- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
A conversation with an assistant coach at his high school changed the 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle's mind.
"My defensive line coach asked me if I wanted to come up here and check it out with him," Valentine said. "Just got in the car and rode up here four hours from Palm Bay, Fla."
Valentine, who is suffering from a knee injury, did not compete on Wednesday. The 2014 prospect hasn't completely ruled out participating, although the forecast seems bleak.
"It was pretty cool to see some of the competition and the 7-on-7 and stuff like that," he said of the camp's first day. "It was pretty good. I am enjoying the weather and seeing how it is.
"I might surprise some guys and play on a hurt knee, we'll see how it is. We'll see what happens."
Having recently decommitted from the University of Louisville, Valentine came out with a top-three list Monday. Just two days later, that list grew by two.
"I do have a top five: Auburn, Alabama, Florida, FSU and Clemson," he listed.
Valentine will trip to Gainesville, Fla., next week for the Gators' Friday Night Lights before shutting down his summer visit plans.
And as for a final commitment decision, it doesn't appear to be imminent.
"I probably will make my decision during a game during my senior year, we will see how it happens, but just want to give everyone a surprise," Valentine said reluctantly. "I did have a team in mind to commit to earlier, but I thought about it and I want to take some time.
"I just want to see how comfortable it is on that campus, how everyone treats you. I know the coaches are going to be hard on you and teaching you, but that is love. They want the best out of you, they want you to be a better person. I want to help join a talented team and just see how it goes."
2dDavid M. Hale
3dDavid M. Hale
4dDavid M. Hale