Defensive tackle re-joins program after dismissal last spring
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
The mysterious Mister 105 has reported to LSU Fall Camp — officially this time.
Dave Aranda may have the big body needed to play nose tackle in his 3-4 defense.
Defensive tackle Travonte Valentine has been cleared to re-join the football program and practice, LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette confirmed in a text to Tiger Rag Tuesday, concluding a re-recruitment process that’s been oft-rumored since the 340-pounder was dismissed from the program 13 months ago for a violation of team rules.
Bonnette didn’t have any additional details as to when the hulking lineman would take to the practice field for the first time. LSU had a scheduled walk through Tuesday afternoon and will practice twice in full pads Wednesday. Les Miles’ next meeting with reporters is set for Thursday afternoon.
Valentine’s arrival comes at a time when LSU could use an extra body up front. The Tigers lost starting defensive end Christian LaCouture for the entire season to a reported torn ACL suffered in practice Sunday.
Junior Davon Godchaux, listed at 299 pounds, began camp as the presumed starter at nose tackle. Valentine’s arrival could allow him to slide over to the defensive end spot opposite Lewis Neal. Junior Greg Gilmore (308 LBs) and freshman Ed Alexander (333 LBs) are also working at nose tackle.
Valentine arrived at LSU the first time as a highly-touted prospect out of Miami, but the Southeastern Conference never academically cleared Valentine for his true freshman season. He’s spent the past two years at junior colleges — Arizona Western and Mississippi Gulf Coast — and has three years of collegiate eligibility remaining.