In the wake of Al Golden to Penn State rumors, 4-star defensive lineman Travonte Valentine has decommitted from the University of Miami, per NOLA's Andrew Lopez.
The local lineman was a key member of Miami's eighth-ranked recruiting class by the 247Sports' Composite Rankings. According to 247Sports, as a senior at Champagnat Catholic, the 6'3", 338-pounder racked up 85 tackles, tallying 31.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.
Valentine would have improved a struggling Miami defensive line that was a major reason the 'Canes went 2-4 to finish the 2013 campaign. Defensively, Miami allowed 483 yards and 26 points over the final six games.
Lopez notes that Valentine has already named Les Miles and the LSU Tigers as his new leader. This, of course, comes as good news for fans of the Bayou Bengals. Recently, LSU missed on a few key prospects who, at the Under Armour All-America Game, announced their respective collegiate destinations.
With that being said, the Tigers snagged a pair of 5-star commitments in the nation's No. 1 player, running back Leonard Fournette, and safety Jamal Adams. Currently, 14 4- or 5-star prospects have given pledges to LSU, and Valentine would be a welcomed addition to the impressive class.
Dieter Kurtenbach of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes the importance of Valentine to the Miami class.
Valentine was, for lack of a better term, “the man” for the Hurricanes recruiting class. Doubt decommit tied to Golden speculation though.— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) January 4, 2014
The Hurricanes still hold seven commitments from defensive linemen, including 4-star end Chad Thomas and 4-star tackle Anthony Moten. Behind Moten, three tackles from the junior college ranks are committed to "The U."
Though Valentine's decision may not have been affected by the uncertainty surrounding Al Golden, other prospective 'Canes may be waiting on Golden's coaching future.
Conflicting reports have documented mutual interest between Golden and Penn State, his alma mater. As of the late afternoon on Jan. 4, 2014, no official decision has been released concerning Golden's future.
But one thing appears to be certain, and that is Travonte Valentine will no longer be a part of the 2014 Miami recruiting class.