.
LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has remained in contact with Valentine, according to Smith. Orgeron was recently at MGCCC to check in on the nation’s top junior college defensive end Isaiah Buggs, and very well could have checked in on Valentine.
Heading into the 2016 season, the Tigers have senior Christian LaCouture and junior Davon Godchaux manning the interior spots along the defensive front. Additionally, they will have five-star Rashard Lawrence and four-stars Glen Logan and Edwin Alexander in the rotation this summer.
Orgeron may wind up having Valentine back, too. LSU is reportedly investigating what it would take to have the defensive tackle re-enroll for the fall. Smith reported that the coaches are checking with the school’s compliance department about the matter, noting that Valentine boasts a good academic standing at the junior college.
This is certainly a situation worth monitoring over the next couple of months, as LSU’s already deep defensive line rotation could add another highly skilled interior player.
If not, LSU certainly will be in the mix with Valentine if he has to undergo the recruiting process from scratch.