Height/Weight: 6-foot-3 / 320- pounds
High School: Edwardsville HS (IL)
Somewhat called out by the coaches in the spring of 2013 and by Bo Pelini at Big Ten Media Days last year, Valentine responded, taking his game to the next level.
The sky is the limit for Valentine, who could be a legitimate NFL prospect down the road. What it really might come down to more than anything is how much the redshirt sophomore wants it.
The Illinois native looked to be to a slimmed down version of himself in the spring, which appeared to help with his first step on the line. His defensive coordinator noticed.
“Night and day. I don’t know how much he is in better physical shape, but he understands the expectations and what it takes to be successful,” said John Papuchis. “Last spring he was a guy who just didn’t quite get how hard playing college football could be.
“Going through the spring and the whole season, I think he gets the full focus and effort you have to bring on a daily basis. He’s definitely upped his game.”
”I think the biggest challenge for me is to stay consistent and stay the path,” said Valentine. “I have to learn to be more level-headed and know that I can play on this level and dominate. I showed it at times on film.”
BRR projection: Valentine will start with Collins at defensive tackle and see an increase in snaps with better conditioning.
How he ended up in Lincoln:
Valentine picked the Huskers on National Signing Day, choosing to head to Lincoln instead of Illinois and Florida. His efforts his senior year earned second-team All-State honors in Illinois, after he racked up 11 tackles and three sacks for Edwardsville high school (Class 7A).
As a junior, Valentine grabbed the attention of colleges across the nation, recording two sacks, two forced fumble, and 33 tackles – facing constant double-teams.