Valentine Sets Decision Date

Valentine Sets Decision Date

Very few defensive tackles are left on the board. One of the top remaining defensive tackles from the Midwest took his final two visits over the last 2 weekends and is now preparing to make his decision.

Edwardsville, Illinois defensive tackle Vincent Valentine's recruitment has been quiet recently, but with two visits to Florida and Illinois over the past two weekends respectively, things are beginning to heat back up for the 6' 4" 300 pound lineman.

Having visited Nebraska back in mid-December, Valentine took some time and visited the other two schools in his top three, starting with Florida.

"I just wanted to check it out and see how I bonded with the team and how everything goes. I hadn't talked to some of the coaches outside of Muschamp and Young."

Aside from the warmer weather, Valentine had a surprisingly good trip.

"It ended up being better than I thought. I enjoyed myself and the academics are great down there. I was really feeling everything down there."

Both the ‘who' and the ‘what' caught Valentine's attention in Gainesville while he was there. The players and the coaches did their best to make him feel welcome.

"Definitely seeing The Swamp. It was a great stadium. We didn't do a whole lot but I had a great bond with some of the players. Hanging out with the coaches. They were pretty cool and I could see myself being around them."

Valentine's other visit took him just a couple hours from home to Champaign, Illinois. Though he'd been on the campus a number of times before, a new coaching staff and a longer stay gave him plenty to do while on campus.

"Going into it I really wanted to bond with the coaches and the players. I've been up to Illinois 7 or 8 times before, but I really got to know a lot of the coaches and the players. The coaching staff there now seems like one of the best in the nation."

New defensive coordinator Tim Banks, formerly of Cincinnati, and Illinois defensive line coach Keith Gilmore have assumed the recruitment of Valentine. Like Florida, Illinois showed him a good time.

"Coach Banks is recruiting me along with Coach Gilmore. Really just hanging out with the guys was great. They had a nice dinner for us and it was a good time. That and getting to talk to some of the other recruits about why they chose Illinois was good too."

Being an in-state guy, Valentine knew a few of the Illinois visitors heading into the weekend. He also got to spend time with some of the out-of-state commits, too.

"I already knew Vontrell Williams and J.J. Robertson. I got to know Mason Monheim a lot too. I really like those guys."

With his visits complete, now Valentine turns his attention toward his decision. He's narrowed it down to three schools, all of which he has visited, and will announce his choice in a little over a week in a ceremony at Edwardsville High School. He claims no leader at this point.

"I'm done with visits. I've visited Nebraska, Illinois, and Florida. I'll be deciding on signing day between those three. I'll do a press conference at my school on February 1st at 1:00 P.M."

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