Seconds after Greg Gilmore’s helmet flew off his head LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron yelled to his new 6-foot-4, 355-pound nose tackle.
“Coach [Orgeron] said ‘Valentine get in’,” Travonte Valentine said on Tuesday when he met with the media for the first time since his return to the University this summer.
His first ever down of college football was happening much sooner than he expected, he said, as he prepared himself to play in the second series of the game.
“As soon as he called my name I just ran in there,” Valentine said. “I was focused and ready to go.”
In LSU’s 16-14 loss to Wisconsin, Valentine demanded double teams in majority of the 30 plus snaps he played and finished the game with two tackles.
Valentine said his performance was rated as a “C,” or average by LSU’s defensive coaches, and noted he needs to clean up a few technique issues.
After two quarters of play, Valentine started to notice he became winded and realized he needs to work on his conditioning, so he set a new goal for himself — which includes “getting rid of the greasy foods,” 110-yard sprints each day and healthier alternatives for meals.
“Eating good, eating healthy,” Valentine said on how he can drop those 20 pounds. “Listen to the trainers, work out with them. It’s really preparing yourself. Your body is your temple.”
He wants to lose 20 pounds in four weeks — he’s 355 pounds now, he said, and wants to be 330.
“Technique” and tackling better
After a glance at LSU’s stat sheet, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux played well, by most standards.
His nine tackles led the team, but he saw issues with his “technique”
“It’s a lot of technique things we have to get better at,” Godchaux said. “This 3-4 [defense] is new to everybody, even Coach [Orgeron]. We have to keep nailing it and drilling it each and every everyday.”
The 6-foot-4, 299-pound defensive end also said the team struggled tackling in their first game of the season.
Safety Jamal Adams said the team had a “tackling circuit” to fix the defense-wide issue in LSU’s season-opener.
“I felt like a couple of our angles were bad,” Adams said. “Not wrapping up. A lot of swinging, just not playing LSU football.”