Gators pick up second verbal commit for 2014


Published: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 30, 2012 at 12:02 a.m.

As if Florida coach Will Muschamp wasn't already getting enough love on the recruiting trail, now he has a Valentine.

Top 2014 defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) pledged to the Gators on Sunday, giving Muschamp his fourth verbal commitment in as many days. Most recruiting websites haven't put out their 2014 rankings, but Valentine is expected one of the nation's highest rated prospects at his position.

He had offers from 14 other schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and South Carolina. Valentine committed to Louisville on May 30 but backed off his decision on June 15 because he wanted to play closer to home and in the SEC.

His first visit to Gainesville was for Friday Night Lights and it turned out to be a charm, as Valentine fell in love with UF.

“It was an incredible experience,” he said. “I love the campus, I love the facilities, the people are amazing, the football program is successful and it's two hours away from my house. I couldn't ask for more. My recruitment is done and I'm not taking any more visits. I'm 100 percent Gator.”

Valentine joins Fort Meyers Dunbar receiver Ryeshene Bronson as the second member of Florida's 2014 class. Verbal commitments are not binding until prospects sign their national letters of intent.

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