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Four-star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine said the third time is the charm with his commitment to Miami.
To say the recruiting process for Valentine has been complicated would be an understatement. He originally committed to Louisville in July before the start of his junior season, but backed off.
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Then he committed to Florida after a visit to Gainesville for their annual Friday Night Lights event. However, that commitment did not stick either. In February, he separated from the Gators and reopened his commitment.
A lot has changed since then. He transferred this summer from Palm Bay (Fla.) Bayside to Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic for his senior season.
It's a clean slate for Valentine and he is making the most of it.
"I was planning on making a November decision, but things changed," he said. "I took a trip to Miami recently with my family and we loved it. I knew it was the place for me and my family supported it. It was different than any other trip because I had my family with me. Before I just committed to Louisville then UF without any help from my family."
But will this stick?
"Yes. I'm done. This is my last commitment. I'm shutting recruiting down. I'm ready to be a Hurricane," he said.
Valentine gives Miami seven, four-star commitments for this impressive 2014 class. How did the coaches react when he informed them of his decision?
"I told Hurlie Brown I was committing and he was excited. But he had to call Coach [Al] Golden because he was on vacation. When Coach Golden got on the phone he was fired up," Valentine said. "Then Coach [Mark] D'Onofrio and Coach [Paul] Williams got on the phone and they were fired up, too."
The Canes' tradition as well as academics were appealing factors, according to Valentine.
"The tradition and the way they eat, sleep, and breath putting players in the NFL is special," he said. "Look at all of those guys, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Frank Gore. Plus it's the 38th-ranked university in the country as far as academics go. You can't beat the opportunity."
So now, Valentine plans to get ready for his senior year and take care of his commitments both on and off the field.
"It's simple. Stay focused. I'm going to stay focused in the classroom and with my playbook. If I do that I'll be fine," he said.
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