Coach's Take: Travonte Valentine

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Peter Ariz

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Miami landed one of its top targets today in Champagnat Catholic's Travonte Valentine. I had a chance to speak with Champagnat Head Coach Mike Tunsil about his player's commitment to the University of Miami.

"We have a policy over at our school that we like to have our seniors committed before the season so they don't have to worry about recruiting and can just focus on school. We had a conversation a couple days ago about his top 3 and he always liked UM from before he even came down here so he just wanted to get it out of the way so he could just concentrate on academics," said Tunsil.

Miami is the third school that Valentine has been committed to, so what makes this commitment different from the others?

"He's committed to UM so after today his recruitment is over with. I won't be taking any more phone calls from schools trying to recruit him."

Valentine transferred into Champagnat a couple months ago from Bayside High School. Coach Tunsil has been very pleased with Travonte's work ethic.

"So far he's been great. He came here a little overweight at 349 and right now he's 323 so that shows he has a great work ethic. He's doing everything we need him to do on the field and in the classroom."

Valentine's weight-loss can be attributed to multiple workouts a day.

"His goal weight is 315 so he's been waking up at 5:45 every morning and running on the beach three days a week. He also does workouts with the team and then works out a 9 o'clock at night. He's a hard-working kid so weight isn't going to be a problem. He had just gotten a little lazy."

Tunsil raves about Valentine's athleticism for a prospect his size.

"He's the most athletic big guy I've ever seen. We were at the Nike 7-on-7 and he was lining up at receiver running routes. When he puts it all together, he will definitely play in the NFL in three or four years."

Maybe the most talked about thing with Valentine over the past few months has been rumors of his grades not being up to par, which is something that Tunsil wanted to address.

"That's the number one rumor that was wrong about him. Academics and grades-wise he was great, he was just short on core credits. He is taking two summer classes this year and as of right now he has an A in one of them and a B in the other one. He's taking an online course and at our school we have seven credits so he is definitely going to qualify if he continues showing up to school everyday and sitting in the front of the class like he's already doing."

Champagnat Catholic is an upstart program that has already been generating division-1 talent in its short three-year span. That hasn't stopped people within the South Florida high school football community from doubting Champagnat's future success.

"It comes with the territory. I started the program three years ago and we don't have a weight room or facilities so just off that people are going to doubt us. It's just about hard work. I have five coaches that all believe in what we're doing and it's all about helping the kids."
 
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jnw4563

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"That's the number one rumor that was wrong about him. Academics and grades-wise he was great, he was just short on core credits. He is taking two summer classes this year and as of right now he has an A in one of them and a B in the other one.

That's great to hear, that statement makes his commitment even better to us Cane fans.
 

@KingLew88

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Wait no weight room or facilities and you have a football team how does that even work???
 

JHallCanes

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Pete, didn't you report that Valentine CAUGHT the winning TD in one of those 7 on 7 games?
 

Canesfrom

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Great interview Pete. You asked the tough questions and got direct answers.

Only wish you did the same with Beard!
 

Sandman211

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Thanks for the update. Great news for the U and sounds like Coach Tunsil is a solid guy. Really stoked about Valentine.
 

Peter Ariz

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Great interview Pete. You asked the tough questions and got direct answers.

Only wish you did the same with Beard!

What tough questions were you looking for from Beard? There's no problem between Miami and U-School.
 
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Canefam

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Great interview. Sounds like this coach has it going. Very refreshing. Welcome to the U and thanks coach for getting these kids ready...

Go Canes!
 

cane4life254

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I wish all school would make their seniors commit before the year and not take any more calls from recruiters. wishful thinking
 

gogeta4

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TUNSIL A GOOD DUDE. I met him before few yrs back at a camp at dolphins bubble....@ the time i think he was @ spirit of life and he had a few bigtime prospects then.

For a small school ...their loaded. Tunsil if your on here pm me, we can get it down if u need some help.
 

fresssh

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It sounds like he shouldn't have a problem qualifying. Very excited about that. Best Dt we signed in I don't know how many years. 2 more dt's?
 

CANE1775

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Nice article Pete. I don't think I've ever heard a coach be so open and specific regarding a kid's grades.
 
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561Cane

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Well, the good is no FCAT as he will be in a private school this fall. But there is no mistake, the young man has grade issues and lets just hope that he focuses on what he needs to get done to make it in at UM.
 

Consigliere

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TUNSIL A GOOD DUDE. I met him before few yrs back at a camp at dolphins bubble....@ the time i think he was @ spirit of life and he had a few bigtime prospects then.

For a small school ...their loaded. Tunsil if your on here pm me, we can get it down if u need some help.

Prop Joe knows.
 
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All we need now is for K. Clark and his parents to realize Gainesville is no place to be if you want good values instilled and a "quality" education. We need to flip this kid.
 
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